Day 12 – Declutter your Decor | #thirtydaystosimplify

“The first step to crafting the life that you want is to get rid of everything that you don’t.”


Hey,

We live in a world where Kmart exists. That means unlimited $6 candles and fake plants.

Hence: Day 12, Declutter your decor.

When you declutter your decor, you might decide on a whole new look for your room, realise that you need five new pieces of furniture and come to terms with spending $160 big giant black and white calendar that will make your room look just like a photo on pinterest.

Take a second to breathe before you buy that $160 giant calendar. Think about whether those things would bring you joy, and consider that your lizard brain might just be trapping you in the hamster wheel of desire for stuff that doesn’t really create a more fulfilling existence.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting things or buying things. But be self aware enough to recognise where your desire for the new comes from and how it’s impacting your wellbeing.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Take your decor out of it’s normal space (candles, fake plants, jars, holders, cute boxes, vases, photo frames, strung lights, posters, dream catchers, prints – anything remotely decor related)
  • Declutter your decor
  • Declutter furniture
  • Return / Donate / Discard
  • Celebrate how great you are

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

1. Take your decor out of it’s normal space

You know what to do! Here’s a list of decor items that come to mind for your reference:

  • candles
  • fake plants
  • jars
  • holders
  • decorative boxes
  • wall hangings
  • ornaments
  • lamps
  • vases
  • photo frames
  • strung lights
  • posters
  • dream catchers
  • prints

2. Declutter your decor

Go through each decor piece one by one and evaluate whether it’s a piece that you love. Decor is really just there to look beautiful and make you happy when you walk into your space, so it’s a bit harder to declutter.

Stick with the classic ‘does this spark joy?’ when you’re going through your decor items.

If you struggle with the ’spark joy’ concept, replace that with ‘do I love it?’ / ‘does it go with my aesthetic or personal style?’ ‘does this make me happy?’.

3. Declutter your furniture

When I went through my decluttering process I found that I culled so many little items that some of my furniture needed to go.

If you’re in the same situation, do a quick walk around your space and look at each piece of furniture. Does all of your furniture provide value? Is it all in use?

 

4. Return / Discard / Donate

Return
Return the decor items that you want to keep back to their designated spaces.

Discard
If there’s any decor that isn’t in good enough condition to be donated, thank it for playing a part in your life and discard it.

Donate
Bag all of your (good condition) decor items up and place them in your car to be taken to the local thrift shop. If you have any furniture that you’re culling, get some help with transporting that to be donated as well.

OR, take photos of all of your items now so that you can sell them online ASAP. If they aren’t sold after two weeks, donate them.

5. Celebrate how great you are

Day 12 – that’s NEARLY two weeks. Whew.

You are killing ittttttt

See you tomorrow,

Michelle

Declutter your Beauty Products and Tools | #thirtydaystosimplify

“Minimalism isn’t subtraction for the sake of subtraction. It’s subtraction for the sake of focus.”


Hey,

Continuing on from yesterdays theme, it’s time to minimise your products and tools. By products, I mean things like cleansers – and by tools, I mean things like exfoliating gloves. Woop!

I found that decluttering my products was one of the easiest categories declutter. Barely any thought went in to it, and I was done in 20 minutes.

Todays challenge: Downsizing your beauty product and tool collection to only what you love and use.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Take all of your products and tools out of their normal space (hair products and tools, face products and tools, body products and tools, nail products and tools, teeth products and tools)
  • Declutter your beauty products / tools
  • Discard / Donate / Return
  • Celebrate how fabulous you are

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

1. Take products / tools out of their normal space

Take EVERYTHING that can be classified as a beauty product or tool out of it’s normal space and put it on the floor.

  • Hair products and toolsBrushes, sprays, dye, treatments, shampoos, conditions, dry shampoos etc
  • Face / body products and toolsMakeup wipes, cotton pads, cotton buds, cleansers, toners, moisturisers, face masks, tanning lotions, perfume, shimmers, spot cream, face wipes, deodorant, bandaids etc
  • Nail products and toolsNail varnish, remover, clippers, cleaners, stickers, treatments, etc
  • Teeth products and toolsTeeth whiteners, toothpaste, flosses, mouthwash etc

I know sometimes it’s tempting to skip this step, but it’s so important to see your items in another space and view them from another perspective in the minimising process.

2. Declutter beauty products / tools

Go through each category, one by one, and for all of the items ask yourself

  • Do I actually use this product?
  • Does this product / tool bring me joy?
  • Is this product giving me a tangible benefit in life?
  • Do I feel happier or more confident after using this product?

3. Return / Donate / Discard

Return

Return all of the items that you’ve decided to keep to their designated space. Having a designated spot for everything you own is one of the most helpful things when it comes to feeling in control and keeping your space tidy.

Donate

Once again, most thrift shops won’t take used products for (v valid) hygiene reasons, so you’ll probably need to throw your unwanted products out. If you have anything to donate, bag them up and take them to your car.

Discard

Discard everything else.

4. Celebrate yourself

Put your feet up, post a selfie on instagram, etc etc, because you’ve just gone through 11 days of decluttering. You should feel a TON of weight lifted off your shoulders at this point as we move closer to the ‘declutter your mind’ part of this challenge

See you tomorrow you fabulous human,

Michelle

Day 10 – Declutter your Makeup | #thirtydaystosimplify

 

“Simplicity takes courage.”


Hey,

This is going to a rough day for some, and an easy day for others. Today, we’re looking at your makeup.

Todays challenge: Minimise your makeup collection to only what you use and love.

Feel free to watch my daily challenge video for a recap of the below.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Take all of your makeup out of it’s normal space (Makeup Brushes, Primer, Foundation, Concealer, Powder, Blush, Highlight, Bronzer, Contour, Setting spray, Mascara, Eyeliner, Eyeshadow, Fake lashes, Lash glue, Eye primer, Lip gloss, Lip liner, Lipstick, Lip velour, Lip plump)
  • Declutter your makeup
  • Discard / Sell / Return
  • Mini Celebration

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

1. Take your makeup out of it’s normal space

Remove all of your makeup from the container / cupboard / drawer that it sits in, and put it all on the floor.

  • Makeup brushes
  • Face products (Primer, Foundation, Concealer, Powder, Blush, Highlight, Bronzer, Contour, Setting spray, etc)
  • Eye products (Mascara, Eyeliner, Eyeshadow, Fake lashes, Lash glue, Eye primer, etc)
  • Lip products (Lip gloss, Lip liner, Lipstick, Lip velour, Lip plump, etc)

2. Declutter your makeup

Go through each product or tool and ask yourself:

  • Is this out of date?
  • Does this spark joy?
  • Do I use this?
  • Does using this make me feel confident and happy?

3. Discard / Sell / Return

Discard
Most thrift shops won’t take used makeup for (very valid) hygiene reasons, so you’ll need to bag up any unwanted makeup and throw it in the bin.

Sell
There are some websites that will pay for barely used makeup, fully sanitise it and resell it. Check out places like Glambot If you want to go down that route.

Return
Once you’ve discarded your makeup, return all of your leftover makeup back to where it belongs, grouping like items together for easy access.

4. Mini celebration!

If you’re a makeup lover and you got through this without crying, I salute you.

If it’s any consolation, I’m 1000% happier with my small, loved makeup collection than I was when I had 3+ boxes of dusty unused makeup.

A little reminder – you’re at day ten! You’re doing so freaking well! In about 5 days, you’ll be through with physical decluttering and on to mental decluttering.

Day 9 – Declutter your Kitchen | #thirtydaystosimplify

 

“You don’t need more space. You need less stuff.”


Hey,

A lot of people get pumped about decluttering their wardrobe, their social media, etc. When it comes to decluttering their kitchen – the reaction isn’t quite the same.

Decluttering your kitchen isn’t the most exciting task. But I promise that you’re going to feel super fresh by the end of today when you have a shiny, clean kitchen filled with only stuff that you love.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Take your kitchen items out of their normal space (crockery, cutlery, utensils, appliances, chemicals and cleaning products, food)
  • Declutter your kitchen items
  • Declutter food
  • Discard / Donate / Return
  • Mini Celebration

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

1. Take all of your kitchen items out of their normal space

As you would always, gather all of your kitchen items and take them out of their normal space.

(You can leave your food until you get to it if you’re worried about taking food out of the fridge)

  • Crockery + Cutlery (Knives, Forks, Spoons, Teaspoons, Bowls, Plates, Mugs, Glasses and Cups, Serving Dishes)
  • Utensils (Chopping boards, Pans, Trays and Tins, Strainers, Serving, soup and wooden spoons, Rolling pins, Peelers and graters, Presses, Can openers, Measurers, Mixing bowls, Tongs, Etc)
  • Appliances (Toasters, Grillers, Blenders, Special food makers e.g. fairy floss makers brownie makers slushy makers, Food Processors Rice cookers Etc)
  • Chemicals and cleaning products (spray n wipe, Dish scrubbers, Dish rags, Dish soap)

2. Declutter your kitchen items

Go through each item and ask yourself –

a) Do I really need this many ___’s? / You don’t need 20 bowls when you’re a two person household
b) Is this only used on ‘special occasions’? / Aim to make ’special occasion’ stuff ’normal’ stuff.
c) Do I use this? / I.e. That fancy cheese grater you haven’t touched

Anything that doesn’t fit with the above boundaries (and you don’t NEED to keep to get by), place on to your ‘no’ pile.

3. Declutter food

Go through each item in your cupboards, fridge and on your bench. Ask yourself –

a) Is this out of date?
b) Am I going to eat this, ever? / I.e. the weird health snacks you bought that one time you were feeling overly hopeful
c) Do I want to eat this, ever? / I.e. the unhealthy snacks that you want out of your life

4. Discard / Donate / Return

Discard and Donate

  • Chuck all unwanted food items in the bin. If they’re canned, you might want to donate them.
  • Throw all unusable utensils, crockery, cutlery and appliances in to the bin
  • Chuck all of your usable utensils, crockery, cutlery and appliances in a bag and put them in your car for donating (if you want to)

There are probably special guidelines around throwing away electrical items where you live. Make sure you’re following them. Take this opportunity to do a quick wipe over of your fridge, pantry and cupboards.

Return
Then place the food and other kitchen items that you’ve decided to keep and place them where they belong, grouping like items together.

5. Mini Celebration

Woohooooo!! You’re at day freaking 9 of the challenge! I can 100% guarantee you that a ton of people will not have kept up this far – you’re an exception. Treat yoself, and celebrate how fabulous you are.

Day 8 – Declutter your Social Media | #thirtydaystosimplify

“Eliminate. Don’t organise.”


Hey!

We’re up to decluttering your social media. One of the most soul cleansing challenges yet.

Social media is what you make of it. It can be toxic and make you feel ‘less than’ 24 /7, or it can be a source of inspiration, information and a way to strengthen your relationships.

PS. I haven’t deleted a whole social media account as a part of my minimising process. If you feel like a social media platform is giving your zero value – 100% encourage you to remove yourself from it – you should have complete control of the information that’s put in front of you on a daily basis, and if any platform just isn’t working for you, do what you need to do and remove it from your life.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Unfollow / Unsubscribe / Unfriend (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, etc)
  • Turn off notifications
  • Breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate you doing you
  • If you’re still in the mood to purge – declutter your email inbox, and delete old social media posts.

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

1. Unfollow / Unsubscribe / Unfriend from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube

Take it one social media account at a time.

Go through each person that you follow / subscribe to / are friends with and ask yourself:

  • a) Who is this? / If you don’t know who or what the person or brand is, they don’t need to take up space on your feed.
  • b) How do their posts make you feel? / If all their account does is spark jealousy, anger, sadness or even nothing at all – unfollow them. If their posts make you feel connected, inspired or creative, they’re a keeper.
  • An extra, maybe more ‘tangible’ question, if you’re struggling with the above –
  • d) Have I liked any of their last 10 posts? This is a good way to clarify whether you really appreciate the content that they post.

 

 

 

2. Turn off notifications

Go in to your phone settings and turn off the notifications for all of your social media platforms.

The goal is to be proactive rather than reactive with social media. You can still check your social media – but you get to choose when.

3. Breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate you doing you

Go you. Have a breather, read a book (or watch some netflix) and pat yourself on the back for doing you.

4. If you’re still in the mood to purge

This challenge is huge already, so I decided NOT to include decluttering your email inbox.

If you’re feeling extra in the mood to purge, unroll.me is the BEST website to bulk unsubscribe from emails. Challenge yourself to unsubscribe from what you don’t love and value, and cull your inbox down to only emails that still need actioning.

You can also take your instagram / facebook etc one step further, by deleting old posts that don’t resonate you. Old posts I occasionally delete, but for the most part I like seeing how I’ve grown. It totally depends on how you feel about it.

xoxo

Day 7 – Declutter your Digital Space | #thirtydaystosimplify

 

“Someone else is happy with less than what you have.”


Hey!

As someone who has my whole life sitting on my computer, decluttering my digital space is a huge gap that I’ve found in minimising books and guides.

Today we’re going to chunk it up. Because it’s kind of huge (and we’re not even looking at social media yet).

Hydrate up and get some snacks.

Feel free to watch my daily challenge video for a recap of the below.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Declutter and organise your computer and web browser (downloads, desktop, trash, programs and documents)
  • Declutter your phone (apps, contacts and messages)
  • Celebrate how fabulous you are

Your step by step guide(s) for todays challenge:

Part #1 – Declutter your computer


 

1. Firstly, let’s do four quick things. Some easy wins to get started.

  • Delete everything in your downloads
  • Delete everything off of your desktop
  • Empty your trash
  • Uninstall ANY programs that you don’t use
  • If you’re on a mac – remove any programs from your dock that you don’t use regularly

 

2. If you haven’t already, create a folder structure for your documents that works for you.

It should be self explanatory and easy to navigate. To give you some inspiration, mine is something like this:

  • Media > Books, Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos (Photos are stored in to year > occasion, all other media is in individual folders)
  • Personal Documents > Identification, Bills, Health etc
  • Projects > Subfolders for each personal project that requires a folder
  • Professional > Job Applications, Work Projects, etc
  • Youtube > MuchelleB > Videos > January 2016, February 2016, etc

 

3. Drag your files in to the new folder structure that you’ve created.

Be selective as you drag your files. Ask yourself:

  • Do I need to keep this for record reasons?
  • Will I ever refer to this again?
  • (When it comes to media) Does this spark joy?

All of the files on your computer should fit in to your new folder structure. Whatever doesn’t get dragged over, delete.

 

4. Repeat

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for your external hard drive, dropbox, google drive and any other storage services you use. Take this one step further and declutter your web browser, by completing the above steps for browser bookmarks and browser extensions.

 


Part #2 – Declutter your phone

 

I see your phone as a totally different ‘digital space’ to your computer. To declutter your phone, use the steps below:

Declutter your Apps

  1. Open up your apps & games list (on android, go to play store > apps and games)
  2. Open up each app and ask the below guiding questions:
  • Do I use this app regularly?
  • Do I have another app that does exactly what this one does?
  • Does using this app add value to my life?
  1. Uninstall all apps that don’t qualify
  2. Create folders for different app categories (I.e. Social Media, Photos, Life Organisation, etc) and place all of your remaining apps into their appropriate folder. (You don’t have to do this step if it doesn’t suit you or your phone)
  3. Put the most important and most often used apps on the front screen of your phone.

 

Declutter your Contacts

Discard all of the contacts in your phone, with the exception of people that you actually contact through messages / calls.

 

Declutter your Messages

Delete all of your messages except for message threads that are ongoing (i.e your message thread with your mum is never going to go away, so leave it there – your message thread with that person from gumtree will probably never make another appearance in your life)


 

Part #3 – Celebrate how fabulous you are

If you got through this whole email and actioned everything, serious props to you. You are a decluttering goddess.

If not – that’s okay. The amount of time that you need for each daily challenge is different for everyone. If you think that you might need more time, remember that it’s always an option to self pace.

This process is exhausting, but so so worth it. You’re going to feel AMAZING about your decluttered digital space from here on.

Sending all of the good vibes your direction.

Day 6 – Declutter Electronics | #thirtydaystosimplify

 

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”


Hey!

By this point, you should feel a little overwhelmed, but also buzzing about your progress. You’ve already gone through so much of what you own and culled it down to the essential and loved.

Today, we’re looking at electronics. Electronics are 100% not emotional. Instead, they usually come with a ‘but what if I need it one day?’.

Let’s go.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Gather all of your electronic items – (Kitchen electronics will be decluttered later – for now, just collect all of your cords, cameras and lenses, any electronic camera equipment (mics, drones, etc), radios, phones, tVs , game consoles, MP3 Players (haha), laptops, light up phone cases, printers, DVD / VCR players, tablets / eReaders, headphones, scanners, walkie talkies, external hard drives, remotes, leads, USBs, console games, DVD’s, CD’s, anything else that appears to be electronic unless it’s too big to move)
  • Declutter your electronic items
  • Return your remaining electronics / donate, sell or discard the rest
  • Celebrate how flipping amazing you are

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

 

 

 

1.  Gather your electronics

Here’s a big ‘prompt’ list of items that you need to collect and gather in to one place (as always, every item should be removed from it’s normal space – unless it’s a whopping huge item, then leave it).

  • Cords
  • Cameras and lenses
  • Hair straighteners / dryers / curlers
  • Irons
  • Vaccuums
  • Any electronic camera equipment (mics, drones, etc)
  • Radios
  • Phones
  • TVs
  • Game Consoles
  • MP3 Players (haha)
  • Laptops
  • Light up phone cases
  • Printers
  • DVD / VCR Players
  • Tablets / eReaders
  • Headphones
  • Scanners
  • Walkie Talkies
  • External Hard Drives
  • Remotes
  • Leads
  • USBs
  • Console games
  • DVD’s
  • CD’s
  • Anything else that appears to be electronic
  • All kitchen electronics will be sorted on another day in the challenge

 

2.  Declutter your electronics

When you’re going through each item, you can create your own guiding questions or ask the following questions before making a decision as to whether to keep or discard:

  • Do I know what this item does and how to use it? / If you don’t know what an item does or how to use it (and you’ve still kept it for months or years), put it in the ‘no’ pile
  • Do I use this item? / If you don’t use it, get rid of it. This includes things like old TV’s, mp3 players, printers, laptops, headphones etc that you’ve put in to storage ‘just in case’.
  • Does it work? / If it doesn’t work, let it go.
  • Does it work well? / If you still have a digital camera that takes horrible photos compared to your phone, get rid of it
  • Does it bring me joy? / The big question. This will be helpful for CD’s, DVD’s and any games.
  • Is this a DVD or a CD? / If you still have DVD’s an CD’s after your decluttering process, consider transferring them to your computer and discarding the physical copies.

 

 

3.  Return / Donate / Sell / Discard

Return
Take the chance to designate a specific spot for all of the remaining electronics that you own.

Everything that you own should have a ‘place’. Designating places for everything will make your life SO much easier when it comes to keeping your space tidy in future.

Donate
Some of your electronics might be totally useable, but you can’t be bothered to sell them. If that’s the case, pop them in to a bag and put the bag in your car to take to the local thrift store.

Sell
Don’t feel like selling things is selfish or unnecessary, especially when it comes to electronics – which can get expensive. Photograph anything that you want to sell online and upload the listings now, or if you’re having a garage sale make sure you have a date in your calendar set for when the garage sale will be.

Discard
One you’ve gone through all of your electronics, be considerate with how you choose to discard them. Some electronics contain hazardous materials. Most places have recycling centres available to take on discarded electronics.

 

 

4.  You know what to doo

Celebrate how flipping amazing you are with a beverage, some moosic and maybe a candle. Whatever your jam is.

Lots of love – I’ll see you tomorrow.

Michelle

 

Day 5 – Declutter Stationery | #thirtydaystosimplify

“Sometimes, the only way to figure out what is really important is to get rid of everything that isn’t.”


Hey!

Welcome to day 5 of the 30 day simplify your life challenge.

Today, you’re going through all of the excess stationery you own. Stationery fiends – I believe in you.

Todays challenge: Decluttering your stationery collection to only include only the essential.

Feel free to watch my daily challenge video for a recap of the below.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Gather all of your stationery in the one place (Pens, Highlighters, Markers, Pencils, Erasers, Sharpeners, Pen / Pacer refills, Sticky tape, Blue tack, Staplers, Staples, Erasers, Post it notes, Rulers (or other measuring tools), Scissors, All notebooks, Plastic sleeves, White out, Paper clips, Rubber bands, Calculators, Binders / Filers / Folders, Pencil Cases)
  • Declutter your stationery items
  • Return the remaining stationery / discard or donate the rest
  • Celebrate how freaking amazing you are

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

1. Gather all of your stationery

Stationery tends to hide in the kitchen, the office, the bedroom and the spare room. Take all of your stationery out of its normal space and gather it all together in one space. Here’s a detailed list of stationery items as a prompt:

  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Markers
  • Pencil
  • Erasers
  • Sharpeners
  • Pen / Pacer refills
  • Sticky tape
  • Blue tack
  • Staplers
  • Staples
  • Erasers
  • Post it notes
  • Rulers (or other measuring tools)
  • Scissors
  • All notebooks
  • Plastic sleeves
  • White out
  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Calculators
  • Binders / Filers / Folders
  • Pencil Cases)

2. Declutter your stationery items

I see stationery as a more of a practical thing than an emotional thing. You can create your own guiding questions when discarding your stationery, or use the following practical questions:

  • Is this item in good condition? / For example, dried out pens, blunt sharpeners and half filled notebooks that you haven’t used in months should go.
  • Do I enjoy using this item? / For example, you might be super specific about what pens you write with and really don’t use any of the pens you own except for that specific type of pen.
  • Is this a duplicate that I don’t need?
  • Does this have a purpose in my life? For example, if you have a protractor that you haven’t used since 8th grade, it can go. Same goes with notebooks and folders that have no real function.

3. Return / Discard

Return
Rather than keeping stationery in a variety of random spots around your space, try cleaning out one or two draws and dedicating them to all of the stationery you own.

Discard
Discard everything that doesn’t qualify with your boundaries in to the bin outside or wherever you deem is appropriate.

Donate
If some of the stationery is still useable, there’s no reason that you can’t donate it. Pop it in a bag and take it to your local thrift store as a donation.

 

4. Celebrate how freaking amazing you are

Day 5! You are so great.

Day 4 – Declutter your Physical Paper | #thirtydaystosimplify

“Your home is living space, not a storage space.”


Hey,

If you’re still with me, I’m bowing down. Sticking it out (even for three days) is hard.
If you’re casually reading this and thinking “aAaah I haven’t even watched the first three videos…” – go back and read them!
Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Today is going to be an easier day than yesterday, don’t worry. We’re decluttering paper. Unemotional, boring paper.

Todays challenge: Declutter all of the (non-sentimental) paper in your space. At the end of today, you should have almost no paper left.
Feel free to watch my daily challenge video for a recap of the below.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Take all of your paper items out of their normal space (Letters, Junk Mail, Manuals – for your microwave, fridge, camera, etc, Warranties, Receipts, Birth Certificate, Education Certificates, Tax Records, Any and all bills, Bank / Superannuation (Pension plan) statements or summaries, Insurance policies, Vehicle titles, Loan documents)
  • Declutter all of your paper items
  • Store your remaining papers in one location, OR discard / recycle
  • Set up systems for future paper (i.e. unsubscribe from mailings, put yourself on the ‘do not mail’ register)
  • Celebrate how fabulous you are

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

 

1. Take all of your paper items out of their normal space
ALL of it. I’m talking:

  • Letters
  • Junk Mail
  • Business Cards
  • Takeout menus
  • Pamphlets
  • Information booklets
  • Manuals (for your microwave, fridge, camera, etc)
  • Warranties
  • Receipts (including those in your wallet)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Education Certificates
  • Tax Records
  • Any and all bills
  • Bank / Superannuation (Pension plan) statements or summaries
  • Insurance policies
  • Vehicle titles
  • Loan documents
  • Recipes
  • Old Assignments / assignment notes
  • Any other printed photos, printed notes, handwritten notes

Go and get all of the papers and put them on your floor. Group like papers with like, exactly as they’re grouped above.

 

2. Declutter all of your paper items
Sadly, you can’t decide whether to keep pieces of paper based on whether they spark joy. Decluttering papers is all practical. I’ve put together a reference list for you to use below when you’re sorting and discarding your paper items.
As you’re going through all of your paper, make a note of any mail based subscriptions that you need to unsubscribe from.
As a blanket rule, the only physical papers that you actually NEED to hang on to are important, you’d be screwed without them kind of papers. Government-related, important loan, unpaid bill kind of stuff.

What should you keep?

  • Letters that need actioning (unpaid bills etc)
  • Relevant warranties that are still in date
  • Any current insurance policies
  • Vehicle Titles, Registration Documents
  • Loan documents
  • Bank / Superannuation Statements – IF you can’t access these online and need them for tax purposes or other reasons. You can usually request to be resent bank statements in the instance that you might need them.
  • Birth / Marriage / Divorce Certificates
  • Wills / Power of Attorney
  • Tax Records (You can actually discard these if you’re in Aus, so long as you have electronic copies. I kept them because I’m a scaredy cat – maybe next time!)
  • Certificates / Qualifications
  • Medical documents that you’ll need to use in the future

 

 

What should you photograph (or store online) then discard?

Take photos of

  • Receipts you feel you might need in future (gifts, large electronics, furniture, etc)
  • Recipes you’ve printed and use (in Aus it’s a okay to present photographed receipts, do a quick google to check the rules in your country if you’re unsure)
  • Business Cards that you feel you might need in future
  • Takeout Menus that you use regularly
  • Manuals – For those that are feeling apprehensive – most manuals are available online. Do a quick google to find the online version if you seriously think you’ll need to keep a manual.

Then discard the physical copy. Store your receipt photos in one allocated place. I’ve used Google Keep on my phone and created a ‘receipts‘ label to store my photographed receipts in. (side note – best app of all time)

 

 

What should you discard?

Basically everything else. I recommend throwing it ALL unless it fits in to the above categories or you KNOW for a fact that it needs actioning or needs to be kept (and can’t be photographed and discarded). Here’s a quick reference list of documents to discard to help you out.

  • Bank Statements – You can nearly always access these online. Double check with your bank provider if you can get your bank statements online before discarding them.
  • Letters that don’t need actioning
  • Junk mail – Pamphlets, Booklets, Brochures etc.
  • Warranties – Throw out warranted that aren’t in date.
  • Any and all bills – If you’ve already paid the bill, put it in the ’no’ pile. You should have received an online receipt confirming your payment. If you haven’t paid the bill, keep it. While you’re at it, put any future payment dates in your calendar for a reminder.
  • Old Assignments / Assignment notes – Get rid of all of your old assignments / assignment notes unless there is still some action that needs to be taken with them.
  • Any other printed photos, printed notes, handwritten notes – If you have any other random bits of paper that are floating around that don’t fit into the above categories, unless they serve a purpose, need actioning or bring you joy, put them in your ‘no’ pile.

 

3. Store your remaining papers OR discard / recycle

Store
Put all of the papers that you’ve kept in one place. I recommend putting them in a folder or a plastic sleeve, grouping like papers with like papers. Make sure to designate your folder it’s own space.

My folder looks like this. It’s tabbed according to the type of document. I don’t think you need something that fancy – Luke just happened to get this for me last Christmas and it’s come in handy.
Discard / Recycle
At this stage, recycle or discard any paper that you aren’t keeping. If you’ve been rigorous, you should have gotten rid of nearly all of the paper that was floating around.Be sure to shred / destroy anything that’s got personal information on it.



4. Set up systems for future paper
Rather than letting the paper pile up again, reduce the amount of incoming paper in your life.
Here’s your mini to do list. Depending on your motivation levels right now, spread these to do’s out, or do them right now.

  • Unsubscribe from any paper based subscription that you have.
  • Login to your online banking, and opt to get your banking / superannuation statements online.
  • Vow to never ask for a receipt if you don’t genuinely think you’ll need it. For those receipts that you do need, create a ‘receipts’ label in ever note, google keep, whatever note taking app you have, take a photo of the receipt and then throw it out.
  • In Australia you can sign up for a ‘Do Not Mail’ register to avoid receiving junk mail. If you live elsewhere, look in to whats on offer in your area.
  • Place a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox. In Australia, the Distributions Standards Board will send these to you for free, just give them a phone.

 

5. Celebrate how fabulous you are
You’ve done four solid days of decluttering. Treat yourself to your beverage of choice and some chill time – celebrate your hard work. As always, go you for following through. Much love. <3.

Day 3 – Declutter your Books | #thirtydaystosimplify

 

 

“Minimalism is not the lack of something. It’s the perfect amount of something.” – Nicholas Burroughs


Hey,

Below are a few of the comments that I received on my Konmari Tidying Journey : Books video that I uploaded early 2016.
  • “looks at her 300+ books. Err….. I think my books go into the sentimental category xD”
  • “Nope.. I will always keep my books! Imagine when chaos unleashes in some way and Internet shuts down, you wouldn’t have anything to read.”
  • “I can declutter everything else, but my precious books!”

If you’re a book lover, someone asking you to declutter your books is kind of like someone asking you to declutter your babies. You’re a big hearted human being with a lot of love for books. Which is 100% okay.

But just give todays challenge a try – and remember that it’s all about those baby steps.

Todays challenge: Decluttering and simplifying your book collection to only those that you love and use.


Your mini checklist for todays challenge:

  • Read the reminders in step one below
  • Create some guiding questions (i.e. Do I have multiple copies of this book? Do I only feel like I need this book to look like a cooler person when people come over?)
  • Take all of your books out of their normal space
  • Consider each book against the guiding questions that you’ve chosen
  • Return your books to their space – donate / discard the left over books
  • Celebrate how fabulous you are

Your step by step guide for todays challenge:

 

1. Some reminders

Your books don’t define you. Minimising your book collection won’t make you any less you.
Owning less books doesn’t make you unintelligent or uninteresting. Owning more books doesn’t make you smarter or more interesting.
The memories from the books you’ve read are forever with you. Having their physical presence doesn’t make the memories any more real.

2. Create some guiding questions

Guiding questions give you something to work with. Without them, decluttering is a hard process.

Here are some questions to ask yourself that can work as boundaries when you’re decluttering.
  • Do I just love the cover of this book, or do I truly love the book itself?
  • Do I only feel like I need this book to look like a cooler person when people come over?
  • Do I feel like I need to keep this book just because it’s expensive, or part of an expensive set?
  • Have I even read this book?
  • Will I actually read this book again?
  • If it’s a reference book – is the information in it actually relevant and current – and do you really use it?
  • If it’s a recipe book – have I ever used it to cook a meal? If so, can I photograph the recipe I used and store it on an app?
  • Do I have multiple copies of this book?
  • Does it spark joy?

Write down what your guiding questions will be when you declutter in your simplify notebook.

3. Take your books out of their case

Just like you did with your clothes, take your books out of their normal space and put them all on the floor.
Pick each book up and check that it fits in with your boundaries. If it doesn’t fit in to the boundaries you’ve set, thank it for the part it’s played in your life, and let it go.

4. Return / Donate

Return
Return your books to their designated space (if they don’t have a designated space, decide on one now). Have a quick think about how you use your books before deciding how to store them. Do you usually go to your bookshelf with an author in mind? Or do you go by genre / emotion? I’d never recommend storing by size, colour, or shape if you’re a big reader – for practical reasons. Where you can, store your books upright for accessibility and space-saving.

 

Donate
Decide now what you’re going to do with the books that are left over. It’s up to you if you want to donate any of your books to a thrift shop – you could also take them to your nearest second hand book store or give them to your book loving friend. Otherwise, put them up on gumtree / craigslist for someone to purchase.

5. Celebrate how fabulous you are

If you thought decluttering your wardrobe was emotionally draining, you probably feel like death today. I’m sorry. I promise tomorrow won’t be so emotional.

But you’ve finished day 3! You did it! You deserve a cup o’ tea and a pat on the back. Get some arrowroot biscuits up in there – go on. I appreciate you x 1000.

MuchelleB