7 guiding principles to help anyone declutter home and life

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minimalistYou know I’m into minimalism at the moment. Well, ok then, I’m into decluttering. But it’s with the long term aim of becoming minimalist.

Although I admire his work greatly, I’m not the next Everett Bogue. His ebook “Art of being Minimalist” is a fantastic account of how he lives with less than 100 items. Everett quit his job, gave away most of his stuff, kept 100 carefully chosen items (which he could carry in a backpack) and set off with $3000 in his bank account to a life which he loves. His enthusiasm and love of life is evident and he shares tips to help people declutter their lives, untangle their schedules, and find the freedom they’ve always dreamed they could have in his book.

Today I came across Joshua Becker who lives with his wife and two kids in Vermont. What appeals more about his story (no offence, Everett) is that he is a family man and he still wants a house. That’s very similar to me. It seems there are many ways to a minimalist existence, with many shades between.

Many people love the simplistic principles of minimalism yet are sure they would never become a ‘minimalist’ because it’s not consistent with their lifestyle of values. Hey, I’m loving this – I have a kid, want a house, yet love the principles of minimalism. And I’m very relieved it isn’t all about 3 pairs of pants and one saucepan after all.

Joshua has redefined minimalism as “the intentional promotion of the things you most value and the removal of anything that distracts you from it.” He says it’s less about removing possessions just to remove possessions… and more about finding a lifestyle of simplicity that works for you and your family.

Phew! It’s beginning to sound manageable at last! With a hoarder for a husband and a little girl who produces a lot of stuff I need to find some compromises that work for all of us as a family.

I’ve been devouring Joshua’s ebook Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter their Home and Life.; you can read a free sample here.  If you’re intrigued to keep up with Joshua and his family, you can follow his  “Becoming Minimalist” blog.

What about you – does the minimalist lifestyle appeal to you? How far are you prepared to take it?


  1. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama on February 26, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I am a minimalist at heart, but that comes from having a bargain shopper/pack rat mother – so the two tear at me. I get in decluttering frenzies, and then 6 months later the siren call of the thrift stores grips my wallet. (sigh)
    Off to read the excerpt – thanks for linking to it!

  2. Mrs Green on March 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    @Dionna @ Code Name: Mama: I hear you! I shift between minimalism and wanting to be surrounded by my stuff. Hope you reach some comfortable conclusion with those two

  3. Erin S. on September 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I enjoyed your post and viewpoint. I think you can find many drifters and homeless folks with less than 100 items.

    I want a simple life, an organized home with only what I use and enjoy. The 100 item rule is too extreme and “all or nothing” thinking. We don’t have to live with all or nothing. There is a moderate, happy existence in between.

    Have personally been preparing to move and cleaning out the house I have spent 22 years in. Wow, there is a lot of stuff I have passed along via charities, or garage sale and trash. It feels liberating to lighten up. I will continue the journey to lighten up over the next few years. I also think you don’t declutter a lifetime of stuff in a week or two; or even one pass through.

    Great website, I will visit often.

  4. Mrs Green on December 24, 2010 at 7:11 am

    @Erin S.: Hi Erin, I love your point about living in a moderate, happy existence. I too feel 100 items is too extreme, but I guess if I were single and travelling I’d appreciate it!
    Have you moved house yet? I’m wondering how that went and if you have got on well with decluttering; it can be such an emotional process.

  5. […] “Joshua has redefined minimalism…” – Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog […]

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