Could you inventory your whole home?


You guys are awesome.

A few times a week I get emails with great links to articles and videos about living in a smaller footprint. I can’t thank you enough. It’s hard to keep up with what is out there (and not be tied to a computer for many hours of the day) so having your eyes and ears out there listening and watching for me is a big help.

There have been quite a few interesting articles that I have found or have come my way and I wanted to share them with you. You never know what story or article will click and help you let go of some things, resist buying things you don’t really want or decide to make a big change like living in a smaller home or getting rid of the second car.

For the motivated: how to inventory your home. From Joanna, a piece in the NYT with app and software reviews for creating a home inventory. The one that is tempting me is Delicious Library. It’s software for Mac that would allow me to inventory everything we have. It even scans bar codes (!). We’re actually in a very sweet spot of not having a lot of stuff so it wouldn’t been the months on end project it would have been a year ago. Also, it would be really useful to have our possessions itemized for a future move.

For the window shoppers (online too): Why Pinterest May Actually Help Curb Shopping. Thanks to Aida for this one. If you’ve lost hours to Pinterest they may not all be bad. It seems Pinterest could actually quell your desire to buy rather than push you to break out the credit card. From the original Atlantic article:

Now that our economy has declined, we have less money available for unnecessary purchases and more people are realizing they need to consume less for economic and environmental reasons. I think it makes sense that we are seeing a rise in social-media services that allow us to enjoy hunting and gathering behavior without financial costs.

Of course, the other side to this story is that Pinterest has become a top traffic driver for retailers.
For those of us cutting back on screen time: Free E-book A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Digital Overwhelm. This book is a gem. Short, to the point and provides some good resources. Go grab it! And then sign up for The Big Unplug. I’ve added a sign up list and more details about my digital sabbatical campaign. You can also opt in for three or four days instead of the whole seven. I’ve set an ambitious (read: crazy) goal of getting 1000 people to sign up.
More good reads:
  • Kim from Little Stories had her Minimalist Playspace featured on Childhood 101. Looks great, Kim!
  • Linked to this video on Facebook the other day but here is the video + interview on the 90 Day Amish Project. This 24 year old copy writing student cut off tv, Internet and phone communication for three months. He did a lot of fun things during his digital sabbatical. Hope mine is the same. Thanks to Debbie for the link.

Feel free to link to any simple living or minimalist articles you found this week in the comments.


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  • I absolutely love the idea of having a home inventory. My aim over the next couple of months is to have a purpose and place for absolutely everything. Whether this is achievable I do not yet know. Thanks for this!

    • We’re probably going to move in the next 6 months (still in IOM but something with a freezer, possibly a tumble dryer, and maybe an office) and I would like to do an inventory before we move. Might even inventory the boxes we have in Canada when we go back in the spring for a visit.

  • I am happy to say, that apart from our books, I can list you all the things we have in oue small, 100sqm house. Simply because I, DH and kids use everything on a regular basis. I can even list the few things that we have but are never used. They somehow stand out. I certainly don’t want to boast about this, I’m only saying that yes, it is achievable and it’s a calming feeling to have only what you need.

  • Another useful and interesting article!! You have been doing a fantastic job and have become my favorite minimalist blogger. Keep up the great work and thank you!

  • I have a thing for making lists, and organization. I would also love to have an inventory of everything we have. We don’t have a lot of stuff and our home for three is only 600 sf. ( Now, if I could get my husband to go along with an inventory.. Because he has stuff I don’t even know what it is.) I agree that it’s a calming feeling to know what you have and where everything is, and that everything is used. Inventory of everything you own is part of the exercises in “Your money or your life” . I have yet to do this properly… but I think just writing a list would work, no need for special apps necessarily…

    • We have a few spreadsheets of things, including our pack list from moving over, but I like the idea of having photos and a searchable database. Yep, I am becoming a minimalist nerd :)

    • I was surprised to read this and then realized I have a 30 Day Buy List on Pinterest and have only bought a few things on the list since I started it 4 months ago. So maybe pinning it cured my want.

    • I used to have pictures copied into Paint for all the things I planned to buy in the future. Rachel introduced me to Pinterest, and I love it!

  • Just a quick added bonus of tracking everything you own is insurance, we have photos of most things we own for this reason. But not a bad idea to track on on a spreadsheet with values etc as well – looks like I just created another project for myself…

      • Sorry about the double comments. Good point about warm and cozy. Everyone thinks minimalist means sterile, but it doesn’t have to. And once you clear out some stuff, you have more surfaces the light can reflect off of, and sunshine is always cozy!

  • I don’t want to inventory my home, but I’m trying to gear up to actually do the Your Money or Your Life Steps, and this is one of them. Seems a bit overkill to me, but maybe writing down each item I own will encourage me to get rid of more of it!

    • Have heard many good things about YMOYL and the exercises in the book. My sister did most of them and I remember she had to calculate her life time earnings to date. A lot of work but eye opening.

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