5 Items I Decluttered for Good

Inside: Here you’ll get an inside look at 5 items I decluttered for good after going minimalist.


Today marks exactly six years since I went minimalist. In one serendipitous Wednesday morning, I learned minimalism wasn’t just a lifestyle reserved for 20-something globetrotting singles; it was for messy, midwestern moms as well. That day, I decluttered over half of the clothes in my closet and continued to prune the rest of my home over the next twelve months.

Since then, we’ve let go of so… much… stuff. My once overstuffed home now contains plenty of room to breathe. It’s delightful. In honor of my minimal-iversary (too far?) I’m sharing 5 items I decluttered for good.

Let me be very, very clear. This isn’t a list of items I think you should necessarily declutter. (Though, you should probably consider ditching item number two if you have one.) Minimalism isn’t supposed to come with a “rule book” or a list of items you should or shouldn’t own. If you’ve been an Abundant Life With Less reader for a while or have read my book, Messy Minimalism, then you know my minimalist philosophy is founded on grace and individuality.

Messy Minimalism

Minimalism isn’t one size fits all lifestyle. It simply offers us a new way of looking at our advertisement saturated culture. It offers you the opportunity to stop wasting your time, space, energy, and money on frivolous stuff. Instead, it gives you the chance to start living a more intentional life.

My hope in sharing this list is that it will help you start to question what you’re holding on to and why. I found much of the stuff in my home was there because someone suggested we needed it, not because we really did.

5 Items I Decluttered for Good

1. Suitcases

If you’ve been paying attention the travel related news these days, you may want to consider traveling like a minimalist even if you never intend to become one. Lost luggage has been up for months now, with the holiday travel chaos only adding insult to injury.

It took us a few years to finally pull the trigger and ditch the oversized suitcase that had accompanied us around the world. It was one of those, “but what if we need it items?” that sat unused and collecting dust for years.

travel lightly

In fact, we haven’t flown with luggage larger than a backpack since going minimalist six years ago! Traveling with only a carry on has ensured our luggage arrive with us regardless of weather, tight layover itineraries or airline meltdown.

For help packing lightly read: How to Pack Lightly + What I Packed for 8 Days in Italy

Questions to consider: What items do you have stored in your basement or closets “juuusst in case?” Do you tend to overpack? How might a minimalist mindset help you pack lighter? 

2. Scale

I don’t even remember the last time I weighed myself outside of a doctor’s office. Even then, I never look. After three+ decades of monitoring my weight as if doing so was responsible for keeping me alive, I ditched my scale. Well, it was my husband who actually ditched our scale for me. One morning I went to pull it from our closet (as one does), and it wasn’t there. Personally, it just may be the single most important item we let go of. But that’s for another post entirely.

Questions to Consider: What items are you hanging onto that make you feel bad about yourself for no reason? Are you hanging onto your skinny jeans from college because you feel like you should one day fit back into them? That scale did little to improve my life, held me accountable to an arbitrary number, and added absolutely zero actual health benefits. Let these items hit the road. You don’t need them.

3. Fake Christmas Tree

Now that I say that, I realize that I do actually still have one. We do own one small, thrifted faux tree we set up in our daughters’ bedroom every December. It lights up their room every evening like a holiday themed nightlight. They spend their free time making paper ornaments for it and on December 26th we trash the handmaid ornaments and tuck it back into the basement until the following year.

However, we donated our six-foot faux Christmas tree two years ago and have never looked back. We are officially a real Christmas tree family! That faux tree served our family well for a season and you can read about my Christmas tree drama, here, but Real-Christmas-Tree-Rachelle couldn’t be happier to see it gone.

Grinch Agreement

Questions to Consider: Are you storing items in your home such as faux flowers, wreaths or pumpkins year-round when you could simply decorate with fresh, real versions seasonally?

4. Pasta Maker

I thought I was the pasta-making kinda gal. Turns out, I’m more of the pasta-buying kinda gal. Now, I’m not knocking pasta makers specifically. I’m knocking the concept of stockpiling kitchen gadgets you never to rarely use.

I used that pasta making adapter exactly twice and both times it was practically an all-day. While it’s delicious, I never wanted to make it because it took so much time. While I’m all about ‘homemade” and “from scratch,” making pasta just isn’t how I care to spend my time.

We don’t need to become an expert in everything and we don’t need to be able to make every single kind of food from scratch.

Questions to Consider: What kitchen items are you holding on to that you don’t need? Do you have a cheese slicer, but consistently opt to use a knife instead?  Do you have an electric quesadilla maker, but could just as easily make a quesadilla on the stove top?

5. Brown Clothing

Okay, I don’t have a problem with brown clothing specifically, however, a couple of years into minimalism I opted to create a capsule wardrobe. If you’re unfamiliar with a capsule wardrobe, it’s when all your clothing can be mixed and matched and worn together.

Prior to minimalism I bought clothes I thought were cute with absolutely zero consideration for what I had to match it. Often, these super cute purchases forced me to buy more clothing to match them so that I could then wear said “super cute” item. Thus, causing me to add even more unnecessary clutter to my already overflowing closet. It’s easy to get caught up in this consumeristic cycle when you don’t know it’s happening.

minimalist principles

Now, however, I’ve created boundaries for the clothing I do occasionally purchase. I make sure the clothing I buy matches my black boots or black Birkenstocks. Sure, one could argue that brown clothing can indeed match black Birkenstocks. But that’s not the point.

By giving myself a more simplified color pallet to buy from, I’ve reduced shopping induced decision fatigue and kept my closet clutter-free for six years! Now, when I “declutter my closet,” I’m letting go of two or three items instead of the typical two to three trash bags full. 

Question: Is your closet overflowing with clothing you never wear? How could a capsule wardrobe or simplified closet color pallet help reduce the clutter in your closet?

Again, I want to reiterate that I’m not telling you that you must ditch these items in order to live a minimalist lifestyle. My hope is that reading about the ways minimalism has transformed my approach to specific items will you help you consider the ways in which it can do the same for you. 


Sick of the clutter, but not quite sure “minimalism” as you know it is for you? You’re probably right. Minimalism as you know it, probably isn’t for you. It wasn’t for me either.

messy minimaism

Because of that, Messy Minimalism was born. Messy Minimalism is a doable, grace-based approach to living a clutter free life. It frees you up to embrace the mess, live with less and create an imperfectly perfect home for you.
Messy Minimalism is available NOW from your favorite book retailer or library. 😉

For more information on Messy Minimalism head to MessyMinimalism.com


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2 thoughts on “5 Items I Decluttered for Good

  1. After moving from our house of 27 years where we raised our seven children, we bought a duplex, with my mother living on one side. We decluttered an insane amount of things, including over 1000 books.
    My closet, I must say has been my one exception. You are increasing my motivation to make that less cluttered. I do, however use and wear so much of it. I place all of the clean laundry on one side and choose from the middle to other side until most have been worn. I keep all of my off season clothing on other racks in the closet, so I do see all of it all of the time. At 59, I tend to buy classic pieces.
    Going to take time this week to reevaluate.

  2. I laughed at 1, 2, & 3 – we use those items all the time. We never fly – I can’t due to a medical condition – so no lost luggage for us. I weigh myself twice a day to monitor for congestive heart failure due to a medication I’m on. And our allergies prohibit a real Christmas tree, so we have an 8 foot faux tree & boxes of ornaments, that our kids can’t wait to inherit one day.

    It’s funny how what one person can’t live with, another person can’t live without. Our differences make the world go ‘round.

    (I’m definitely a pasta buyer, never owned a pasta maker… I love brown clothes, but I follow your train of thought & abide by a minimalist wardrobe myself.)

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