living with less

Living with Less: How to Declutter Your Knick-Knacks Like a True Minimalist


At one time or another, we've all received something that ended up sitting on a shelf collecting dust or was put in a box that we'd keep for later. It's common that we end up keeping things that we've either collected over the years or that reminds us of the time and place where we got it. The yellow car (pictured) was given to me on my first trip to Italy. I channeled my inner Julia Roberts when I decided to visit the country solo and tour the country. During the month spent there, I had the opportunity to be part of a photo shoot with a classic, fully restored Fiat 500. The yellow car was a gift I received after the shoot and an exact replica of the car in the photos. The car and the horn are one of about four things that Dayne and I have kept that fall into the 'knick knack category.' At the end of the day, I think you can be a minimalist AND have a few things. It's all about saving the things that actually mean something and getting rid of the rest.

Are you a collector? Or are you naturally inclined to purge what's in your living space? I've always been a purger. I remember at a young age donating my Barbie collection because I was done playing with them and wanted to package them up and clean out my room. No tears. No regrets. I was just done with them! (For years, I wondered if that was something I should've been worried about. Ha. Now I'm grateful.)

For those of you who are holding onto something or a bunch of somethings - be it a large or small collection, I've listed a few different ways to declutter your knick-knacks like a true minimalist.

  1. You'll never be able to get rid of the things that are taking up space if you haven't identified what and where they are. Did your parents gift you Beanie Babies or porcelain dolls? Maybe you're into plants and you've got dozens in pots that are overtaking the backyard? Locate what and where first to get started.
  2. Which of the items make you the happiest or in other words, which ones do you really want to keep? Pull those out and put them in a separate area. Then focus on what's left. Identify the condition of the items you're getting rid of and create a donate pile for anything that is still in good condition.
  3. Discard. When I say discard, I don't necessarily trash. I mean, find ways to actually move the items out of your home! You can create a post on Facebook (to your own friends or groups) and let others know you're selling or donating the collectibles. You'll find there are many people out there who will enjoy your items just as much if not more than you did. The idea is to donate what's in great shape and share with others. 
  4. If the items aren't in great shape then consider recycling what you can. For items that can't be recycled then you'll need to toss. If it's hard to do alone, ask someone who can help you with your purge! Moral support is key if you are having a harder time saying goodbye.

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