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Hide It – Simple Minimalist Tip

Photo Credit: Image: Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have seen this idea in many different places.  I used it in Project 333 for cloths, just last week I saw it on Jill’s Blog with toys, I put it in my book a few months ago.  It is everywhere because it works.

Need help with minimalism?  Want to simplify but having a hard time getting rid of stuff?  Try this: 

Hide it!

Here is how it works:

  1. Take as much as you can out of a room or closet and pack it away
  2. Put it away in storage with a date on it (6 months or a year out)
  3. If you remember something you need that is packed away you can go pull it out
  4. When the date comes, donate or sell what is left in the box because you have now proven to yourself you don’t need it

The beauty of this is that it works for those of us who have a hard time making decisions.   Not knowing if you will need it in the future is a huge stumbling block for getting the minimalist home you want.  This is a not-fully-committed-but-still-practicing kind of minimalism that can help you get back on track.

So find some boxes or bins:

  • Try Project 333 or make your own version for the closet
  • Pack away some of the books
  • Pack away some of the kitchen tools
  • Pack away some of the kids toys…they might not even notice
  • Pack away some household things
  • Pack away anything else you can find

Lighten up the house without making the full commitment to part with it.  Have your cake(minimalist home) and eat it too 🙂

If you have found this post helpful or are enjoying this blog please help me get the word out by sharing with your friends through social media. Thanks!

22 Comments

  1. I really love this idea. It is something we practice in earnest with toys. I am actually having such a wonderful time getting rid of stuff, although living in a big house that is empty feels a bit strange to me. And I don’t think I could ever pack away my books. I have had them packed away so many times, and when we moved into our house there were built in book shelves, which allowed me to finally put all of those favorite books out in the open again 🙂 I actually think I could get rid of everything else in my house and surround myself with books…sad…but true 🙂

    • We have more books in or house than anything else. Most now are from the library, but we can each take out 40 at a time (40 X 4 though we never max out :)) so we always have lots of books around. 🙂

  2. But sometimes not using is not the same as not needing. A couple years ago, a donated a bunch of my books to our church sale. They were my collection on cats – picture books mostly and funny cat stories. I had collected them since my teens. I had not touched them since 1999 when I put them on the book shelves when we moved. I still wonder if I should have kept them. I probably would never open then again. I hope someone bought them and loves them.

    • that is tough. Somethings are ‘needed’ for memories… but often less than we keep for this purpose 🙂 Hopefully now they have more love and use 🙂

  3. We’ve tried this with my daughter’s “babies” collection (stuffed animals). We had 8 of the large, clear plastic yard waste bags full of them — less than half of her collection. They were stored in our storage room for over a year.

    Every time we brought them out to see which ones she could sell or give away, she would cry and tell us how much she loved each one and that it was her favourite! We had to make a rule that for every one that came out of storage she had to put another one back in.

    She eventually got to the point that she was able to sell or give away much of them, but it took a couple years.

    • stuffed animals are my kids favorites too 🙂 They have personalities. Even just keeping them packed away helps keep the room uncluttered and helps her have space to play with the ones that she has kept out.

      • What I don’t understand is how she remembers the names for each and every one — there were thousands of them! Even though she’s now a teenager, she has hundreds in her room.

        Now she’s on to collecting books — which is pretty awesome to see!

        • she must be pretty social 🙂

          • She certainly is. That one of the 3 reasons she doesn’t want me to home school her. Band/sports and leadership training are the other 2.

  4. Can I just say since reading your book-I have done this several times. I keep it bagged up in the base net for a month if two-if I need it/want it between this time, I know to keep it-if I don’t, I get rid of it.

    • Yay! Glad it is working 🙂 Love your new blog format and header!

  5. The problem is sometimes we feel compelled to keep “stuff” just because such and such gave it to us. Every b-day, X-mas, it’s more junk–most of which we don’t really need, or even want. :-/

  6. I have a follow up post I need to do about my “big experiment” and hiding all those toys! Seeing my name mentioned here made me think it’s probably worth sharing because we’ve made a big breakthrough here.

    Thanks for the linky love.

    • 🙂 Let me know when you do the follow-up and I will add the link.

      My kids didn’t jump on minimalism as quick as me and my husband did but they have made huge steps in the past year. I think they have realized how much nicer it is to surrounded by less stuff and have less to worry about and put away.

  7. Tracey Tracey

    See, this is where I have made a big mistake with my kids (both mid teens now). When they were younger we did the regular clear out thing but I wanted to make them take responsibility for their own stuff and the only way I could think of to do this was to expect them to look after their own rooms. They now don’t put anything away – one son has empty drawers and clothes on the floor, along with rubbish (that doesn’t reach the bin), food remnants, college work, wet bath towels, toys long grown out of, money, electrical gadgetry, guitars etc etc. Some people say I should just leave him to it, but even with the door closed I know it’s there, I know it’s a mess and it’s driving me insane. Any efforts to speak to him about it result in “stop trying to run my life”. Any ideas anyone?

    • I’m with Bill. Great ideas! I don’t know about teenagers yet, but I do know that when they are in your house they are under your rules. Probably totally up to you and your family but there are steps you can take. Maybe your kids would have ideas? I have heard of parents charging a maid fee if their kids don’t clean. My kids don’t play computer if their room (and any toys of theirs in the rest of the house) isn’t clean. Love, consistency, and habit instruction go for all ages. …but all kids and all ages are different. I feel for you 🙁 Good luck!

  8. Hi Tracey

    I’d say that you need to leave him to it, but you also need to build some kind of reward/punishment into it. He wants to live his life, so make it real — charge him rent. Add a “mess tax” on top for every day that the room is messy.

    Make him do his own laundry unless it’s in the hamper (or where ever you want dirty clothes). Make him pay for repairs that may be necessary if he’s damaged the floor with garbage lying around. If he has dirty dishes in his room then make him pay for every day that they aren’t returned to the kitchen properly.

    Then there is the “you can’t do B until A is complete” system. This only works if you stick to it. If they want to borrow the car then their room needs to be clean. But you need to stick to it.

    I think letting them take responsibility for their own space is a great move. But it has to be true responsibility. They have to pay for the right and the consequences.

  9. Tracey Tracey

    Thanks for the advice. I decided to go into his room when he was out and box up what I thought he wouldn’t miss (I thought it had all got a bit too much for him to tackle alone). The day I went in, I was very surprised to find that he had tidied everything away, without any prompting. Now, almost a week later it’s still not looking too bad (wet towel on the floor today though!)and we have briefly discussed some work to try and make it a more grown up room for him. He is keen to have his own shower room and this will mean him making some decisions about what to get rid of. Fingers crossed that this works!

    • yay! so good to hear!

    • That’s great Tracey! Glad to hear that things are turning around for you and your son. Hopefully you can use the reward system to keep him motivated. The shower room idea sounds like the perfect situation to encourage him!

  10. I think this is a really good idea. Some people simply cannot bear to part with their belongings, even though they have not been used for decades! Hence, this ‘hide in a storage’ idea is a great idea to kickstart the goods-parting process. Rent a storage unit for a specific amount of time, like 3-6 months. After which, check in on your items and be prepared to part with most of them since it has become more clear that you do not have a need to keep them any longer.

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