Living Like Little House in the Big Woods ~ Minimalizing

by Merissa on January 25, 2011

in Living Like Little House

I had a hard time trying to find a paragraph in the Little House in the Big Woods that could go with this article. When I think of the Little House though I think of how organized Ma must of had to be with having only 2 rooms and having to store everything she needed. A few parts in the book talk about all her storage up in the attic and it also talks about Ma's pantry and how she had a specific shelf for her cheese storage and how they kept the smoked meat in a certain area.

Lately, me and the hubby have been thinking alot about our little house and how we are storing things in it. If you are following this series you have already seen my food storage video. I like keeping things very organized and neat. I've been thinking more and more about this upcoming summer and fall and my garden. This year I want to can as much food as I possibly can. It's the cheapest form of good food out there and I want to take advantage of it. My issue is being able to store all this food. In the video HERE I showed my canned goods pantry. It holds about 200 jars but as you can see, it's already full. And yes, we will eat up alot of that in the next couple months but I still will need alot more space for this fall. So after talking with the hubby we have decided to live a more minimalist lifestyle. We've been slowly working on cleaning out each and every room in the house, every nook and cranny in each room. We are looking at each thing and deciding if we really need it or if we can get rid of it. A minimalist lifestyle might not come easy to everyone, especially if you've accumulated alot. I'm shocked at how much me and the hubby have after only being married for a little over 3 years!

After we cleaned up our first room(the kitchen) I felt really overwhelmed by how much there is to clean and go through so I came up with a list of checkpoints to make the transition a little easier, I hope they help!

  1. Look at your furniture first. Biggest items in the room. Decide what you need and what just makes the room look cluttered.
  2. When you look at surfaces in your house, think clean and clear. Do you really need 100 books on the coffee table? Just having a simple vase there will look so much better and cleaner.
  3. Clean out one room at a time, don't get distracted with another room otherwise your focus will be divided.
  4. Think in terms of essentials. Those craft books are nice to have on hand but are you ever going to make sock puppets?
  5. Clear the floor. Leave no stacks of items. This makes the room look cluttered and messy.
  6. Create a place for everything and if there is no place, decide if it's really necessary. Clutter comes from us not having a space for everything because it gets left out. Get rid of this problem but creating a set place for everything.
  7. The space you are creating for things should be out of site. Use cupboards, boxes, storage cabinets, ect.
  8. When you look at the decor in your house think, is it simple? If your walls have dozens and dozens of pictures covering them, they are going to make your house look messy, even if it's not.
  9. Once you have cleaned everything out and started to get more organized think about the things that create the biggest amount of mess. Usually mess comes from papers and such that don't have a place, solve this issue by putting a "paper basket" in a common area. Put all loose papers and random things in this throughout the day and at the end of the day, clean it out and either put things away or throw things away.

I hope this list at least starts to get you in the right track for cleaning and organizing. I'm hoping to maybe get up a series about clearing out the clutter when the Living Like Little House series is over.

Make sure you read the entire Living Like Little House series!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 marci357 January 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Good time for me to read this as I am moving…
I have totes set aside to put things in that are going into the garage sale.
As I have to physically handle every item in the house to move it, this is a good time to declutter :)

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2 Annabelle January 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I nominated you for a blog award!!

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3 Stephanie May 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm

We started our deep spring cleaning today with the kitchen, dining room, and pantry. Tomorrow, the living room, office, and master bedroom are at the t op of the list. We’re going to have a yard sale in a couple of weeks and I’m making sure to touch every item in every room. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s not staying in my house. The problem we have is that we don’t have very much furniture. We share chests of drawers and such so we look cluttered whether we have junk or not.

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4 Laura January 3, 2014 at 7:39 am

I love your site, and also have loved the Little House Series!
I am continually cleaning out closets etc., but it at times seems never ending.
I am not one to purchase “things”, but my husband is. How does one handle that situation-when the spouse will not get rid of anything! Would love to hear from others in this situation. Thank you!

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5 Merissa January 3, 2014 at 7:46 am

I have this issue too! Or I used to. After several years of hubby not cleaning out anything and me getting rid of everything he finally took a look around and said that he could get rid of this or this…plus the extra income from selling off the things we didn’t need was pretty nice and when he saw that he wanted to get on board!

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6 Blessed Momma February 4, 2014 at 1:16 am

I found your blog through Facebook. I just got married last month and we are combing two homes into one trailer with six people. We definitely have our work cut out for us. I am so glad I found you! Your blog is most helpful.

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