9 Responses to “7 Ways to Encourage Simplicity at Home”


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  1. Hey Courtney,

    i love minimalism, but i have a tough challenge at the moment. A few months ago i moved with my family from Germany to Canada. Here we live with my mother in law in her house till we are financially stable. She is the opposite of a minimalist and i really have to focus on staying in the now in-between all that clutter. I feel that i am not really having the permission to say something to her, because she is so nice to let us stay here.

    You know the feeling when your fingers getting itchy (thats a german saying), because you just want to start right away to make everything more spacious.

    Love your website and your authentic being!



    • Courtney Carver

      Paula, It sounds like you will have to create space in other areas of your life and go along with things until it’s time to move. Thanks for your kind words.

  2. Tonya Magonigal

    Courtney, I am new to your blog. I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed it. I live in Herriman, maybe one day we can meet for lunch.
    One thing that I did with my kids when they were younger was to put half of their toys in a box in the attic and then switch them out every month or two. What didn’t get played with was donated. Another thing was that I only let them have ten sets of clothes and three pairs of shoes. This kept down on a lot of clutter. They also had a special box for their treasures and when it was full they had to choose the item that would leave when they wanted to add something new.

  3. Hi Courtney

    I live alone at the moment but my partner has a lot of stuff while I regularly throw things out of my cute shoebox. We don’t quite see eye to eye on this. Apparently I need two kettles in a teensy studio flat :) I like your “encourage collaboration” approach. I’ve recently used this at work. Thinking of myself as on the “same side” solving an issue worked beautifully. Who would have guessed?!
    So maybe the polar opposites (“two of everything” versus “one and only if I use it”) can find a middle ground. You’re right, relationships do belong first. I might need to relax a bit about all the stuff. Thanks, I always enjoy reading.

  4. Cindy

    I have found “Give Freely” to be the most important aspect for me in actually getting things out of the house. In the beginning, I felt like I should try to make what I could by selling things…which only meant they piled up elsewhere waiting for me to have the time to get things listed on various websites. I began to change my view by focusing on the fact that the things I was getting rid of could bless others who really needed them. Seeing things leaving the house felt freeing and has helped move things a little faster given then I can devote my limited time to focus completely on getting things out of the house rather than divide it between the de-cluttering and selling processes.

    • cheryl

      cindy, this comment was so helpful to me. we’ve pared down our possessions by about 50%, but we still have a big pile of stuff that’s marked “sell on craigslist” because our budget is tight these days. that pile has been sitting there for more than 6 months waiting until we free up time to post them, and i think we might be hurting our ability to move forward and feel even freer. thanks again for your perspective.

  5. Hi, Courtney.

    Thank you for the suggestions. They are sure worth a try.

    Personally, I regularly purge my stuff. Even digital. There’s something about having your belongings in their proper places and doing their intended purpose in your life.

    Then I discovered my 5 year-old child’s unattachment to stuff.
    It all started when I asked her for the toys she no longer needs/wants and donate them to the children of Haiyan typhoon victims. We’ve rearranged her books and toys since then and now there are a few boxes of toys ready for the taking. I plan to ship it to the Philippines in time for our vacation there so she can personally give them to the orphanage near our place. Two things I would love for her to learn: living a quality life with less and generosity.

    A little bit challenging is the husband. If I can have my way, I want HIM to purge his stuff. Because usually what happens is – he brings home whatever he thinks “we” need (even if I’m pretty sure I can live without it), and I deal with it once it’s here. He’s still at the stage where he’s not so discriminating of the want vs need thing. Though I’m quite certain he’ll come around. ;)

  6. Sarah

    Moving from a 5 bedroom home to a considerately smaller 2 bedroom sea side one meant we had to look carefully at what we really wanted and needed in our life. Cupboard space and valuable surface space is radically reduced and everything has to earn its right to be in our life. This has given me a new outlook on things. Is it worthy of my time to clean it? Does it deserve the space in my closet? I was amazed to find the answer was no to 75% of the things we owned.

    It was liberating to give them away and we’ve begun the next stage of our lives in a fresh airy space. It’s made everything easier.

  7. Michelle Stewart

    I love the encouragement from this blog. We are moving to a different house soon and the “just in case” stuff was overwhelming. We had a garage sale and donated the rest to charity. We have cleaned the place from top to bottom and it looks beyond minimalism since we don’t know when the house will have it’s next person walking through as a potential buyer. Once the house sells, it’s time to go through drawers and get rid of more!

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