# 10 Item Wardrobe # de-cluttering

Goodbye, Things | The New Japanese Minimalism

In today's video I share a book review for Fumio Sasaki's new book, Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism. This book was sent to me to review by the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company.

Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo―he’s just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn’t absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him. In Goodbye, Things Sasaki modestly shares his personal minimalist experience, offering specific tips on the minimizing process and revealing how the new minimalist movement can not only transform your space but truly enrich your life. The benefits of a minimalist life can be realized by anyone, and Sasaki’s humble vision of true happiness will open your eyes to minimalism’s potential.

This was another great book to provide inspiration for de-cluttering the home in the same vein of Marie Kondo's Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I hope you enjoy my book review in today's video!

Sarah Chaprobin writes about the ten-item wardrobe in her new post, 2017 Spring Capsule Wardrobe. Thank you, Sarah!

Prozakobieca shares Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic among other popular books all the way from Poland...

Jennimullinix shares Lessons from Madame Chic on Instagram...

Comment of the Week
Margery H writes:
My time saving hack has to do with housecleaning. I really hate dealing with mildew stain in the shower caulking because they do not scrub out. We live in Atlanta where there are humid, humid summers. Here is my effortless way to remove them: apply clear, gel, bleach-based toilet cleaner in the morning. Rinse out at night. The gel formula makes it stay on the stain rather than running off. The bleach clears the mildew. Do not use blue or colored cleaner, as it will stain your grout! I keep a bottle of toilet cleaner which I use just for this purpose. (It's Clorox brand.) I consider this my magnum opus of housekeeping hacks!

Hello Margery, Thank you so much for sharing your tip with us. That is a great time-saver! I will definitely give that a try.

I hope you enjoy today's video. I would love to know the status of your journey with de-cluttering and minimalism. Do you need help? Have you read Goodbye, Things? Let me know your comments below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.

See you on Thursday for a fun recipe video/ collaboration!

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Jan Blazejewski said...

Hi Jennifer,
I enjoy your videos and books. After watching "Goodbye, Things", I thought of two other reasons to motivate someone to scale back on things. The first is do it for those who come behind you. My daughter had to clean out two houses of relatives of her dad's who passed and it was overwhelming and time consuming. It is also very difficult to throw away things that belonged to someone you loved, and yet much of it is clutter. I am retired and I never want my children to have to clean out attics and garages full of stuff for me, so I am slowly getting rid of it.
The second reason is moral. I am so blessed to have all that I do, but if I am not using it and just storing it, someone else may need it more than me. Anytime I buy something new, I give the old one away to charity. Wherever you live, there are organizations that could make good use of slightly used clothing, furniture, toys or appliances. I am definitely in the "Less is More" camp.

Margery Hilburn said...

Jan, I cannot agree with you more. My husband and I cleared out his parents' home when they became elderly and needed to move to assisted living. It was so difficult to clear out the house to sell. Their basement was full of really old things because they never threw anything away. Here are examples: tax records from their parents from the 1930s, every phone bill they ever received, decades' worth of National Geographics, ukulele strings, posters my husband made in 3rd grade. It was very time-consuming and exhausting, both emotionally and physically.

I've resolved never to let my kids have to go through that.

Janessa said...

Hi Jennifer,
To say that simplifying our household has changed our lives is an understatement! We have a modest Cape Cod and three children, so even a little excess can be overwhelming! I have bought many pretty baskets for toys, etc. over the years. I thought I was good at organizing and household systems until I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and realized my approach was way off.

My sister (social worker) and I (art teacher turned stay-at-home mom) have wanted to create a sliding scale philanthropic organizing business (helping single moms, especially) for some time now. After reading Kondo's book we had a light bulb moment that her way really does change your mindset. Most organizers organize room by room and make all your things look pretty, but don't really make you take inventory and think deeply about what you own and how it owns you. Without the vision and self reflection process, clutter always returns. This is why so many consultants offer refresher sessions for clients. Lessons on gratitude and contentment are lost.

We attended Kondo's first American certification workshop, but decided we are going to do things our own way. For instance, we incorporate a toy library sort of like you have mentioned in your post. Ours is inspired by the book Simplicity Parenting. Kondo believes children need to learn what "sparks joy" for themselves and I agree, but I also believe it's our duty to be gatekeepers and protect their childhood as parents, until they learn to be discerning. Everything "sparks joy" for a three year old, but they don't need access to it all all the time. We know what's best for them until they do. I think now that Kondo is a mother she will come to understand this first hand.

The decluttering process is not something everyone can do on their own through reading book. Some people really do need a coach to help them strenghten their decision making muscle and keep them accountable on their journey. My sister is brilliant at this! She quit her job to pursue our dream. Because I am a stay at home mom of a 7, 5, and 1 year old I am not consulting yet until all three are in school. For now I am blogging on our website (dwellhappy.co) at naptime...which is right now actually. We hope to figure out a way to help everyone (not just wealthy clients) soon. We've only just begun, but it's so rewarding!

There are so many great blogs on simplicity (or minimalism if you aren't afraid to use that word). There is a blog to speak to any personality and temperament. Joshua Becker's The More of Less is another great book on the subject. He is a pastor and has some sermons on his blog Becoming Minimalist. A good read for anyone, including husbands who don't want a girly book. (Beauty Detox Solution=Eat to Run...there's always another voice out there)

Jennifer, I commend your kind tone. What you discuss is not easy! Vlogging is genius because you can convey your tone in a non judgmental way without sounding too "perfecty". I am not a classically trained actress, so not feeling the vlog. I am still finding my tone, which seems to be self-depreciating Gaffigan-esque humor. I tend to over share to get my point across. I know it's not chic to overshare, but a blog is sort of a diary, so oversharing is okay, right?

What do you think of "The Simpleton" (simplicity via stupidity) for a blog title? Ok, time to get back to work. Thanks for being awesome Jennifer!

Sarah Chaprobin said...

Thanks so much for sharing my wardrobe post!

Anonymous said...

Jan and Margery, I, too, have cleaned out an elderly relative's house after he passed. It was the seventh circle of Hell, as he seemingly kept everything. And I DO mean everything. One had to walk through makeshift alleyways of boxes of stuff and piles of trash. He even kept the narrow orange plastic bags the newspapers come in. Why? The worst thing was something my husband found in the bedroom closet: a towering pile of used underwear. If he wasn't going to launder them, why not just throw it away when you buy new? Sure there were some nice pieces of furniture in there, too, but one had to excavate for it like some sort of archaeological dig. We had to rent the largest dumpster available and filled it to the brim... and that was just for the stuff that we couldn't recycle. It made me even more of a minimalist than I already was, as the excess just made me feel nauseated.

Ladylike said...

Hello Jennifer,
I figured I'd better do some more de-cluttering before writing my comment; so I cleaned out the coat closet. I won't tell you what was in there!! It's not an accident we all have so many things. We are constantly coaxed to buy, buy, buy.
Thank you for the book review. It sounds like it will be another great inspirational book. I have requested it from my library; part of my de-cluttering process has been to borrow books before buying them. Of course, your books and Marie Kondo's are an exception, Jennifer! All these books helped me to make great strides in de-cluttering my clothes and my home.
I've found there are levels of readiness to de-clutter, and thus there are probably more stages in home condition than simply maximalist and minimalist. At the moment, my home is most likely mediumist. The sentimental items category is truly challenging for me. So many journals, photos, letters, and notebooks. What to do with them all? Of course, I know the answer, but it's not so easy when you don't have Marie Kondo in the flesh holding your hand and telling you "everything will be okay". Also, it takes time and commitment. But the more de-cluttering experience I have, the easier it becomes to let go, as I realize that nothing bad will happen. I will not kick myself for having said "good-bye" to something. It's more likely I won't miss it whatsoever.
I'm glad I'm learning this lesson relatively early in life. My mother didn't start de-cluttering until she was in her 70's. She recently moved to another state after letting go of some things, but I don't think it was enough. She is exhausted from packing and unpacking. I think that the "let's pretend we're moving" method is a good one. Ask, "Would I want to pay a lot of money to have this moved to another location?"
I'm looking forward to reading the new book. Thanks again.
Warm best, Alexandra

Ladylike said...

Hi Jennifer,

I forgot to mention that we also recently de-cluttered our family diet and became vegan. We learned that, like most things in the home, food is another area where we are pressured to buy things we don't need, to buy foods that are totally unnecessary for health and which actually impede health. So, now our home is relatively clean, and we are also eating clean. It feels great, we are saving money, and we are looking forward to a healthy future. (I am using my poise to keep this short and sweet.)

Warm best, Alexandra

boat people said...

Has anyone heard of the British Show " Life Stripped Bare"?
Millinials give up their EVERY material possession for 21 days, and are allowed one back a day.
Think of emptying your house and what you'd end up with in 21 days later.After 10 you would probably have the essientials covered ;)
I think I will do this with my kids toys.

Lillian said...

I'm pretty confident about my own possessions but even after reading Marie Kondo's book I have a difficult time dealing with memorabilia and emotional clutter (like gifts or things passed down to me from people who have passed). However, after I listened to an interview with Fumio Sasaki, I came to an interesting realization that I'm going to write a blog post about in the near future. The simple truth is that it's easier to haphazardly store emotional clutter than it is to maintain our relationships with the people who gave it to us. Would I hesitate donating an apron I don't really like - given to me by my Grandmother - if I called her, or made a point to visit her more often? Probably not! Those calls or visits are worth much more to her. I believe that sometimes we use "things" as permission to be selfish. We don't want to take the time to invest any of that coveted spare energy in our lives to serve the people around us who need it, like our friends and our family members. But in order to relieve our guilt about it, the least we can do is hold onto their stuff - even when it fails to make us happy. Some of the greatest philanthropists and people of service have been minimalists because they have mastered control of their time and energy and invested it in the causes and people they believed in. They were free from the need to care for material possessions that symbolized the things they cared about because they were busy actively caring about them! This realization has given me what I need to finally address my emotional clutter and continue on my journey to becoming a more organized person. Thanks for the recommendation.

Miss Jane said...

Yes, I have too much clutter, too many things to the point that when I try to declutter I freeze. I just stand there staring at it all wondering where to start. This weekend I am, again, going to work on the garage. It's been a big mess since I moved in here 5 months ago. This time though, the weather is much better and my new neighbors gave me a little storage cupboard and I've purchased more shelving. It all feels more motivating... fingers crossed!
I'm the person that will go to YOUR house and help you tidy, declutter and downsize without hesitation. But when it comes to my stuff, I'm stuck.
New idea for a 'Meet-Up' group - supportive, helpful, individuals who meet at a different house each time to help that member with whatever they need. If you want help, you have to help.