casting the vision {enough, day 1}

Good morning/afternoon/evening, friends! Today is DAY ONE of our Enough Experiment! You don’t need the book (although it’s a good one). In fact, you don’t need anything special at all.

Just a willing spirit.

Today, on this first day, I’m going to:

1.) cast a vision for what this Enough Experiment on the blog will look like, practically speaking.
2.) encourage you to cast a vision of what you’d like your home to look like at the end of our 31 days together.

I’m passionate about a handful (okay, maybe two handfuls) of things. One of them being: inspiring people to de-clutter their homes and lives, freeing up physical, emotional, and mental space to live, breathe, and joyfully pursue what matters most.

(I think I just made that up. If I copied off of anyone, my sincere apologies.)

What the Enough Experiment Will Look Like:

1. Every Monday through Friday, I will write a post giving tips about/inspiration for/personal stories & photos of de-cluttering.

2. I will also give you De-cluttering Missions (should you choose to accept them). A baby-step option and a little-bit-bigger option. (there is no pressure to do these–we all have different schedules, lives, and methods of clearing out clutter)

3. I will ask you questions and give you space to share concerns and victories.

4. Every Saturday there will be a GIVE-AWAY. So as not to make it counter-productive, you will have to get rid of, say, 20 items in your home to be eligible to win.

5. Sundays will be a time of restful reflection.

Today’s Assignment:

1. Cast a vision for what you’d like your home to look like, what passions you’d like to pursue, what you’re hoping de-cluttering will free you to do with your one life. (I would looooove it if you’d share it in the comments.)

And your choice of:

2a. Baby-step: Take a little stroll around your house and find 15 things you can either throw away (dirty tissues and candy wrappers don’t count) or put in a box to donate/sell.

2b. A-Little-Bit-Bigger: Look through your closet and drawers and find 20 items of clothing it’s time to part with (underwear with holes, stretched out bras, ratty t-shirts, clothes from high school, things that don’t fit, scuffy shoes, etc).

And report back here with your success story. (I’ll be monitoring the comments all month and awarding class participation at the end of the experiment.)

You can do this, friend! I’m in your corner, cheering you on! xoxoxo

57 thoughts on “casting the vision {enough, day 1}

  1. Cindy K.

    I emptied out my overstuffed linen closet and filled a contractor’s bag with towels and donated them to an animal rescue group. Why is it so hard to part with a towel, or sheets/pillowcases? I was back and forth like a see saw. I knew I hadn’t gone far enough. I used one of the remaining towels and noticed how unabsorbent it was — it’s going too!

    I also resisted buying two new issues of magazines I normally buy at the grocery store today. Because I have stacks of unread magazines to take care of, I’m giving myself a little pat for that!

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      Ooooh! Great idea for the towels! Our fam of 5 owns just 7 towels these days, and we haven’t been sorry once. And I’m giving you another pat for passing up the magazine!!

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  3. Amy

    One more report for this one. I cleaned out my closet and gave two garbage bags full to our pastor’s wife to go through. Also went through my drawers and threw out a small bag of old stuff. Feeling good!

  4. Gloria

    I tried to do the little-bit-bigger step with the clothes, and I ran into a total mental roadblock! So, for today my victory is throwing away 15 items. Still feels good. 🙂

  5. Allison

    My vision for my house is everything the others have said — peaceful, a pleasant space to be, easy to maintain, beautiful, full of the things I love and nothing else (I’ve never seen the point of decorating with things that have no meaning to me).

    Yesterday I gathered up some things. I lost count around 30… and kept adding all day long. They went out with the 15 bags I had out for the donation pickup this morning. *blush* 🙂

  6. Brooke

    I do not want stuff (or the quest for) to consume me. Not for selfless reasons, but because I’m claustrophobic. I don’t like tight spaces. When I see people with cluttered houses, a very real fear wells up inside me. I think its fear for my future (the in-laws are bona-fide hoarders) but mostly its borrowing trouble and not trusting Jesus.
    Um.
    Okay then.
    Why I SHOULD have a distaste for clutter and the accumulation of stuff:
    We live in a resort location. I want my home to be open to friends who are in town. I want my family to feel comfortable dropping in. The less stuff we have, the easier it is to clean, the more welcome people are. Also, I want to experience life not own stuff. This should be a blog post to fully think through, but to be concise for comments: would you rather spend $100 on an adventure with friends, or on wooden ducks to line your mantle?

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      I’m claustrophobic too! Probably because I hoarded stuff when I was a kid. 😉 And the adventure w/friends vs. the wooden ducks? No-brainer. (although I do have 6 wooden giraffes on my bookshelf that I’m very in love with)

  7. Jordan

    I read More or Less, and loved it. Re-read the enough project chapter when you announced you were doing this.

    1. I’m moving out of my parents house (and out of the state) in June, so I’ve been trying to purge in a huge way. So my vision is simplicity, so I don’t have to move a ton of useless junk (I mean stuff I’ve collected).

    2. Over the past couple days I filled a medium sized garbage can in my craft area, and a couple file boxes of “give-away/sell”.

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      I could tell some crazy stories of all the times we moved and how many boxes we had each time of encyclopedias and books and teacher stuff and SO MUCH CRAP I NEVER USED (I just kept moving it and moving it). Man, I’ve come a long way. Best wishes on your big move!!

  8. Sharon

    Oh, Marla! For once can I resist the temptation to jump on your bandwagon?????????? 😉 Was sooo trying not to get involved with this. Not that I don’t somewhat enjoy decluttering and not that I don’t desparately need to do some. Ugggh!

    I recently read (probably in a book you recommended – ha!) that 80% of clutter is paper. And for me, that’s pretty accurate. I am sitting at my desk which is so full of papers that I am over extending my arms and leaning over (which is very uncomfy for my back) to even reach my keyboard!

    And, I was just up in my bedroom a few minutes ago and there is paperwork all over the floor that needs to be filed. Some of it is semi organized by what file it needs to go into. I’ve been working on this nightmare off and on for some time now.

    So, what I’d love for my house to look like would be quite specifically, for my desk to not have any piles on it. For me not to have on my mental to-do list “Empty off desk” every.single.day! I do make progress, but the papers just keep on comin’!

    Anyways, um, does it count that right now, I have like 3 bags of items to donate sitting at my feet???? And that I also have 1-2 boxes of things to sell right next to my desk??? Or do I really have to go and find more things to get rid of???? Does actually listing my items for sale count? That is definitely something I need to be making more time to do lately.

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      Executive decision: your bags/boxes can count for the day. 🙂 And I’m afraid I’m just as guilty as you are on the desk front right now. Ugh. (p.s. some temptations were just meant to be given in to…) 😉

  9. Teresa Henry

    I just read the book and LOVED it! I got it at the library! So good…every day I was challenged not only to look at my material stuff but how I spent my time, how I made decisions, etc. My vision for this experiment is for my home to be free of piles, of clutter, of things I don’t need, of extras, of the things that I think I might need someday that 5 or 10 years ago I thought the same thing about…SO THAT I can be free to breath and spend time doing the things that God has called me to do…such as serve and write my book and be the parent my kids need.

    Today I filled up a bag with 23 items from my dresser…and unfortunately it is still full….so round 2 of my dresser tomorrow. I also had a friend with a truck come over and take 4 big items that were on the side of my house to the dump! I was able to clean off my patio and swept it up. I really have so much to do. I really can’t wait to get rid of things.

    I have tons of felt pens and colored pencils (and erasers, note cards, etc) from my kids and from teaching. I was going to donate them to the schools but does anyone know a place that is in need? I stick them in the mail!

    Thank you Marla for doing this. I am going to blog about this with pictures hopefully starting tomorrow.

    1. Bethany

      I’m a homeschooling mama who would love any of those school items you listed! I could pay you for shipping. Let me know if you don’t find a place to donate them to. I have lots of homeschooling friends who I could share them with.

      1. Teresa Henry

        I have felt pens, colored pencils, notecards, etc. I can box them up and send them your way. You can send me your address at teacher_tres@hotmail.com. I homeschool too, but my youngest is 15 and he doesn’t need/want them anymore.

  10. Teresa

    We did it! Lucy and I both picked 20 items of clothing to put in the garage sale pile. Woohoo! Looking forward to the challenge tomorrow.

  11. Bethany

    My home is pretty much where I want it to be. But with growing kiddos, I am constantly digging through bins of clothes hoping I have the right size for the right season, and putting too small clothes away for a time. That’s where most of my clutter is. I’m trying to do better with not keeping millions of hand-me downs that are super cute, but do I really need 22 pairs of 3T shorts? (and no short-sleeved 3T tops! Go figure!)

    I want my home to be easy to clean, a place for everything, and things we use regularly to be in easy reach. We have a small house and I love that we have to get rid of things because there just isn’t room to store tons of junk.

    So far I’ve gotten rid of 12 things (large cookie cutters, toiletries that stink, other random stuff) and 6 items of clothing (some 3T shorts!). I am always buying diapers so every time I empty a new diaper box, I try to fill it with stuff to take to Goodwill. That way I am always purging.

    I’m looking forward to doing your challenges this month! Although my house is pretty much junk free, there is always more to get rid of!

    1. Marla Taviano Post author

      I love your house! It’s just perfect. Small enough to be cozy but doesn’t feel crowded. What’s the plan for baby #4? (and I’ve always looooved your diaper box plan!)

      We’re making a thrift store run tomorrow for a friend. Does Jack need a couple 3T shirts? 🙂 What does he like best these days? Monsters? Minions? Trucks?

      1. Bethany

        Ooh! All of the above for Jack. And striped polo shirts. But whatev. 18 month and 5T girl jean shorts if you happen to see any. I’ll pay you back! I have letters for you!

        I think Stew’s gonna make a toddler bed for Lila in the kids room. But I think she’ll go in the pack and play until she’s a little older. I have a friend who lives in a 2 bedroom house and just had her fifth child. They have 2 sets of bunk beds in their kids room. She’s my inspiration!

  12. Jen Hanson

    WHEN we get a place of our own (finally), we really want it to be a place of laughter, refuge, and community (for our immediate family as well as others). Because of this, I don’t want clutter crowding up our space, and I don’t want so much stuff that we have to scramble to clean up tons of junk when people come over (or avoid inviting people over spontaneously because we’re too overwhelmed by the task of cleaning up our mess).

    We’ve done pretty well simplifying with aaaaaalllll the moving we’ve done in the last year, but I think once we unpack (again) in our own place, we’ll want to get rid of even more, or at least make room for things that will serve our family (and community) better.

    Here’s a question for your to consider addressing in a post: What are some tips for staying decluttered when there is baby gear and toddler toys taking over ones current life stage and living space?

    1. Bethany

      One thing we did was sell our big exersaucer at Once Upon A Child and purchased one that folded up. Also, switch out bins of toys so they can’t play with them all at once. Or put all their toys in their bedroom and only have larger toys in the living room. Or organize the small toys into labeled bins and store them up high so they have to ask to play with them and they have to clean it all up before they get another bin. Then put the big items that are quick to clean up within their reach. I also have the rule of no toys in the kitchen. At least I have one room that is toy-free!

      1. Jen Hanson

        Thanks Bethany! Your suggestions were EXACTLY what I had in mind for organizing our own place (in regards to toys) – so I’m really glad to hear those methods have been tried and true for you. I haven’t heard of a collapsable exersaucer – I’ll look into that, as we need to replace the one we used for the twins (that we sold when we moved to CO).

    2. Marla Taviano Post author

      I LOVE your vision!! So, so good. The baby/toddler toy takeover concern is legit. I honestly don’t remember those days that much. I do know that Nina kind of skipped right from baby to big kid. As soon as she was old enough to sit in a chair, her sisters nabbed her to play school and what have you. She never played with many toys, so we got rid of them. I think kids can do so much with so little. They don’t need nearly as much as we think they do. But yeah, you want them to have fun stuff (train tracks, big Lego sets, etc.), so… sigh.

  13. Jill Foley

    My vision….a peaceful home. By this I mean that everything has a place and everything is in it’s place the majority of the time. I feel like I spend so much time putting stuff away. I’ve purged so many times…but there is still too much stuff and I spend too much time taking care of it all.

    I was just looking at photos of a minimalist house and felt such peace….granted, it also looks like no one lives in the house, but there was something so calming about the lack of stuff.

    Now I’m off to find and “de-own” 15 things! I went through the girls clothes last week and got rid of more than 20 things. I’ll go through my clothes later today.

    1. Marla Taviano

      A peaceful home is a beautiful vision. And as for a home looking like no one lives there, I wouldn’t want to go quite that far, but close. Once your kiddos are out of the toy stage (like mine are), it really is possible to keep things looking clean and un-cluttered most of the time. (except when we use the living room as The Dancing Elephant’s workspace)

  14. Lisa

    I did it! I threw away 20 things – yes, I’m an overachiever! It’s amazing where little useless things can hide – places that haven’t seen the light of day in quite a while. I’m hoping to tackle clothing later today, although I’ve been vigilant about purging over the winter. We’ll see what I come up with! Thanks for the inspiration, Roomie!

      1. Lisa Basner

        Well, I did it – I purged my closet/dressers again, and I got way more that 20 items. Every time I do this (I’ve purged my clothes twice already over the winter) I am amazed at the things I keep. Why do I do this to myself? It’s just weighing me down! The timing of this challenge was perfect, as I purged my winter stuff that I’m putting away, and I purged my spring/summer stuff as I put it in my closet. I found a lot of items I am getting rid of I really like but don’t love, and for whatever reason, I don’t wear them. It’s time for someone else to get enjoyment out of them.

        As far as what I want to get out of this – freedom! Freedom from stuff, freedom from guilt about having things I don’t use, freedom from storing and organizing endless amount of stuff that have no value to me, freedom from materialism, freedom from buying things I don’t need/love, so I can use that money to help someone else, freedom in CHRIST in whom lies my value, identity and worth – without whom I would be nothing. Ahhhhhh, freedom – it’s a beautiful thing! 🙂

  15. Rebecca

    Simplified space is what I’m after. We have so much stuff that is just here. More to dust and move from spot to spot. My clear out will take a bit longer as some of the things will be going to my daughter who is getting married in August. Just knowing it is going is great. Thank you for being the inspiration to get going! Day one I’ve cleared out an entire laundry basket of socks and underwear! Woohoo!!!!!

    1. Marla Taviano

      GREAT JOB!! And yes, the dusting and re-arranging and re-organizing. Such a daunting task. When you have just enough, it’s actually a joy to take care of (if you can imagine such a thing–which I couldn’t for a long time!).

  16. cyndee

    A long time ago I read a story about an elderly woman who had kept her home in such a way that when she died, her children were able to go through her things, put what they wanted in the trunks of their cars, and then put a ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard. This is what I’m working toward. As I told you before, I’ll be out of town from tomorrow til the 11th, but when I get home, I’m going to get back to tackling my 33 years worth of pictures (and videos!) I’ll be following the blog for encouragement and inspiration while I’m gone. Good luck, everyone! 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      I love that so much!! My darling grandma, bless her beautiful, sentimental heart, had an entire farmhouse PACKED FULL of things for her kiddos/daughters-in-law to sort through when she died. It was quite the big, long task for everyone. When my dad retires in two years, he’s given me permission to totally de-clutter their house. My hope and prayer is that we can make it a clutter-free haven for them to enjoy for 30+ more years.

      1. Lisa Basner

        I love this too – so inspiring! When my mother in law died, she left SO much stuff that we and my father in law had to go through, and sadly, most of it went in the trash. It was worthless. I DO NOT want to do that to my kids!

  17. Krysten

    I remember reading something long ago that said “have nothing in your space unless you know it to be useful or believe it to be beautiful.” That’s the vision I have for my home. I don’t like to have lots of things just because. I only want things that are loved by me or lovely to me, above and beyond what is strictly functional. I’ve already started a bit early and I’ve found new homes for a dresser, bed, and rocking chair that don’t fall into these categories. I’ve also unloaded about 50 items of clothing (what!?!? How do I even have that much stuff!!?!?) and it feels great! While packing I donated a bunch of picture frames that held no beauty for me, and my pictures will thank me later when they have new lovely homes. Speaking of pictures, I’ve been going through albums and have thrown away a stack as thick as a phone book, only keeping the best versions of those memories. I doubt I need seventeen snapshots of the sea lions on the wharf in San Fran to remember my time there. 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      1. I LOVE that quote and have referred to it in my head many, many times while de-cluttering.

      2. I did the same things with our photos before we moved. That is SO TRUE about the sea lions. I’m so thankful for digital cameras.

      3. I CAN’T WAIT to visit your new place with all the things you love and nothing you don’t. xoxoxo

  18. Mindy May

    The vision I have for my house would be … when I look around I see pieces I love. Not just things that was given to me or things I thought we would use but don’t. I would like everything to serve a purpose. Right now I have about 7 groceries bags filled with clothes I no longer wear sitting at the bottom of my closet. I was afraid to get rid of them just in case I would need them at some point. It has been over a year and I have never gone through any of those bags. Now is the time to donate them!!
    Thank you for encouraging me to get moving and declutter!!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Yes!! I love that!! We have a bookshelf in our living room that makes me so happy. The top shelf is my most favorite books (most about simplifying and/or loving the poor) + 2 special photos in frames. The bottom shelf is 6 photo albums (pared down from 30+), what’s left of my antique book collection, and 3 special Bibles. On top of the shelf is a globe and my giraffes from Africa. I love every single thing on it. 🙂

      p.s. Let me know when you’ve officially donated those bags of clothes! 😉

  19. Jennifer Martinez

    I want to be able to look around my house and not feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of stuff there is. I want to be free from the clutter and chaos. I want to not be embarrassed if someone stops by unannounced!

    Tonight I went through my youngest’s clothes and have a trash bag full to be donated. My oldest and I started going through her clothes and mine are up this weekend!

    Thanks for the motivation to tackle this issue head on!

    1. Marla Taviano

      That is a great vision, friend! It’s amazing how an uncluttered home can give us such mental calm and peace. When I get overwhelmed, I shut down (or get angry), so a de-cluttered home is a good, good thing for our fam. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Rachelle

    This is perfect for me! Our church is gathering donations for a huge sale to send our youth to Haiti/ DR. Today I cleaned out a drawer of hair accessories for 4 girls and 1 guy with perfect long hair. (My dear husband *swoon*) Getting rid of what we don’t use and recycling what I could. We live with my in laws so all space is precious. Over the next month I hope to change out clothes that don’t fit (do preschoolers ever quit growing? !) and move out items we don’t need. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    1. Marla Taviano

      Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Rachelle. Is living with your in-laws a temporary or permanent thing? In most cultures, lots of generations live together (and with lots less space than our single-family homes here). I hope it’s going well for you!

      And when do pre-schoolers stop growing? Sometime between 7th-12th grade. 🙂

      1. Rachelle

        Thank you for taking the time to reply! Our living arrangement is a permanent arrangement. Which in our current culture is looked down upon. I understand most people don’t know the blessing it can be. People tend to either look at us as freeloaders, stuck taking care of parents or financially irresponsible. It’s truly none of those! We tend to have a lot of the same expenses as if we lived in separate homes, my in laws are able to live independently from us but our company is welcomed and we do help each other day to day, and while we aren’t “well off” we are able to live comfortably within the income we have. We don’t have all our”wants” but God allows us to have more than we need. You’re an inspiration! I can see parallels between us. We both live in smaller quarters than we previously had, we are writers, we are mothers, we love Jesus , we have a heart for others, and we have husbands that suffer beyond their control. You’re a kindred spirit and I pray for you and yours!

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