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Minimalism and DeclutteringTravels & Adventures

The different types of clutter & The Minimalism Meetup


We started our exploration in minimalism & the process of de-cluttering and simplifying a couple years ago, with the intention that once we rid ourselves of the unnecessary (the clutter), we’d begin to welcome, understand & appreciate the necessary more clearly.

We define clutter as: anything in your life that does not bring you joy and does not serve a purpose.

There are so many different types of clutter so we decided to make a list. Some of the categories are interchangeable or more general, but we wanted to have a place where I could refer back to and check in with ourselves on each of these categories. (Did we miss a type of clutter? Please comment below and we’ll continue to update our list).

  • Bad Habit Clutter: things you do out of habit, without being intentional about the why (hitting the snooze button, staying up late, work out habits (or lack of), eating out. In a way, all of the below topics actually fit into bad habit clutter.
  • Physical Clutter:  your tangible possessions that do not bring you joy or serve a purpose.
  • Aspirational Clutter: Things you keep because you intend to use them one day/ they represents the life you “aspire to,” but do not have. This things can be tangible but also ideas, beliefs & personal goals.
  •  Digital Clutter: your online things that you can’t physically “touch”, (think of all of those files on your computer).
  • Mental clutter: the noise in your head that does not bring joy or serve purpose (self doubt, worry, guilt & negative talk included).
  • Social clutter
    • the people you interact with
    • expectations
  • Time Clutter
    • obligations
    • invitations
    • events
    • commitments
  • Word Clutter
    • speech or writing that serves no use
      • written words (think of a super long e-mail/text that could be cut short and sweet or not sent at all)
      • toxic communication (gossip, speaking untrue things)
  • Informational clutter: think all the stuff you can take in by just spending a few hours on the internet, (social media included).
  • Work Clutter: Projects or Tasks you take on that don’t have a purpose or bring joy, (do you ever catch yourself saying yes to an assignement/job/role out of habit or pressure and wonder, why did I take this on?)
  • Financial Clutter: bills, accounts, credit cards, statements, investments, debt, loans

We’ve realized that holding ourselves accountable in saying no to clutter has become a key part of actively living a more minimalist lifestyle. In order to do so,  about once a month we meet up with other like-minded, minimalist-explorers , in the comfort of our home or a nearby coffee shop. This group is open to whomever would like to join and is a great way to remind yourself of the intentional component in getting rid of the clutter in order to make room for what brings you joy. One of the best parts of attending the meet-up is learning about other’s monumental positive life changes, (or random coincidences that seem to magically occur) once they start saying NO to the clutter that don’t bring them joy or serve a purpose any longer.

There are groups all over the world. To find one near you, you can go here:  If you’d like to join our group in Buffalo, NY you can do so one of two ways. E-mail us at info@shawphotoco.com and we’ll add you to our mailing list and keep you in the loop of upcoming meetings or join this group on facebook.  Our next meet up is June 4th at 11am at our home. We’re also hosting a screening of the movie MINIMALISM on May 26th at the Elwmood Regal. You can purchase tickets here.