This summer I started a home audit, where I am looking at every single thing in my home to see if I still want it.
I told my husband after I am done our house will look like a mental hospital. I am going full-on minimalist.
The audit has been done over several weeks, and I am still in the process. But here are some tips:
- You can’t keep it just because it cost money. You have to love it to keep it. If the voice in your head says you have to keep it because it cost all that money, just know that is your ego getting in the way of you connecting with your higher self. Ignore it and move on. Instead, listen to my voice: Want to save money? Stop buying things in the first place.
- Be ruthless. Just because you got it as a wedding gift does not mean you have to keep it, especially if you hate it. You are not throwing out the marriage when you give away wedding gifts.
- You can’t love 500 items. It’s impossible. So if you find yourself saying, “Oh, I can’t give this away because I love it,” 500 times, then you need to change your criteria. Keep it only if you LOVE, LOVE it, not just one love. I promise you will feel so much better when your home has less stuff.
So here is what I did in my audit. You can tailor yours to suit you. For instance, I don’t have any tools, so I don’t have to audit them.
I pulled every single tchotchke (or knick-knack) off the shelves, and seriously edited down to just the ones that bring me joy. I was ruthless. I sold my grandmother’s silver tea set because you know what? It was silver-plated and tarnished. I am never going to serve tea, and I am never going to polish it. And after all these years, I thought it was real, it was not. I only want authentic things in my home to represent my authenticity. That means no fake plants!
My tchotchkes are now packed in four small and medium moving boxes until I figure out what to do with them.
I took a serious look at my cookbooks. No one uses cookbooks any more because every recipe is available online. I just kept “How to Cook Everything” and some holiday cookbooks that have some favorite dishes. Here is what my cookbooks look like:
How long has the art hung on your walls? I bet you don’t even notice your pieces any more. I took every single painting and picture down to decide if it was still my style. I grouped them by size, so I could see how many similar ones I had. I noticed most of my art is small. I need to invest in some larger pieces. I sold most of the posters I used before I bought real art, and I plan to hire a decorator to hang them back up — I need someone who has a better eye than I! Here is my art on the floor, so I could assess:
I also cleaned out my clothes and created a capsule wardrobe, where everything — spring, summer, fall and winter clothes — fit on one hanging rod. Now that I am down to “ground zero,” as I call it, with my clothes, I can focus on wearing what I have, and I can notice what I never wear. That means if I do buy something new, I know what piece has to go. But I am trying not to buy anything new because I want to wear these fabulous clothes!
And when you think you can’t do this, just know that I have 18 pages of notes of how this all mixes and matches.
Your home is your largest investment. You should not have anything in it that you hate. Start your home audit now!