Your Natural Home
Creating a cozy hearth for the family

Declutter Your Closet Once and for All by Taking on These Personal Projects

With spring just around the corner, this is the perfect time to declutter and minimize. Instead of just cleaning, let’s focus on getting rid of items that are taking up physical and mental space. Sometimes, when we clean, we literally just move things from one corner of the room to other so that we can get the dust, but what if we actually remove things so that we can reclaim space, time and money. I understand that letting things go can be tough, so over at The Do Something Project, I like to challenge my readers to run short self-experiments or mini projects to see what’s really needed to make you happy.

Let’s start with clothing. There’s a statistic floating around that we really only wear 20% of our clothes. For some, this is probably true. We spend a good amount of time figuring out what to wear in the morning, cleaning up that one chair in the bedroom with all of the clothes and figuring out how to fit everything into the closet. All of this costs time, money and mental energy. Here are a few challenges for you to take on to start minimizing your closet.

minimalist wardrobe
Photo by Tu Tu on Unsplash


Project333 is the minimalist fashion challenge started by Courtney Carver. It invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. Essentially, you pick out the 33 items to start with and box up the rest. With this personal project, you have to strategically choose your items as you want to be wearing clothes that you love, clothes that don’t look dated, clothes that fit and clothes that can be carried throughout a season or two.

10x10 Challenge

If 3 months is too long for you, try out the 10x10 Challenge where you select 10 items to be worn for 10 days. It’s a little shorter and you won’t have to contend with needing to wear your clothes for multiple seasons, but you have to be strategic so that you can re-purpose different clothes for different occasions. This is where you need to get creative with your closet and this is where you also will start realizing that you may already have a capsule wardrobe of classic, key pieces that you can count on.

Inside Out or Reverse Hanger Technique

This last project doesn’t require you to limit your wardrobe, but it does require you to do what I call “data collection.” Essentially, each time you use an item and put it back in your closet, put it inside our or reverse the hanger. After a week or two, see how much of your closet is inside out. From there, take a look at the clothes that weren’t touched:

• If the tags stills exist, return or re-sell the item. Sometimes we buy things for that initial euphoric feeling of scoring a deal, but after that wanes, we may not even like what we bought which is why the tag is still on there. If this is the case, let go of the item and get your money back. Most stores will accept items as long as tags are intact. You may not get the full amount or cash back, but it’s better than completely wasting that money.

• If the item needs some TLC. These could be clothes that you love but missing a button, clothes that needs to be ironed, clothes that needs to be hemmed, etc. Place them in a pile and determine if you are willing to do the work yourself. If you absolutely can’t sew, then it’s time to bring these to someone who can. If you have lots of things that need to be hand washed or ironed, set aside time and do them all at once.

• If the item doesn’t fit, we have to be honest with ourselves. If we are working towards losing that weight, then that’s great, but if we are not, let’s move on. One thing to keep in mind too that if we working to lose that weight, our future selves might not want these old clothes. Let’s not weigh down our present self with having to hold these in case our someday self wants them. Chances are they won’t.

If you do any of these projects and finding yourself really being challenged, share them with your social media community. Ask for feedback, help or advice. All of these projects are only a few days or a few months, but sometimes that’s all it takes to take on new habits, gain a new perspective and learn something new. When you really think about it, a few weeks is a drop in a bucket. By going through these self-imposed personal projects, you have the opportunity to try what works for you. You are also forcing yourself into situations that you may not be comfortable with and in many cases those situations are where the magic happens. The sooner you can reclaim your time, money and space for yourself, the better off you will be. In other posts, we will cover other areas of our lives to minimize.

Catherine Agopcan is a writer who loves to take on projects and educate others on how consumption affects their bottom line using the tenets of minimalism, sustainability and personal finance. Read more of her work at The Do Something Project and Sisters for Fi.

5 Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Clean, Healthy, and Fabulous

clean kitchen
Photo by Pexels/Skitterphoto

No matter how great at cooking you are, your kitchen always has to be spotless and organized—you can’t expect to replicate all those wonderful recipes you see on TV unless you work in such a kitchen, can you? Kitchens are usually small, but they still deserve attention, so trying to keep them clean, healthy and fabulous should be high on your list of priorities. And if you don’t know how to do so, here are five tips that might help you.

Clean Tile with Baking Soda

Most of us use baking soda in cooking quite frequently, but have you ever considered cleaning with it? Probably not, but you’d be amazed at what half a cup of soda mixed with two gallons of water can do. Cooking usually involves a ton of mess, especially with inexperienced cooks, and baking soda isn’t just one of the cheapest ways to clean your tiles, but also among the most eco-friendly and efficient methods to remove those stubborn stains. Besides tiles, you can clean other areas in the kitchen using baking soda—from cups and cookware to ovens and countertops!

box of generic baking soda
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Learn How to Freeze Food

Remember all those leftovers you don’t know what to do with, so you just stack them in your freezer instead of throwing them into the trash? Well, if you too like saving food for later, be sure not to use plastic containers and opt for eco-friendly solutions instead. Glass-, metal- or ,even, silicon-based storage solutions are much better in the long run and will keep your food just as fresh and tasty as those nasty plastic containers that are slowly destroying our planet.

how to freeze food
Photo via Pinterest

Green Utensils

Now, if you want to be super-green and turn your kitchen into an oasis of eco-friendliness, you simply have to pay more attention to the utensils and dinnerware you’re using. Finding visually appealing pieces is quite all right, but it’s not as safe as you might think, so switch to greener options as soon as possible. Minimizing the use of plastic plates and cups might be one of the ways to do so, while looking into sustainable Robert Gordon dishware, for example, could lead you to efficient and attractive mugs, jugs, earth bowls and even dinner plates that will amaze your guests and show them how environmentally-aware you really are!

cast iron cookware
Photo via Max Pixel

Natural Scents and Odors

Keeping your windows open all day long could easily be the best way to ensure your kitchen is always full of fresh air, but this isn’t something you can do in the winter or during the rainy season. That’s why more and more people are looking for ways to freshen their interior up using natural scents and fragrances that won’t just smell amazing, but also help them keep their cooking space healthy. Therefore, you too should include a couple of scented candles, fragrance sticks or reed diffusers to minimize the smell of cooking, but make sure they’re 100 percent natural and eco-friendly.

Utilize the Power of Water

Let’s be honest—cooking is amazing, but washing dishes is as far away from amazing as you can imagine! This is actually the reason why some people don’t like cooking at all, or even avoid certain kinds of food—the Millennials, for example, stopped eating cereal in the morning precisely because of that—but this shouldn’t be happening at all. The best way to take care of your dishes is to soak them in warm water and detergent right after using and keeping them there for some time. After just an hour or two, even the greasiest pans will be easy to clean and your kitchen will never be full of dirty dishes you just can’t wash properly.

Keeping your kitchen clean, healthy and fabulous may seem like a never-ending job at first, but if you do something day after day, you won’t have to spend an entire Sunday afternoon scrubbing every surface there is because everything will already be done!

Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne. She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also like sharing her advice and knowledge with people. That is why she is also a regular contributor to the SmoothDecorator blog. Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time. Find more of her work on Facebook and Twitter.