I’m not a minimalist, but I do appreciate the sentiment that your life should be as clutter-free as possible. So for sh%ts and giggles, I decided to perform a clutter audit on our house.
For the purposes of my audit, I defined “clutter” as something that 1) Mrs. Groovy and I haven’t used in six months or longer, and 2) wouldn’t negatively affect our happiness or quality of life if it somehow vanished. I threw in the second codicil to account for something like a flashlight. I haven’t used our household flashlight in six months, but that’s not because it’s useless. That’s just because we haven’t experienced an electrical outage in a very long time.
Okay, with those ground rules in mind, here are the results of my clutter audit.
There are two rooms in our house that we don’t use: the sunroom and the dining room. I was tempted to add the powder room on the first floor since we only use it to park a litter box for Groovy Cat. But Mrs. Groovy says there needs to be a litter box on each floor of the house, and I learned a long time ago that you don’t question our household’s resident expert on cat psychology. For the purposes of this audit, then, our powder room is absolutely critical real estate.
All in all, we don’t have too much structural clutter. Only 12.6% of our house is totally frivolous. I will add this, though. Much of the rest of our house is a tad too big. The kitchen, living room, first floor hallway, den, master bedroom, and master bath can all be trimmed by 10-15% without sabotaging our mental and physical comfort.
|Room||Square Footage||Percent of Total Household Square Footage|
|Dining Room||142 SF||7.1%|
Since our sunroom and dining room are frivolous, all the furniture and decor housed in these two rooms can be safely discarded. A few months ago I got rid of all the clothes I no longer wore. My remaining wardrobe can easily fit in my bedroom closet. This has rendered my dresser and two night stands obsolete.
Also obsolete is every lamp on the second floor. Last year, we put recessed lighting in all the rooms on the second floor. The two lamps in my bedroom and the two lamps in the den now just collect dust.
All told, we have sixty-two items that we can easily do without. Is that a lot? I don’t think so, considering that we do live in a 2,000 sq. ft. house, and considering that a third of this total consists of DVDs. It should be noted, however, that my clutter audit didn’t include an audit of our kitchen drawers and cabinets. And I’m sure such an audit would unearth some redundant pots, spatulas, and measuring spoons.
|Wall Art||Dining Room||4|
|Side Table||Living Room||1|
|DVD Player||Living Room||1|
|Night Stands||My Bedroom||2|
Talking Trash with Mr. Groovy
Okay, groovy freedomists, I like ending the week on a happy note. And confirming through my clutter audit that Mrs. Groovy and I are far removed from being mentally disturbed hoarders is indeed a happy note. But I think I can do better. So let me end this week with an ode to a fellow blogger.
Fritz Gilbert from The Retirement Manifesto is an awesome dude. Not only is he a terrific blogger, but he’s also a terrific friend. For over a year now, he’s been a very gracious supporter of this blog. When I needed help preparing for my appearance on Radical Personal Finance, he was there. When Mrs. Groovy or I had a question about SEO, sponsored posts, or affiliate advertising, he was there. And when Mrs. Groovy and I finally said goodbye to the world of mandatory work, he was there with a very stirring celebratory post.
But wait, there’s more!
Just when I thought my admiration for Fritz couldn’t grow any stronger, it did. This past weekend, Mrs. Groovy and I actually stayed at the World Headquarters of The Retirement Manifesto. It was the first time we met Fritz and his lovely wife, Jackie, in person. And it couldn’t have been more enjoyable. It was as if we had all been friends since high school. Fritz and Jackie are truly some of the nicest people we have every met. In fact, they are so nice, they almost convinced Mrs. Groovy, an inveterate cat lover, to leave the World Headquarters with a puppy. (Sorry, Hershey. If it’s any consolation, Mrs. Groovy is still thinking of you.)
“Okay,” I hear you grumbling. “Fritz is a great guy. So what? Why is he worthy of an ode?” Good question. And the answer is quite simple. He’s worthy of an ode because he’s the first guest picker to ever appear on Talking Trash with Mr. Groovy. That’s right. For the first time in this vlog’s short history, you get a break from my obnoxious Noo Yawk accent. Mr. Good-to-Great himself mans the golden picker, ruminates on retirement, and helps me make a little corner of Georgia a little cleaner. Enjoy.