Right before Christmas I had an idea of a little experiment I wanted to do in my home.

White space and margin and editing are all things I’ve learned to appreciate in many areas of my life. Especially our home. Lately I’ve felt like our home needs some breathing room. Angela and I had a Big Sale, I changed how I shopped at thrift stores after I self diagnosed my Thrift-Store-Shopping-I-Hate-To-Pass-Up-A-Good-Deal-Itus, I continually evaluate what works and what doesn’t. I watched the slow melting of My Somewhat Organized, Nearly Cute Hoard And I’ve been wondering what it would be like to clear our my house a little longer than my usual quieting of a space. I want to have a month without accessories in our house.

But every time I looked at the calendar it didn’t make sense. First of all, home accessories are a big part of what I do. I’m a home blogger. A month without accessories was crazy before Christmas. I mean, it was Christmas. I couldn’t do it in January because of the Christmas photo shoot. The day after that I had to start working on that book with an eight week deadline, no time to play with my accessories then. When that was over I had to work on photos for the book so naturally I couldn’t clear out my accessories, I needed them. Three weeks later I turned the photos in and I needed a break. Ain’t nobody got time to pack away their accessories after that.

Also, I want you to know that I LOVE accessories. More than anyone I know. One of my proudest moments was when an editor from Better Homes and Gardens was at my house staging for a shoot and told me that I have “great props.”  I might be slightly addicted.


my love of accessories knows no bounds, I heart accessories for my person (as the cop shows say) too

Now my break is over and I’m realizing it will never be a good time. So I’m starting today. I’ve got a home tour post to take photos for and update for a summer tour of homes Gina put together, I’m hosting an overnight girls weekend in June with some cute blogging friends, and a local magazine is coming to scout our home for a photo shoot. What have I done? I’m going to be accessory-less.

Here’s my plan:

Take all my home accessories and put them away for the next 30 days. I’m planning on putting them in the guest room. Sorry guests.

picnic table

even the picnic table suffers from accessory abuse. and yes, that is a dead baby snake, I have three boys and a dog, remember?

What accessories count?

I’m counting all things that set on surfaces, pillows, gee gaw, smalls, little junk

What doesn’t count

Lamps that we use daily, plants that need to be kept indoors and alive, wall art, fresh flowers.

Also, I’m going to use the packing party rules that Ryan and Joshua put into place: if I need to use something I’m allowed to get it out. So if I want to light candles, I’ll let myself get out my candlesticks, this isn’t about deprivation, it’s about surrounding myself with beautiful things that I actually use. Also, if I need to do a photo shoot for a third-party, I reserve the right to pull a few things out and the put them back. It’s still my job.

Why? Who cares?!

Probably no one but me. I want to feel what our house feels like with less. For as long as I’ve been homemaking I’ve been surrounded by lots of extra curricular cute stuff. I’m pretty sure I started homemaking as a teenager in my bedroom and I even used to move around my parent’s furniture, so that’s more than 20 years.

In some ways it embarrassing to even declare my non-accessory month. I mean, in light of Jen Hatmaker’s 30 days with 7 clothes, really, no accessories? But I feel like  it will give me a fresh perspective of the beautiful things I use in my home.

In related news:


Today, Wednesday May 29 at 2 EST Joshua Becker is hosting an #unclutter twitter chat including:

Someone should probably warn Joshua Becker that he shouldn’t associate with a girl like me. He’s purposely becoming minimalist. I’m purposely making messes and will always love accessories. I’m afraid he’ll get a bad reputation. Joshua’s approach to minimalist is really about being intentional, it’s the most graceful approach to minimalism I’ve ever read, which is why it’s so attractive.

But we do have something in common. We do things with purpose. I’m a goal writer downer, a purpose statement maker and strive to be an intentional decorator.

I’d love for you to join us for the #unclutter discussion today. If you have a question or comment you want me to be sure to see make sure you add @thenester in your tweet and always use the hashtag #unclutter and I’ll be sure to see it. Here’s more info about how it works.

 Anyone want to join me in 30 days Accessory-less in your home? I’d love to commiserate!