Releasing More Than Stuff

Three and a half years ago I started this blog and announced I would write every week. I have done this faithfully and now is a time for change. Lately it has become more of a chore to write each week. Finding a topic, the time to write and then edit has become more cumbersome. I have decided it is okay to change my goal. I will now write whenever I feel the urge to share something.

Goals can change

So I am releasing this time frame and changing my frequency. It might be twice a month, it may be every couple of months. What goals and aspirations can you release that no longer serve you? Are you holding on to them just because you said you would do it? I’m learning to not worry about what others think about me changing my routine and making sure my needs are met. Then and only then can I serve others better! Remember to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping other with theirs!

I am close to having a clutter-free home. One friend mentioned after reading my blog posts each week, “what more could you possibly have in your home to purge?!’ I feel there is a bit more to get out of the house, AND I have released a lot over these past three years.

Thank you for being my faithful readers! Here’s to a clutter-free home, ~Ellen

The Persistent Tortoise

Sometimes I feel like I’m in The Tortoise and the Hare . Every few years I get rid of a few more CD’s even though I rarely listen to them. I still have a CD player in my old car and one in the house. I was getting rid of some more recently and put them out for my teenagers to look over and I heard, “Michael Jackson? We can’t get rid of Michael Jackson. The Beatles?! They are classic!” So back in the cabinet they went. I am finding a way to live peacefully in a Clutter-Free Family Home. I ended up getting rid of about a dozen CD’s. Something is better than nothing, right?

My Aunt asked her granddaughter to copy her favorite CD’s to a USB flash drive. That turned out to be a great solution for her!

This tortoise is plugging away step by step! What things have you been chipping away at purging? Hard copy or digital photos, nail polish, or nails/screws? Please share your ‘tortoise’ items below.

Here’s to living in a clutter-free home, ~Ellen

Scoring Points

Good Intentions Don’t Score Points. I recently went through my attic and found about a dozen weatherization kits. My house is almost 100 years old and it gets cold in the winter! I used six of these on my windows once about 15 years ago. I haven’t used them since. I have great intentions. I want to winterize my house. I want to pay less for heat. I want to be environmentally conscience. It takes time to put up and take down every year AND they are ugly! Yes it took me 15 years but I’m finally moving on and giving these unused kits away and hopefully someone else will use them! It it tough; I know it sounds crazy, but I have to face reality. I won’t use them.

Do you have a ‘To Fix’ pile that is growing exponentially? What about an alterations basket of clothes? Do you have books that you were excited to read, but they have been sitting on your shelf for years unread? We have great intentions, but reality is another thing. Give yourself a deadline and take the clothes to the seamstress, drop off the books at the Little Free Library and hire a handywoman to fix your things. If it doesn’t get done by your deadline, then get them out of the home and forgive yourself (I’m talking to myself here!). And don’t wait 15 years!!!

Here’s to living in a peaceful, clutter-free home, ~Ellen

More Than One Purpose

When compiling a capsule wardrobe it helps if you can wear your clothing in more than one way. For example a button down shirt can be worn on its own or with a tank over it for a different look.

My friend Kari lives in a tiny house and says that each piece of furniture she owns has at least two functions. ie) a cushion to sit on and storage for out of season items.

When cleaning out the basement, I found several propane bottles with an attachment. My late husband used this for repairing the garage roof AND making cherries jubilee. Hopefully I will not be doing either. I was about to get rid of them when I remembered when I was considering simplifying my garden, a neighbor mentioned loving a weed dragon. This propane torch will be my own DYI weed dragon! Since it is pretty short, I get to do a squat while weeding! I tried it today in 30 degree temperatures and it didn’t work, so I’ll test it when the weather warms up. Driveway weeding will never be so much fun– I just know it!

Do items in your home have more than one purpose? Do you really need a desk when you use your dining table for work? Here’s to thinking in new ways about your things and creating a clutter-free home.


Reasons Why To Own Less

When I read this article I think: yes, yes yes. I agree with it. It sounds great. I want to have a generous heart. I want time for pursuing my passion and helping others. I want to leave a legacy. I want to live for a greater purpose and help solve some problem, be it big or small. What about you?

I would like to help clean up our world!

Now it’s time to continue to take action, get out of the way and get to where I want to be. I’m close, but not there yet. I get caught up in everyday life. I want my marathon of decluttering to be over and get on with living!

What are your thoughts on this article? Do you agree? Do you think you can solve problems with a house full of stuff? I would love to hear your comments.

Here’s to a clutter-free home, ~Ellen


Removing the stuff in front of the window leads me to notice a new coat of paint is needed!

11 Experts Explain the Minimalist Principles That Help You Maximize Life, got me to clear stuff from in front of my windows and helped me to make decision to get rid of a set of chairs in my bedroom! Sometimes we just need that extra nudge.

It has been a marathon for me to rid my stuff of clutter in my home and after reading The Minimalism Checklist I learned that simplicity is not a competition! Everyone has different things that spark joy and their own timeline.

Hope these articles will continue to encourage you to live in a clutter-free, peaceful home. Please share if you found helpful.


To Purge Tools or Not?

After purging a couple of hammers and screwdrivers ( Double Trouble ) I had a handy friend look through my late husband’s tool workbench. He said to keep 99% of the tools. That is NOT what I wanted to hear! They all fit in the tool chest and since I am not moving and have the space, they might be needed for a project he said. Even if I wouldn’t use them myself, someone I might have to help with a project could need a tool. My house is almost 100 years old after all! And if I do move, he mentioned selling the tool chest with the tools in it. Hmm.

He helped identify a few mystery tools and gave me permission to rid old electronic light switches/ circuits. These light switches came with the house and are at least 24 years old! And why I needed permission to get rid of these, I don’t know! But in the garbage they went!

A few months ago I Recommitted to a Plan and am working my way through the house. I am a bit behind and have not been dedicating 4 days a week to purging, but I am working it. Thanks for keeping me on track! I’m almost done with the basement. It is a new month so I’m ready to step it up the pace.

Here’s to a clutter-free home, ~Ellen

Clutter-Free Family Homes

Even after Decluttering my Husband’s Closet I was reminded again, decluttering shared property takes compromise. Recently, after time decluttering in the basement I came across three cake/tart containers. My late husband was an excellent baker and used all three depending on the recipe. One daughter likes to bake and I felt we don’t need all three. We certainly could make do with one. She didn’t want to get rid of any! I suggested to box up one and put it in her future apartment/ kitchen supply area. This worked for her to know I wasn’t getting rid of it and for me to get more space in common storage areas.

The other item I came across was also a duplicate: wireless headphones. My youngest daughter didn’t want to get rid of them. I reminded her that they haven’t been used

in over a year and I have another pair I like better. Our compromise: if they don’t get used in the next month then they go into the give-away bin! I have a reminder on my phone for this.

Do we really need two cake plates of different sizes? Yes, said the baker daughter, so in the “kitchen box” it goes!

Another item in question was a guitar from my girls’ great grandfather. We have had it in the house for over 20 years, yet it hasn’t been played in all that time. My musical daughter said it doesn’t even hold a tune. “So we can get rid of it?,” I asked. No, she wants to keep it. It’s sentimental and the only thing from her great grandfather that she never met. I get it, but won’t a photo of it work instead?! Anyway, we’ll keep it and I’ll focus on house paint and tools for now that my teenagers could care less about!

Here’s to a clutter-free and peaceful home! ~Ellen

Inspirational Articles

I ran into inspiration this week and wanted to share:

After this quick video, The One Clutter Question You Need to Ask I tested it, and it’s true, if you can answer this easily and quickly, it is something that you can part with.

I enjoyed Enough and found it encouraging to not bring excess clutter into the home. It is refreshing to read when we are bombarded with buying more & better items.

I also came across, Why Those Pretty Bins Won’t Make You Organized and felt it spot on. Declutter first, then organize. Container Organized? was similar. You can’t have organized clutter.

Thanks for reading and please share. Here’s to a clutter-free home. ~Ellen

Painting Your Way Out!

When was the last time you purged your paint? It must have been oh, about 23 years ago for me! One friend recently told me he got rid of all his paint because he never wanted to paint again. He is a home owner, yet decided he disliked painting so much that he would hire it out. I was going through paint cans recently and one seemed light. I was surprised to find that the paint had solidified. It was a paint pancake! HA!

These are not super fun things, but we got a get ‘er done! And we will breath more easily with less cans in our basements! Challenge this week: purge your paint and then find out where to recycle/donate or dispose of properly and take them there! Here’s to a clutter-free home and garage & basement. ~Ellen

Recycle and dispose of your paint responsibly, here is Oregon’s Guide to disposing of old paint.

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