The Art Of Weeding Out Your Clutter

I have been on a minimalism kick and challenging myself to see if I could live in a small space. However, what I want to remind people is this is a lifestyle and it is not made for everyone. When I talk about keeping things that bring me joy or that I find useful, I hear from friends that say everything around them brings them joy. I feel empathy for my friends and clients who want to live with less but don’t know where to start. I never force people to get rid of items.


A friend told me that my organizing style is like weeding. We take out what doesn’t belong and leave what does. I love this analogy as it really is what I want my style to be; working with my clients to figure out what works for them. So I got to thinking about the different types of landscaping styles and realized that they can be analogous to our organizing style as well. There are several types of landscapes out there so let’s discover what is your style.


Xeriscaping: This is a drought resistant form of landscaping. Having visited California recently, this is very evident. Lawns are being replaced with rocks and succulents. Little attention needs to be paid to these yards. For those of you who want xeriscaping homes, what would it look like? I wouldn’t see the need to dust very often. Everything would have its proper place. Cleaning would take minutes as the surfaces just need to be wiped down. Nothing needs to be moved or picked up. This is a home that has very little clutter in it. Everything has been pared down to the essentials. Everything has a purpose and nothing is brought into the home unless it can meet the strict drought tolerant needs of the style. Weeds simply don’t grow.


Wildflower Mix: This is the person who just has everything in all directions. Things are scattered everywhere. The weeds aren’t really noticed as there is no sense of order. The homework is on the kitchen table along with the mail. We are not really sure where anything is. My guess is most of us have a room or two like this.


The problem is we really don’t know how to separate the weeds out of the mix. We see lots of potential and lots of color and don’t know where to start, so we don’t. But what would happen if you pulled five “weeds” a day. Figure out what your number is so that you are pulling more than is being added. Try to stay ahead of that number. After a few days add a few more “weeds” to your total. Keep moving forward and your flowers will start to stand out and you will like what you see. It will motivate you to keep going.


Manicured Yard: This is the yard you will not find a weed anywhere. Every weed has been plucked or sprayed. Nobody is allowed to step foot on the grass. Over years fewer and fewer weeds appear. So if our home was manicured nothing would be out of place, ever. This home is full of items but may not have a function. In my world, this is not ideal. If you have children, this is not realistic. Nobody wants to live in a museum. I want my kids to run on the lawn and play in the family room. We have all been in “that” home where nobody sits in “that” room. There is a coffee table with books artfully arranged that nobody has read. They were selected for the color and size and nothing to do with the homeowners hobbies or interests. We don’t dare sit on the couch for fear of putting a wrinkle in it.


Garden Bed: There is a zone for everything. The carrots are grown here in this box. The peas are over in that one. It is easy to spot the weeds and pull them out. This is my way to organize. If you go into teachers’ classrooms, this is how they are organized. The art supplies are kept in a section. The books are over in the corner in the reading nook. When a book is in the art section, everyone knows where it should go, the book, aka “weed” is plucked and put back in the book section. A classroom has limited space and each space must be used with purpose. In our homes we could have a section where the unread mail goes. A baking section in our kitchen for all our baking supplies. Create different zones in your home for easy maintenance.


With each style, they overlaying theme is you still need to weed. You need to be careful when you bring things into your home. Will it be like a dandelion puff and when you blow it, the seeds are scattered everywhere leaving the potential for more weeds to grow. You also need to be mindful of what leaves your home. You want your home to be functional and show off the flowers.


To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,


MS. Simplicity

Serving the Fargo-Moorhead area as well as North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Also seeking new representatives for Clever Container in all areas of the country.