Monday, December 31, 2012

Minimalizing (My FAVORITE Way to Unleash Creativity)

Are you feeling excited about 2013?

Thought I'd record some ideas that have been really helpful to me this week--in case you're looking to clean up your life a bit and make this next year even more wonderful.

I had the chance to interview my dear friend Marilyn a few weeks ago about how she and her family de-cluttered their home over the past year.  (Our conversation will be posted as a podcast on in the next couple of weeks, so you can hear her tell all about it!)

One of the "secrets" she shared for getting started was to read Minimalist Blogs.  (I was kind of embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of the term "Minimalist Movement," but wow, now I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of it.)

There are tons and tons of blogs out there that teach how to get by with less.  They show you how to get rid of your stuff and focus your life on what's really important. 

I've always loved books like "It's Here . . . Somewhere" and Julie Morgenstern's "S.H.E.D. Your Stuff, Change Your Life." I follow blogs like, and I've spent lots of time de-cluttering in the past.  I just didn't know that there was a movement going on that could help me become more deliberate in how I focus my life. 

For example, my daughters are getting ready to paint their rooms, and this photo, featuring beautiful simplicity, inspires us:

I also LOVE this quote that was posted on the GTD Times Facebook page the other day (Are you following them yet?):

"The end of a year and start of the new is a great metaphorical event to use to enhance a critical aspect of your constructive creativity—get rid of everything that you can.

(This is the photo GTD Times posted with the quote.  One of the comments said, "Some nerve -- posting pictures of my apartment without my permission."  That made me smile.)
"Your psyche has a certain quota of open loops and incompletions that it can tolerate, and it will unconsciously block the engagement with new material if it has reached its limit. Release some memory.

"Want more business? Get rid of all the old energy in the business you’ve done. Are there any open loops left with any of your clients? Any agreements or disagreements that have not been completed or resolved? Any agendas and communications that need to be expressed? Clean the slate.

"Want more clothes? Go through your closets and storage areas and cart to your local donation center everything that you haven’t worn in the last 24 months. And anything that doesn’t feel or look just right when you wear it.

"Want to be freer to go where you want to, when you want to, with new transportation? Clean out your glove compartments and trunks of your cars. And for heaven’s sake, get those little things fixed that have been bugging you.

"Do you want more wealth? Unhook from the investments and resources that have been nagging at you to change. (And give more than usual do to someone or something that inspires you to do so.)

"Do you want to feel more useful? Hand off anything that you are under-utilizing to someone who can employ it better.

"Want some new visions for your life and work? Clean up and organize your boxes of old photographs. Want to know what to do with your life when you grow up? Start by cleaning the center drawer of your desk.

"You will have to do all this anyway, sometime. Right now don’t worry about the new. It’s coming toward you at lightning speed, no matter what. Just get the decks clear so you’re really ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

—David Allen

Isn't that fabulous?

So my family and I are doing some major de-cluttering this week.  We're cleaning out our closets, garage, cupboards, drawers, reading baskets, bookshelves, filing cabinets . . . everything.  We're making space in our lives so we can make room for the things that really matter in 2013.  It doesn't have to happen all at once, and I'm sure we'll get better at this over time, but it feels AMAZING.

(If you have any advice--favorite blogs, books, podcasts, videos, etc. that teach how to simplify/minimalize, will you please share them in the comments?  I am eager to learn.)

Much love,


  1. So feeling this "movement" this week! I'm not sure why the close of Christmas does this to me every year :) now to get these girls started on the scrapbooks Santa brought to help organize some much loved tidbits!

    1. Marlowe, I'm AMAZED that your scrapbook with your girls. If you post photos, will you let me know? And I would love to know where you live. We need to meet at a Retreat sometime! (April (at)

  2. wow, the timing of this is impeccable. we got back from vacation yesterday and unpacked, but since i got all these new clothes and we're moving soon, i got fed up and just started throwing stuff into a pile to give away today. i found myself decluttering work files and counter tops, trying to get back to my college minimalist time (my roommate and i were both neat freaks but she had a VERY CLEAR desk that I learned to do for myself because it looks so much better without anything on it!). So I am completely inspired by this! I don't have any suggestions for how to simplify or minimalize but I am looking for long narrow shelving units to put all my cans in for those long cupboards where stuff falls into the back and you just never use it! Same goes for my freezer hehe. I am organizing by category into these long shelves so I can just pull it out like a drawer to see what's in it. Good luck! Happy new year!

    1. Love it, Daisy. Good luck with your organizing! xoxo

  3. Can you tell me how you shrink your routines and responsibilities list to fit your planner?? I think seeing it plus adding decluttering to it will help me too especially doing the de junking process above :)

    1. Kirstan, the shrinking of the routines/responsibilities depends on your computer. I just go into Excel, create a preview of my spreadsheet, and tweak it until it fits on the page the right way. Then I print as a 5 x 7 (since I have a Classic planner). Then I cut, trim, and hole-punch. It's kind of a hassle, but it does work nicely, and I usually only update my R and Rs once or twice a year. Good luck!!


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