I have been struggling in my efforts to minimalist (minimalize?) my home. I move things out, but I am having difficulty identifying things that we do not need, or use regularly. I sort of feel like I've gotten rid of everything I can get rid of. (I can identify things that belong to family members that we can get rid of. But everyone needs to move at their own pace, and I cannot go through and get rid of all the junk others in my family are hanging on to.)
Part of my problem is all the stuff that comes into the house. This stuff has to be moved back out again, responsibly, and that increases both the mental and physical clutter I am dealing with. I have magazines to take to the senior center. I have hand-me-down jeans to pass down to other people (because they don't fit anyone here). It's a couple of things here, one thing there, but it becomes a lot of clutter pretty quickly.
Add to that the things I need to do to get stuff out. I need to photograph and post LEGOs to ebay. I need to wash and vacuum the extra car, and photograph and post it to Craigslist. I need to do taxes. I need to get a smog certificate for the truck (that's physical and mental clutter, because it's sitting on the shelf by the front door. I tried to get the certificate earlier, but the machine was broken at the shop, and I'm waiting for that to be repaired.)
I can't keep the mental clutter out, or at least not very easily. I have to do taxes. I could just donate the car and ebay items, but I would rather have the money. It's not inconsiderable (enough to cover a car payment, or an extra car payment to pay down the balance).
I can reduce the amount of physical clutter that comes into the house. This will be hard for me, because I will have to decline things that people offer me. People offer me things because they think I will want it, or like it. My mother gives me magazines because she thinks I will want to read them, and that is lovely and generous of her. In actual fact, however, I don't read them and they cause me stress. Hand-me-downs that are much too big need to be donated elsewhere. At this point, my kids have enough opinion on their clothes that, unless they like the clothes and they fit when the clothes are offered, I shouldn't bring them home. The possible usefulness is not worth the clutter.
Declining things will be hard for me, but I hope it will get easier with practice. I am afraid people will be offended if I decline something. However, if I am going to reach my goals I will have to make changes, and I think this is one of them.