Edit Your Life And Keep Your Shoes

Not minimalist, but so very awesome.

Minimalism: it’s the new black.

You have too much stuff!!

Stop buying all those THINGS!!

For me, moving from a large home to an apartment meant the dismissal of a full service dining table for eight, a living room set, bedroom sets, several boxes of books and, oh, yeah, a total refocusing of my purpose and value in life.

But I?

Am not a minimalist.  I have no problem with things.  I like things.

Things are awesome.

I prefer a term used by Graham Hill in a recent TED Talk known as “life editing.”

“Life editing” cuts out the extraneous in life that doesn’t reinforce the big picture ideals.  In 99% of the cases, life editing means having less, but this is tricky because people look at someone who has successfully edited their life and think:

  1. Person have lots of stuff = UNHAPPY
  2. Person now have less stuff = HAPPY

(What, your internal dialogue isn’t neanderthal?)


The stuff is not the problem.

It’s the stuff that is not reinforcing core beliefs, intentional happiness and one’s own self worth that is the problem.

All the stuff is NOT the problem, just some of it.

Revolutionary thought: if a shoe makes you happy, if you value the way you feel and look when it’s on your foot, if you need 42 versions of it… that is OKAY.  If you love and use every single one of your shoes, keep them ALL.

The shoes aren’t the problem, anyway.

Enough already, let’s talk about how to both life edit and justify keeping 50 pairs of shoes.

1. Assessment.  Before you think about boxes destined for Goodwill, look at yourself first.  Where is the stuff that reflects me?  Try putting the things you want off to the side.  Most likely, you’ll see a theme develop.  It’ll be easier to decide what doesn’t belong when you’ve defined parameters for what stays.  Skipping this step is the THE point of failure when it comes to “decluttering.”

2. Sections.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time (and a dab of Sriracha, because, whoa, gamey.)  Start with sections (home, friends, schedule… whatever).

3. Arrest inflow.  Stop inflow into your life until you feel less… buried.  For a while, I carried an index card with my value statement on it all the time.  Several trips to Target included a dramedy revolving around the card.  Look at ice tea maker, look at the card, look at ice tea maker, look at card… walk away… maybe with tears in eyes. 

Whether you’re looking to pare down a little or go for the total overhaul, please start small.  You don’t want to do this in a weekend, you know?

Because weekends are for Law & Order marathons, not “life editing”.

About Faiqa Khan

Mother of two, wife of one, master of none. Trying madly to be prolific on her personal blog at Native Born and proving beyond a reasonable doubt that she's not a racist on Hey! That's My Hummus!


  1. Megan says:

    I am in the process of life editing, but I know there are things that I simply will not part with. And I’m fine with that.

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  2. Amy says:

    Great post.

    Hoarder husband is life editing.. anyone want several boxes of 8-Tracks?!?

  3. The Domestic Goddess says:

    Sure. Rub it in. I see what you did there. Sheesh. Keep your shoes. Uh huh.

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