Fall Clean up and Clean out

Fall is definitely that time of year when things need to be cleaned up. You need to head out to the garage and start putting summer stuff away and bring out the winter stuff (wait not yet.. please not winter yet..). Honestly, though this is the perfect time of year to start decluttering. My wife and I did this last year and pretty much downsized our bedroom to 1 dresser (total) and a closet that is only 8×4. Needless to say, we got rid of a lot of stuff and it was the best thing to do.

We honestly didn’t have a specific approach in mind as well have just cleaned rooms from time to time over the 8 years we have lived here and as kids grew up and changed rooms we would then clean that room. More specifically, we would just move the junk to another room. So we finally realized that with 3 kids and all the stuff they have we obviously needed to make some changes and we felt that our room was the best one as it was a space we could control. So instead of doing lots of spaces or things at once we just focused all our efforts on that one room. It did help that once we got started we had the goal in mind of getting rid of one dresser in order to feel like we had more space in our bedroom and it didn’t feel like everything was stacked on top of each other.

A year later and we have still been working on the other rooms of our house but it is something that takes time. Decluttering your house is not an easy feat unless you are just moving from college and haven’t acquired anything. We got derailed this past year with the kitchen remodel but in a way that helped us declutter all of those rooms affected. The one thing if you move from room to room like my wife and I are doing you need to make sure you don’t just go dump things back in a room you have already cleared out. However, that is one of the hardest things so when you get down to only a couple rooms left (like we are now) it gets harder and harder to get it to what you want. However, I am looking forward to the challenge this fall again as the seasons are changing.

If this is something that interest you and you have been wanting to get rid of a lot of stuff I would suggest that you check out what Anthony Ongaro is doing over at Break The Twitch. In fact, the video below is a good way to get started with the 6 most Popular Methods.

via 6 Popular Minimalist Decluttering Methods on Break the Twitch.

Do you use Fall or a change in seasons as a good time to clean up or clean out around the house? If so what is your best method of doing so or how do you approach it?

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Don’t Buy Stuff you Can’t Afford

via Saturday Night Live: Don’t Buy Stuff you Can’t Afford

It does sound so simple, doesn’t it!  I really love that video clip and was reminded of it the other day when I was reading this great article online by Joshua Becker titled “The Foundation For Financial Freedom That 10 Out Of 10 Financial Advisors Agree On“.  The information in the article, as well as the short video above, is very spot on to people in today’s world, in fact, my wife and I have struggled before on that very topic.

Spending less is such a difficult step for many to take is because the solution sounds unattractive. Buying less sounds a lot like taking a step backwards in life.

A lot of Podcasts/friends I follow on the Internet have been having guests on talking about Finances, getting out of debt, or just changing your spending habits in order to make sure you spend your money on the things that truly make you happy.

I have actually been focused on this topic and seeing how my day job revolves around finance/accounting it is obviously something that I am interested in.  Even more so now that my wife and I have decided that she should take a year off so we can slow down and focus on family and give our kids more attention instead of having them spend their entire day away from our house at either school or daycare.  So with that, we are even more focused on our finances as we have shifted to a one income household.  In the upcoming month, I will pull together a better list of resources, articles, and podcasts that I have found interesting as there is never a one size fits all but the information can help give you thoughts on what it could mean for you.

The More of Less

It has been more than three weeks since I have finished the book titled The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker and honestly this was a book I really couldn’t put down after I started it.

Before I tell you about the book specifically I want to point something out, I had originally started with only the Kindle version and was enjoying reading it at nights before bed but I realized that I only found limited time to pick it up every night as it didn’t fit with my normal routine of reading/listening to things.  So I decided to upgrade my purchase to the audible companion which was well worth it as I could listen to the Audiobook during my morning run, or while cleaning up and getting things ready in the evening for the next day.  However, the biggest benefit was that I could then pick up my Kindle and actually physically read the book right where my audio portion left off.  Honestly, the best of both worlds and I would recommend it for this book as I can see myself reading and listening to it again in the near future.

Now onto my thoughts of “The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything you Own” by Joshua Becker.  For someone like me that has just stumbled upon this concept of minimalism, I still really hadn’t figure out what it meant and assumed that this book was going to tell me how to throw away almost everything I own.  I quickly realized by Joshua’s definition of minimalism it didn’t specifically talk about “physical things” and in fact, I feel this is a much better definition than what people think.

Minimalism: the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them

After reading that definition in the book it dawned on me as to why he titled the book “The More of Less.”  Through the book, he explains this from his own personal story of why he wanted less as well as through the stories of others which are great examples of how The More of Less can take on many forms.  In fact, you quickly realize there isn’t a wrong answer or a right way, you just need to figure out your own WHY.  It is a tough question that takes some time to figure out and I honestly believe it might change as you go.  It has for me at least.  Once you start formulating it in your head, it should become clearer as to the actions you might want to take in order to get you on the right track.  That track is again where this book is great. Joshua does a great job laying out various examples of what you can do to take those next steps after the why.  In fact, most are simple steps to get you started and nothing life changing like selling/getting rid of everything you own.  Now I had started some of this process of removing less value added things in my life (I call it decluttering) before I read the book but one of his super simple ideas to start was keep your car clean.  Why that is so simple that it hadn’t even been on my mind yet and with 3 kids your car quickly becomes overtaken with “stuff” all over.  So that night after reading that part of the book I cleaned both our vehicles out.  Now after 3 weeks it is still cleaner than before because it is easier than before and every time I get into my car I just feel that much better.

That was just one example of the many that are touched on in the book.  Honestly, when I got to the last page I was just finishing an early morning run and I was a little sad that the book was over.  There is so many useful examples/thoughts that Joshua put in there and I enjoyed hearing all of them as they continued to shape my thoughts.

I would defiantly recommend this book to everyone as I think everyone can find pieces/parts of the book that will relate to their lives no matter what your own personal situation is.  Joshua Becker has also written some other books, has a blog where he captures his thoughts as well at Becoming Minimalist, and also has a 12-week course titled Uncluttered.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like” – Will Rogers