uncollecting

30 Days to Minimalism (Your Closet Will Thank You)

The 30-Day Minimalism Game

Here's a 30-day challenge for you: 

Day 1, get rid of one item in your house. 

Day 2, get rid of two

Day 3—you get the idea. 

By day 30, you'll have 465 fewer things and a new perspective on your home and habits. 

The 30-Day Minimalism Game is brought to you by The Minimalists*, two people on a mission to show how life can be better with less. The Minimalists take this concept farther than I personally would, but their central message is incredibly useful:

Keep only what has a purpose and brings you joy

Uncollecting a Decade of Stuff

My niece, Libby, took on the minimalism challenge last spring. A Tulsa-based music teacher in her early 30s, Libby has lived in her 2-bedroom midtown Tulsa cottage for nearly a decade—plenty of time to accumulate "stuff" in her closets, cabinets and garage.

Libby, the minimalist :)

Libby, the minimalist :)

Libby started the month uncollecting big items: end tables, lamps and such. This was all fairly straightforward until day six or seven, by which time she'd already eliminated two dozen items! She began digging through drawers and noticing things she'd long overlooked—stacks of old magazines, socks with holes in them, college notebooks she'd moved several times but never opened.

Anything she felt attached to, she photographed—for instance, a list of top 10 tips for music majors. Libby told me she still remembered the day a professor had handed it out. Still, she knew it was time to move on.

"A: I’m not a music major anymore—I’ve been working for 10 years," Libby said. "B: I hadn’t looked at it since I moved into my house in 2008. C: I don’t need it. It’s just taking up space on a bookcase that could have been aesthetically pleasing but was just packed full of crap.

"That freed me up to get rid of a lot. If I feel like I really need this, I can photograph it and then release it.”

Libby knew she wouldn’t have time some days to find 16 or 19 or 27 items to purge. Instead, she worked ahead and kept track with a checklist.

Eliminate chaos and live better by editing your "stuff" and storing it in a closet that works.  Call Closets of Tulsa  today for your FREE consultation and 3-D closet design:  918.609.0214

Eliminate chaos and live better by editing your "stuff" and storing it in a closet that works. Call Closets of Tulsa today for your FREE consultation and 3-D closet design: 918.609.0214

Let Go of Things You’re Not Using Now

PRO TIP: Libby wisely let go of anything she'd been keeping just in case she needed it someday—and she hasn't missed a thing! This includes all clothing that didn’t fit.

"I have clothes in a million different sizes," she said. "I decided to only keep things that I actually like to wear now, not things I might wear someday if I’m feeling more adventurous, or if I’m feeling more conservative. I’d rather not have my day-to-day life cluttered with the idea that I might someday."

Libby surprised herself with how many sentimental belongings she managed to unhand. In her garage, she found a bag of things from a certain era of her childhood bedroom. She remembered each item, and it all felt like a part of her identity. But she knew it wasn't, and she tossed the whole bag!

Uncover the Beauty of Simplicity

Getting rid of things can feel hard at first, but it ultimately feels liberating. Libby said she began to see her home in a new way.

"Once I got on a roll and cleared out one area and put things back in a really nice way, I began noticing how much I enjoyed those clean areas," Libby said. "I hadn't even realized that some spaces were really crowded. Now, every time I walk by them, I'm happy."

Minimalism cleanses the palate and reveals beauty where we least expect it.  Call Closets of Tulsa  today for your FREE consultation and 3-D closet design:  918.609.0214

Minimalism cleanses the palate and reveals beauty where we least expect it. Call Closets of Tulsa today for your FREE consultation and 3-D closet design: 918.609.0214

Libby said this process made all of her spaces more beautiful—even areas she didn't think needed to be beautiful! 

"I didn’t know that I could appreciate my junk drawer," she said. "When I opened it up, there were just scissors and tape and maybe two other things. Or in my garage, a neat box for adhesives, with exactly what I needed, not a million duplicates or a dumping ground for everything. I really appreciated all the spaces in my house."

Can't stand to toss all those office supplies in your junk drawer? Donate them to a local school to offset costs for parents and teachers.  Read more tips for uncollecting here.

Can't stand to toss all those office supplies in your junk drawer? Donate them to a local school to offset costs for parents and teachers. Read more tips for uncollecting here.

Be Protective of Your Newly Tidy Home

After the challenge, Libby became extra choosey with what she allowed into her house. Even down to reusable grocery bags—she knows how many she needs, and she doesn't want to collect more. I love it! She also got around to some upkeep she'd been putting off. My personal favorite example is that she repaired her closet wiring so she could actually see inside! This decision was, of course, revolutionary:

"I was like, 'This is so great! I want to be in my closet!' Before, it was a scary place, and I didn't want to know what was happening in there."

Thanks for sharing your story, Libby!


Make the most of your month of minimalism with custom closets that keep you on track! 

Call Closets of Tulsa today for your FREE consultation and 3-D closet design.

* Here’s The Minimalists' TEDx Talk (though it's hardly minimalist at 18 minutes long :) ) 

The Breakup Basket: Painlessly Edit Your Closet

The Breakup Basket is a Closet MUST

I keep a basket in my closet under my dresses. Every time I try something on that doesn't quite fit, isn't my color or even just bothers me, I throw it in the basket. At the end of the day, if something I wore made me frustrated or distracted or left me feeling less than my best, I throw it in the basket.

Shoes that hurt my feet, purses that swallowed my phone and keys—it feels fantastic to toss it all in the basket and walk away in my jammies. 

A breakup basket is an essential tool for a well-edited closet.  Call Closets of Tulsa  today for your FREE consultation and 3-D closet design:  918.609.0214

A breakup basket is an essential tool for a well-edited closet. Call Closets of Tulsa today for your FREE consultation and 3-D closet design: 918.609.0214

I call this tool the breakup basket. Over time, I've found that I do not pull things back out of it. A breakup basket helps you temporarily disconnect from things you don't really need or want in your life. Eventually, you’re ready to move on.

Edit Your Closet with Less Effort

 Clients get excited when I tell them about the breakup basket. They know they need to get rid of stuff, but it’s too easy to save closet cleaning for another day... and another... and another. The breakup basket takes no time at all!

A breakup basket should be just as stylish and functional as the rest of your custom closet. Select one you’ll love to see and use every day.  Call Closets of Tulsa  today for a FREE consultation and 3-D closet design:  918.609.0214

A breakup basket should be just as stylish and functional as the rest of your custom closet. Select one you’ll love to see and use every day. Call Closets of Tulsa today for a FREE consultation and 3-D closet design: 918.609.0214

The breakup basket makes it easier to be more aggressive about getting rid of things, despite all our reasons for keeping them. Setting pieces aside without totally giving them away today gives you time to process. And removing them from your line of sight—your shopping zone—gives you space to untrain your emotional attachment to them.

Think twice before you put your items back on a hanger or shelf. Don't pay to dry clean what you won't be excited to get back—how many times have you done that? 

If you're short on space or prefer a fully continuous closet design, a built-in laundry hamper makes a lovely breakup basket. Closets of Tulsa offers so many options, from single, double and triple hampers with soft-close drawer slides to pullout wire baskets.

Call us today to see what’s possible! Your consultation and custom closet design are FREE.

A built-in laundry hamper, storage bench or wire basket system is a great alternative to keeping your breakup basket on the floor.  Call Closets of Tulsa  today to see what’s possible: 918.609.0214

A built-in laundry hamper, storage bench or wire basket system is a great alternative to keeping your breakup basket on the floor. Call Closets of Tulsa today to see what’s possible: 918.609.0214

Experiment with a breakup basket, and stick with it for a while. You’ll enjoy the instant gratification and calm of creating more space in your closet. Your wardrobe will shrink, but it will be painless.

Eliminate Chaos. Live Better.

Request your FREE consultation and 3-D closet design today!