Simple Habits for a Clutter Free Home

I’ve moved! You can now follow along with my adventures at my new blog, Ennaree

www.ennaree.com


It’s no secret: I’m a messy person. Actually, I spent the first twenty-something years of my life ignoring that fact. But now that I share my space with someone else full time, I’ve realized that it is, in fact, me.

The most ironic part of it is that I am the first person to be bothered by a messy home. I’ve scoured the internet for tips on how to keep things tidy (for untidy people like me), and I’ve been slowly piecing together some good habits to help keep me sane.

My best practices for a clutter-free home

Obviously, the first and foremost tip I can give is to keep a simple home. If you’re reading this on my blog, you probably could have guessed that. But let’s talk about less conventional rules and habits that I’ve developed to help keep our tiny apartment clean!

 Treat the countertop as sacred space

This one is new-to-me, and actually works so well for me that it prompted me to write this post with other tips. Make it a rule that no dirty dish ever graces your countertop.

We’ve all been there (maybe): all of the dirty dishes piling up on one side of the sink, and then slowly taking over other available counter space. This new rule makes it so that every single dirty dish you bring to the kitchen goes straight into the sink. Is the sink too full? Then it’s time to either wash the dishes or load them into the dishwasher. Or, you can get in the habit of clearing it first thing in the morning or right before bed.

It works especially well for me since it makes the dishes more manageable if I handle them in smaller batches.

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 Make the bed

This one provides an instant boost. I’ve always known that my day seems a little brighter when I make my bed, but it’s not always top-of-mind.

It’s not just me, either: making your bed really can have a huge impact on your day.

Open the blinds

We try to keep as much light out at night, but during the day it’s essential for me to have my curtains pulled open. Natural light is just so pleasant.

Plus, by opening the curtains and blinds, I can more easily see dust. It sounds gross, but it’s way more motivating to clean when I can see the problem areas easily.

Everything gets a home

Yes, everything. If it’s beautiful and you use it often, set it out so that it can add to your decor. If it’s terribly ugly and you never use it…wait why do you have it?

Designate space in your cupboards for things like cleaning supplies or ugly (but useful) cookware. You might even go so far as to giving different groups of spices different homes on the spice rack – just start developing the habit of putting them right back where they belong when you are done.

I even give library books space on my nightstand or bookshelf so that they don’t just float around the apartment haphazardly. It also makes me feel super cool to have interesting books on my shelves – without having to pay for them.

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Make it a pleasurable experience

Find ways to make your cleaning habits more enjoyable. Have dusting rags in your favorite color, pick a wonderful scent for your cleaning product, splurge on durable and reliable tools to help you clean.

Right now, our dustpan is held together by masking tape and it makes me cringe every time I have to use it. So in the near future, I’ll be getting a dust pan that won’t snap immediately when I use it. We also splurged on a Swiffer WetJet and we ended up using it way more often than the shoddy mop we had initially purchased.

Basically, don’t skimp on tools if the better version will make cleaning more pleasurable (or at least more tolerable).

And now, for something completely different

This one is going to come as a bit of a surprise. While it’s not a regular habit, I do think there’s something to it for those of us who find our homes regularly cluttered: redecorate.

 

Don’t be afraid to switch things up, add things or remove things to make your space feel more intentional. It’s okay to style a bookshelf with pretty things that bring you joy if that means you keep other random (and unhappy) clutter from gathering there.

If you’re not intentional with your space, your things (no matter how few you have) will start to take control. I’ve been working on being more purposeful in my design and layout of the apartment, and that’s been a huge help in managing the flow of “stuff” through our home.

Are you messy like me? What are your favorite cleaning or decluttering habits?

 

Six Doors to a Simpler Life

Who doesn’t love a good origin story? It helps you see where someone’s values are and what motivates them.

You can read my simple-living origin story here, but here’s a quick recap for new readers:

After I graduated college, I was drowning in 22 years worth of clutter. I was chronically stressed and depressed. I moved four times that year, and the final move nearly broke me. I remember carrying 50-gallon trashbags full of clothes that I never wore downstairs to the moving truck and holding back tears under the literal and figurative weight of it all.

So when I began my life in a new city, I started to get rid of anything I didn’t need (which was no small feat). It started with clothes and slowly expanded into my other possessions and other areas of my life. So basically, my origin story is based on stuff, and lots of it.

But that’s not the only entry point into minimalism, so if you’ve been struggling with the “stuff” part of it all, there might be another way to start simplifying. What’s most important is that you do what feels right!

Other fascinating origin stories

There are others who have shared their origin stories. Some are similar to mine and some are very, very different.

Courtney Carver started with her diet after a medical diagnosis, then proceeded to simplify the rest of her belongings and her lifestyle. Joshua Becker started with his stuff after spending more time than he wanted to cleaning out his garage. Joshua Fields Millburn wasn’t a minimalist until life-changing events sparked him to approach the emotional weight of the stuff around him. Ryan Nicodemus, alongside Joshua Fields Millburn, decided to switch his pursuit of the American Dream to the pursuit of an intentional, good life.

The six doors to a simpler life.

Photo credit: Andrew Beeston

The Six Doors to Simplifying

I’ll go into each in more depth below, but here are the six entry points into simplifying and minimalism that I’ve observed throughout the years:

  1. Clutter
  2. Money
  3. Diet
  4. Schedule
  5. Relationships
  6. Digital distractions

Let’s dive in!

Clutter

This one is the most evident, and is the most obvious place to start. You can identify this as a problem when you start running out of places to put stuff, find yourself cleaning too often, or spend an inordinate amount of time on finding the perfect storage solution.

Starting with clutter is a great way to get the ball rolling and you will soon see the effects of simplifying your stuff in your life. A clear space is a clear mind.

However, it’s not always a comfortable place for everyone to start based on emotional ties to stuff or time or health constraints.

Money

I think we’re all trying to simplify this with varying degrees of success. This category is hard. Unexpected things pop up that make this area of our lives difficult to control completely.

However, starting here will give you more time for other areas of your life (because time is money and money is time). It can be as drastic as you want – you can aim for early retirement like Mr. Money Mustache or you can just cut out most extraneous expenses and get debt-free a little sooner.

Diet

There’s a pattern here – most of these entry points deal heavily with emotion, and this one is no exception. Your food choices are highly personal and the are the most directly connected to your actual human life.

Food determines our energy levels, our immunity and our overall health. This is one area that you can actually add to instead of taking away from – start by adding in an extra serving of veggies or an apple snack to remind your body what these nutrients can do for you. This is the change that you can make right now, while the other changes will take a little more time.

Schedule

Even though this one seems so impossible, trust me: there’s always room. Simplifying anything in your life means that you have to learn to say “no” to things, and what better way to get practice in?

We’re bombarded by invitations, requests and meaningless to-do’s, so start small. What is one thing that you can say no to today? Saying no to things that don’t add value to your life means that you can say yes to more things like spending time with loved ones, going on walks and taking care of yourself.

Relationships

This one is difficult – are there relationships in your life that do not bring joy or value? Are you surrounding yourself with people who motivate you or are you surrounded by people who bring you down?

Breaking off romantic relationships and friendships is complicated, but sometimes both need to be done.But by saying “no” to certain relationships, your truly meaningful relationships will have the space they deserve to flourish.

Digital distractions

If you have an internet connection, you probably have this problem. Notifications, requests and updates are constantly pinging on our desktops and our phones. Even though it takes up little physical space, these distractions take up a massive amount of emotional and mental space.

This category includes social media, files like word documents and photographs, email, and our cloud-based calendars. Start by removing push notifications from your phone as much as possible, then explore each space individually after that.

How to find which one is right for you

Take a moment to think about where most of your stress lies.

If you’re stressed about being busy, then look into your schedule. If there’s too much buzz in your mind and on your phone, start with digital distractions. Always frustrated about the clutter on your desk? Start with stuff.

If you can’t think of it right away, observe yourself for a couple of days. When and where do your stress levels spike, and when are they the lowest?

They’re all connected

If you’re worried that you just have to choose one, fear not. Once you start simplifying and streamlining one part of your life, you’ll start to see how it can be applied to other areas.

I felt like it was no stretch to change my eating habits after my closet was manageable. I began to value my time more after those two changes, so I then switched my focus to my digital life – particularly cutting down on Facebook.

Whatever you choose, know that your path to simplifying is entirely your own. Read others’ stories and take what you feel is relevant to yourself from them. If you try to copy someone exactly, you’ll end up in an unsustainable, frustrating and ultimately, complicated lifestyle.

Where did you start simplifying, or where do you think you’ll focus next?

There Is No Such Thing As Free Stuff

TANSTAAFL

If there’s one thing I remember from high school economics, it’s that acronym. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

And I think I know why it’s stuck with me for so long – it’s true.

In college, I loved getting free lanyards and water bottles and coozies (I’ve never even used a coozie) from career fairs and other campus activities.

Once I got my own apartment, I often picked up furniture that was left by dumpsters and brought it home with me. I didn’t even do anything cool with it, like my friend Meg does over on her blog – her buffet and mini chest are breathtaking.

I still have a hard time resisting the “free stuff” I find sitting out by the curb. But it’s not really free.

There is no such thing as free stuff

How we’re paying for this free stuff

Free stuff can actually be really expensive when you do the math.

We pay for it with our time – picking it up, cleaning it, moving it around in our homes. Even the time we spend considering whether to take it or not is time we can spend doing something else.

We pay for it with our space – the bigger the item, the more physical and mental space it takes up. It takes up space that could be for something more intentional, or even nothing at all. It’s also stressful to think that I have something in my life that’s irrelevant and unnecessary – but I keep it because it was free.

Finally, we pay for it with our energy – we have to make decisions about each one of our possessions every time we move. Actually, every time we look at our possessions we have some sort of response. Do you want negative responses to the free “junk” in the garage to continue?

Where does it come from, anyway?

Free stuff is all around us. There are signs in store windows and banner ads all calling out FREE! FREE! FREE!

Here are a few places to watch out for free stuff – and remember, not all of it is good free stuff.

  • Yard sales & curb alerts – These are traps for free and super-cheap junk. Seeing free stuff on the side of the road can impair your judgment and make you more impulsive – I’ve been known to pick up dirty & broken (beyond repair) things that I don’t even need. Make sure it’s worth it!
  • Hand-me-downs & clothing swaps – I think clothing swaps are an amazing way to get new clothes. However, they can be too tempting if you’re not really in the market for something specific or don’t fully understand your personal style. Hand-me-downs are also the beginning of the end for many childhood closets – it can be uncomfortable for children to get rid of things that have been passed around in the family. So it stays.
  • Promotional items – This stuff is sneaky. It’s easy to take it if everyone’s doing it, but know that it’s fine to pass on this junk if you don’t need it. My husband and I have some Coca-Cola word magnets we got for free a few months ago…and our fridge isn’t even magnetic.
  • BOGO – The most deceitful of them all. Unless you need both things, avoid at all costs – guys, the second item is not free. The first item is marked up enough to warrant the second item’s free-ness. It’s a trick to get you in the store, and if anyone tells you otherwise…then tell them politely that they’re wrong.

A cautionary nail tale

Free things can cost in other ways, too. When I moved into my first apartment, I was in need of some furniture. I was lucky enough to find a full dining table, a beat-up side table and a weird green set of drawers that had no knobs.

I really only needed the table, but it was all free, so why not?

My friend Stephanie helped me carry each piece across the long parking lot and into my apartment. In our fits of laughter, we didn’t check the set of drawers before bringing it into my apartment. What could go wrong?

There was a toenail in the drawer.

A giant, yellowed toenail.

toenail drawer

And yet…I kept it. I cleaned everything thoroughly with Clorox wipes and proceeded to move it around with me for three more years. I didn’t even like it.

So this set of drawers cost me years of moving and a weird toenail, but I did get a free story out of the deal.

There is some good news about free stuff

Of course, not all free stuff is bad. And not all free things have old toenails in them.

I recently picked up a bedside table, a corkboard and a chalkboard from the side of the road. The bedside table replaced an old box that I had been using, and the other two have become little information hubs for my husband and I.

What I’m trying to say is that free stuff can truly be helpful and add value to your life.

It’s just the trap of thinking that “free” means that it comes with zero strings attached. It’s up to you to weigh the options.

And most importantly, it’s up to you to decide when the item no longer belongs in your life – just because it was free doesn’t mean you have to keep it “just in case.” I’ve spent so much of my time, space, and energy on free stuff over the years that hardly any of it was truly worth it.

What’s your best free find, and what’s your worst?

Junk in the Trunk (and the Drawers and Bins)

Junk drawers. They’re like Lay’s potato chips – you can’t have just one!

They’re under our beds, in our kitchens, our offices, bathrooms, you name it – there’s probably a junk drawer there.

The number and type of junk drawer that we have says a lot about us – mine make me look like a just-in-case fanatic.

Last year, I counted at least three bins that I considered “junk drawers” in my apartment, mostly filled with half-blank pieces of paper for later use. I’d been carrying all this crap around for years without knowing it.

Drawers and storage solutions are perfect for intentional storage. But they can be dangerous too – we leave things hidden for so long that we start to forget what we own and why we own it.

A peek inside my junk drawers

When we moved seven months ago, I avoided storage specifically because I don’t want to go back to having multiple junk drawers. But junk drawers always find a way, don’t they?

We have a little built-in vanity and dresser area near our bathroom and we quickly made use of two tiny drawers to fill with everything that didn’t have a home.

IKEA happened, and we got more little booklets and pseudo-tools to add in. Soon, I could hardly open the drawers anymore because they were stuffed with God knows what.

Here’s a look at our junk:

Junk Drawers

I separated our drawers into one for my husband and one for me – before it was anyone’s guess as to whether or not there was any kind of organization.

How to tackle junk drawers without going crazy

As you can see, my junk drawers are very small. However, they really were the start of something much bigger and I wanted to bring them back to a manageable size before they got out of hand.

Start by identifying the offending storage pieces around your house. I would define a junk drawer as any drawer that has three or more different types of things – say tools, pens and playing cards or toys, rubber bands and electrical tape.

Before you get started cleaning them out, there are two things you should know:

  1. Know that you can’t get rid of them completely. Honestly, I think having one dedicated drawer to miscellaneous items is useful. Especially when trying to keep surfaces clear of clutter around the house.
  2. Know that all drawers should not be junk drawers. Don’t let this mentality creep beyond one drawer in your household. Be intentional with your junk and give it a nice home.

Once you’ve identified the drawers, take everything out of them and sort them into piles:

  • Trash
  • Not in use (think of The Minimalists 20/20 rule)
  • Like with like (all tape stays together!)
  • Redistribution pile (junk that needs to go to another part of the house)

What’s most important is to keep all like items together. If you have a designated place for paperwork elsewhere, then why is your utility bill in the junk drawer?

Return things to their rightful homes. When you’re done, take a look at what’s left.

Are there duplicates? If you have more pens than you could use in a lifetime, get rid of them. Toss anything that is broken, about to break, or that you just don’t use.

When you go to put everything back in, you should have significantly less. Put things in as orderly as you can so you can see everything easily and the drawer closes without putting up a fight.

Why bother with junk drawers?

First, the obvious – you don’t need to be carrying around literal useless junk whenever you move.

But there’s more to it than that. I’m guessing that you visit your junk drawers just often enough to get frustrated with them. I know when I opened my drawers to find something, it would stress me out. Not a lot, but enough to warrant a good cleaning.

If there’s a drawer that stresses you out even a little bit when you open it, it’s time to rethink it. There’s no reason for these little things to add stress to our lives.

What’s in your junk drawers?

Managing Clutter Magnet Spaces

Clutter magnet spaces. You know what I’m talking about – the table next to the door, that part of the kitchen counter, your nightstand. The places where clutter sets up camp.

For me and my husband, I’m a bit ashamed to admit, all of the flat surfaces in our apartment are magnet spaces.

It’s not for lack of storage or even an excess of stuff that really causes the clutter buildup. It’s mainly a bad habit that we’re constantly fighting against. Every. Day.

And when the table isn’t clear or there are clothes on the bed, I get distracted and stressed out. When my desk is most cluttered, I even question why I’m talking about minimalism (despite how far I’ve come these past three years). Managing clutter magnet spaces in your home

Why does stuff appear there?

Our routine includes a thorough apartment-cleaning each weekend so that we can have a fresh start to the week.

Everything goes back to its proper place and we breathe easier knowing that everything is where it should be. So why, by the end of the week, is it all out on the table again? A few reasons:

  • Bad habit (not putting stuff away after done using it)
  • Lack of organization (especially when it comes to mail – we don’t have a solid system for it yet)
  • The storage doesn’t make sense (this one is the easiest to say, since it removes some responsibility on my end)

How to avoid magnet spaces in your home

First, a disclaimer – I am not the model for a perfectly clean home. I just naturally put stuff where there’s space for it in plain sight, and I’ll admit that weakness. For proof, this is mostly from today: Magnet Spaces However, I am starting to recognize patterns and realize what I can do to get better about keeping surfaces clean. Because there’s nothing like having a clean table to play board games on or sip coffee at.

  • Remove unnecessary surfaces. If the surface is not necessary and it gathers dust and/or random trinkets, just let it go. This was important to me when we were furniture shopping. I wanted a small desk and even stackable coffee/side tables. I didn’t want a huge bookcase or end table. I chose our rabbit pen because it was open on the top – I didn’t want another surface for my clutter to gather on.
  • Make them less convenient. If you can’t get rid of the table/surface, play some mindgames with yourself by moving it to a less convenient location. Instead of by the opening side of the door, put it on the hinge side so you don’t see it first thing. Trick yourself into thinking it’s not there anymore.
  • Identify what collects there. Is it dishes? Is it keys and sunglasses? Is it work? Identify what collects there and think carefully about how to manage it. Maybe a 15-minute daily dishes-sweep of the house/apartment could take care of the buildup. Maybe it’s as simple as getting a key hook and small basket for your sunglasses.
  • Decorate intentionally. This sometimes works for me, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Make your table or coffee table beautiful with a vase of flowers or a candle. Draw attention to it’s emptiness when it’s clean and make it a beautiful part of your home – the more you feel like it’s a pleasure to look at, the less you’ll want to mess it up. Kind of like a well-made bed.
  • And of course, get rid of what you don’t need. If your stuff doesn’t have a home, there’s no need to go buy storage. Open up those drawers that you haven’t looked into for years and clear them out. Don’t just scoot stuff around either because that’s cheating. Get rid of things you don’t need so that the truly valuable stuff has a proper home.

Don’t be mad when it goes wrong

I know I’ve been preaching this a lot lately, but it’s essential to not get upset when you find shoes on the coffee table and cups on chairs.

If it’s funny, let yourself laugh about it.

Humans are strange beings, and if we let this stuff get under our skin instead of taking a calm moment to deal with it, the habit won’t get any better. Be gentle on yourself and start fresh with each cleaning.

Because sometimes life just gets a little messy.

Also, if anyone has a solution for all the cups that show up in random areas around the house (anyone else have that problem?), I’m all ears.

Pretty Little Things: Cutting Down on Cosmetics

Makeup is something that I’ve written about before, but I think it’s worth revisiting because this stuff accumulates like snow in the Midwest. I end up with more of it all the time and often don’t know where it comes from.

And then I realized: I impulse buy cosmeticsEspecially if they’re on sale, or if it’s a new color that I think is kind of fun. I got red lipstick last year and guess how many times I’ve worn it? Half a dozen. How many times have I worn it out of the house? Zero.

Let’s take a look at what I found in my makeup case:

My makeup collection before downsizing

My makeup collection before downsizing

I’ve trimmed it down in the last few years, and I’ve started buying less expensive products (seriously, I love E.L.F. from Target and I won’t deny it).

I think, too, that my face needs much less covering up when I’m eating and drinking and sleeping right. Not to say that’s the only fix for healthier skin, but it helps.

It’s the little things that get to us

My “collection” didn’t take up much space before I started cutting down, but I realized that’s not what this is about.

When I get ready in the morning, I have to fumble through less-used products to get to the one I always use. If you don’t have makeup, the same might go for your paperwork. It could be extra pens or a cluttered kitchen drawer.

Wouldn’t it be better to just get rid of the unnecessary things that get in our way? Instead of letting yourself run into a dozen mini-obstacles every day, get rid of what causes the trouble.

How I cut down on my makeup supply

So I took the same tried-and-true approach to cutting down on cosmetics. Is it useful? Is it beautiful? Does it bring me joy?

I also employed these cosmetic-specific rules when deciding what to get rid of:

  • Is it old? Like, embarrassingly old? I just read about how long to keep makeup and I’m way out of range on some of my powder and lip products. Yikes.
  • Do I use it or do I enjoy using it? Does it still have a place in my daily routine? If I use it regularly (or look forward to using it for a special occasion), I keep it. If not, toss it. If it’s a product I just don’t like using (for me it’s lash curlers, for others it’s eyeliner or foundation) I’ve decided to ditch it too.
  • Does it fit my complexion or my overall style? Like I said with the red lipstick, some items just don’t work with my face. I just finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and she explains that these items have already served their purpose: their purpose was to let you know that they’re not the right choice for you. No regrets in throwing these away.

Now if I need to travel anywhere, my makeup case is already packed and ready to go. It all fits in a small box, including any brushes I need and my three shades of nail polish. I feel lighter and more ready for last-minute adventures this way.

Here’s what my makeup collection looks like now:

What remains of my makeup "collection"

What remains of my makeup “collection”

How I’ll buy makeup in the future

If I decide that it’s time to add a new high-quality cosmetic to the rotation, I have some advice from my best friend. She’s more patient with makeup (and much, much better at it) than me! Here’s what she recommends:

  1. Research. Makeup can be expensive. Since it’s good to use for months at a time, know what you’re getting into before you buy. Read reviews and watch videos on application so that you don’t just buy random products in your quest for the perfect look. You can even look for videos or reviews for drugstore alternatives to more expensive brands.
  2. Get Samples. Samples let you know that you like a product before committing to it. They’re free, they’re small and they’re a good way to curb impulse buys. My friend recommends Sephora, where the products are high-quality but the prices can be intimidating. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and give the product some thought before tossing it in to your shopping cart.
  3. Check return policies. If you’re skipping the drugstore brands and going for more specialized brand names like Sephora, check the returns policy. Don’t keep something just because, well, maybe you’ll get used to it. A fifty dollar bottle of foundation isn’t something you just want to “get used to.”

I hope this gives you a good start in going through your own makeup and creating the rules that work best for you.

Remember, there’s no magic number to minimalism. It isn’t about extremes either. It’s about living with only what you need and what sparks joy.

It’s about making more space in your life for what really matters to you.

Pet Project: Living Simply with Animals

A year after my dear Niels passed away, we decided to open our hearts to another sweet rabbit. Meet Bonnie!

Bonnie

We adopted this girl from the Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation, where she had been “in the system” (foster care, shelters) for two years. We were shocked! Not only is she beautiful, but she’s calm and gentle. I think her main issue with getting adopted was just that she’s a bit shy.

I’m so proud to live in a city that doesn’t allow commercial breeding for pet store sales. I got my first rabbit, Niels, from a pet store in a mall. He had health issues from day one, and I always wonder if his breeding conditions had anything to do with it. 

So here’s my rant on adopting vs. buying pets: you should probably adopt. Here’s my rant on spaying and neutering: you should fix your pets, including rabbits. Especially rabbits.

But I didn’t know these things at first.

Rabbits are simple pets…right?

I got my first rabbit because I thought he’d be a simple, straightforward pet. I thought he needed a cage and pellets and water.

Fast forward to today:

Rabbit Setup

 

The rabbits have taken over our living/dining/office space. There’s hay and food and litterboxes everywhere. It’s not usually this bad, but right now they’re in the bonding phase so need to have separate cages until they can go without fighting.

Rabbits are not simple pets. I know many people who had them growing up, and they claim their rabbit was so happy in its outdoor cage. Truth? Rabbits thrive as indoor house pets. Like, practically cage-free indoor house pets. (I have to cage Rory at night because he likes to eat paint from the walls). Their diet includes veggies, pellets and tons of hay. They require exercise and vet care. Exotic animal vet care. Crazy, right? I’ll stop ranting again, but if you are interested in getting a rabbit, this video is a great introduction.

But bringing a new pet into our home got me thinking about the complexities of adding a non-human mouth to feed. Whether it’s a cat, dog, rabbit, bird, reptile or even one of those giant millipedes, you’ve got to be willing to expand your lifestyle to include them.

No pet is simple

Even an aloof cat needs “stuff” to keep it healthy and happy. They need time and money and a level of patience that isn’t always easy.

For example, Rorschach has destroyed 3 computer chargers and countless phone chargers/headphones with his chewing. Silly rabbit.

We’ve tried to keep it simple by using moving boxes as hiding places, secondhand dishes for food and water, and by making toys out of anything that could be interesting.  Some things, though, can’t be simplified – pet carriers for vet trips, litter boxes, cages, and all the consumables that come with pet ownership.

So why would anyone trying to simplify want to double their bunny trouble? Because the value I get from caring for these little furballs far outweighs the costs of supplies, time, vet care and storage needed to keep them around. And because rabbits are often happier in pairs.

But the lifestyle I write about on this blog isn’t about getting rid of everything you own. It’s about getting rid of things that are no longer necessary or valuable in your life. And if you have a pet that’s adding value to your life, then carry on. Because at the end of the day, I’d rather get rid of extra shoes and bathroom supplies than give up on this:

My question for you

So, to bring it all back to simple living. I’ve been struggling with all of the clutter these bunnies have brought into the house recently, despite my affection for them. I need storage solutions!

I usually tend to explore the “get rid of it” solution before the “store it” solution, but this is a special case. I need something that either looks great or serves multiple purposes. I’ve been thinking of small storage stools or discreet drawers.

Do you have pet supply storage recommendations? How do you handle the extra necessities that a pet brings to your life?