own quote

Live your life as if it is a blank canvas. Start by cleaning out, decluttering. Take the time, make the space to create. If you are surrounded by “STUFF”, you might be living in “THE LAND OF OLD IDEAS”. You are seeing the same piles every day while thinking the same old thoughts.

Think like the minimalists, which refers to the art movement that is based on simplicity. Less is more. Apply this to your surroundings. It will free your spirit!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

We all have books we have not read or clothes we don’t wear.  Where do you start?

A few years ago, I did a huge decluttering. I started with my books. I put all the books I have not read in one place and put a to be read by date on them (within a year usually). At the end of the year, I boxed the books up and donated them.  (Since then, I have installed a Little Free Library, they go there).


Clutter saps your energy.  If you declutter and find a place for everything, you have more time, you don’t spend time putting things up or dusting.

Adopt the one in one out rule. Every time you bring something into your home, get rid of something.

Lately I’ve been unsubscribing to emails. I cleaned off my desk top too.  What a difference it made!

But, paperwork had become unmanageable. So, I went through the house and picked up every stack of paper, every magazine, things I had printed to read later – you know the drill. I dumped all of it on my dining table.  Look familiar?


That was ALOT OF STUFF! I’m my mother’s power of attorney, and I have a huge stack of her paperwork. Well, I got to work and I put them all in stack.


I felt like I was accomplishing something. I read the blogs I had printed. I filed everything. Except for one stack.


I’m left with one big notebook that has all of my mothers information in it. This is going to take awhile to organize, but now it is all in one place!  Whew!

I threw away a huge stack of paper (well, put it in the recycling actually).

If you have things you are emotionally attached to, put them in a box and put the box away. I did this a few years ago, and ended up throwing out a lot of stuff after six months.

Think of the clutter as visual noise that is surrounding you, it can start having a louder voice than your creative voice. Tackle it one room at a time or one category at a time, but do it! You will feel better.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” Hans Hoffman

“The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.” Mother Theresa

“Three rules of work, out of clutter find simplicity, from discord find harmony, in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

All remember CHAOS stands for “Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome”.

I challenge you to tackle one area of chaos within the next week. Pay attention to how it makes you feel.  Tell me what you learned!


  1. Kelly L McKenzie

    Can’t have anyone over syndrome! How brilliant. That really is true for me. Whenever folks do come over I spend the day prepping for them, mainly decluttering. Enough. my daughter and I went through our books. Today we donated 7 bags of books. 7. Still have more to go through then it’s on to the “storage room.”

  2. Sarah

    I always have a goal to bring less stuff into our home, thus reducing the need to constantly decl utter. Somehow this doesn’t work as planned

  3. 30DaysV

    The quotes were on-point. Reading this makes me more excited about the yard sale – “we have too much stuff sale” – we’re having this weekend!

  4. Julie Corbett

    I love the CHAOS. I’m going to take you up on this! Maintenance has been in my place all week replacing my tub/shower. Needless to say, there is dust and stuff everywhere. This is an opportunity to really go through my bathroom and get rid of all the crap that I have moved over and over again and still don’t use!

  5. Siggy

    A motivation to declutter at this time is to donate needed items to the Louisiana Flood victims. #LouisianaFlood

  6. vickiemartin Post author

    i need to have a yard sale, but it is just too hot here now – early fall for me!

  7. Nanette Levin

    Vickie your little free library idea is PRICELESS – as is the presentation! What fun your neighborhood must have pointing others to this conversation piece. FWIW – garage sales are very time consuming. It made sense when I sold my farm (lots of heavy stuff to re-home), but with that, I brought about 300 people to the event with an Every Door Direct Mailing so the set up and break down time was worth it. Mostly though, I’ve found listing a few items through Craig’s List every couple of weeks is a much better way to jettison items for sale in a manageable way. Sounds like you’re well on your way in your de-clutter mission. Good for you!

  8. vickiemartin Post author

    thank you – we just had an estate sale at my moms – and still cleaning that out. It is a long process – but thanks about my library – I love having one!

  9. Deborah Weber

    Your CHAOS acronym makes me laugh – how perfect! I’m impressed with your take-charge-wrangle-those-papers-and-piles-into-submission efforts. Yay you! And as you pointed out, there is something so energetically expansive about clearing out. Wishing you continued success on your journey.

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