The Dish: Learning to Simplify

thecasseroledishfeature2The Dish: Learning to Simplify

This post all about The Dish: Learning to Simplify would not have been written if not for the wonderful and inspiring, Emily Ley, who emphasizes simplifying in her business and personal life.  She has been doing a new year challenge, and it inspired me to think about my life, my home, and what I’d like to simplify in 2016.  So I sectioned it out into four/five sections: books, kitchen, periodicals, closet and basement.

The 2 Year Rule


Books are literally everywhere in my home.  They are on my bookshelf [of course], my shelves, my bedroom nightstand, in my closet, and even at my mom’s house.  Everything in my closet and my ALL TOO CLUTTERED bookshelf needs to be gone through and simplified.  So I came up with a rule.  If I have not read it in 2 years, it goes.  It would have been a one year rule, BUT I recently read and loved The Glass Castle which has been on my shelf well over a year, so the rule got moved to 2 years!  ANYWAY! Where do the books go? Glad you asked! Books can be:

  • donated – we have a local salvation army that will gladly take them
  • given away– blog giveaway, co-workers, reader pals
  • 2nd hand shop– I get credit at my local 2nd hand shop, some can go there!
  • moved to basement– books that I DO want to keep but don’t have room for can go to my “book bin” in the basement.

The 1 Year Rule

kitchen & closet

Two items on the list get the golden rule aka the one year rule!  Both my kitchen and my closet need to be tidied up!  


With the exception of formal wear, if I haven’t touched an item in a year [including SHOES] it goes.  No exceptions, no BS.  I have WAY too many clothes and yet I am always purchasing more! Well, no more purchasing until I donate a decent amount! Everything from my closet will be donated.  There’s always someone who can use clothes 🙂


Honestly, we just got rid of a bunch of kitchen stuff, so this shouldnt be too painful!  We have a RIDICULOUS amouont of coffee mugs though, and some old cookware/cooking utensils that we can definitely get rid of.  These items will be:

  • trashed– some of the stuff has been used for years and isn’t in good shape, we’ll be throwing those items away.
  • offered– we have a bunch of friends who have newly moved out, some of them can likely use some kitchen stuff! 
  • donated– Mugs will mostly be donated, as will any serving ware we are getting rid of!

The 2 Month Rule


Random right? I have a surplus of Food Network magazines in my home.  No really, like years worth.  Because you know “I may reference them”.  And while that does happen, they take up too much space [and when you’re in an apartment, you need that space!] and its just unnecessary.  Also, this year alone I have subscribed to 3 new magazines! So they are coming in PRETTY fast!  So the rule stands! If I haven’t touched it in 60 days, its a goner.  I often go through my magazines, so this lets me hang onto a few, but get rid of the ones that really aren’t getting any attention.  Where will the magazines go?

  • work lobby- we have a few magazines in our work lobby, I can add to those!
  • recycling– the majority of my magazines will sadly end up in recycling, but its ok!


The true bonus would be to do a under the bed cleanout [we have storage under there in bins and such] and for Jon to cull some of his things that he has not been through in quite some time [coffee table storage].  These items are likely going to be handled but not in the timliest manner.  That’s ok! As long as it get’s done, I’ll be happy!

What are you excited to simplify in 2016? I think that this fresh start will help make the year feel like we got a SUPER clean slate!


  1. Lauren @ Bookmark Lit

    I’ve totally been on a simplifying kick this year. Chris and I have been cleaning and de-cluttering like nobody’s business so far. I hope to keep going with clothes and I really like your rules for clothes and books! I have soooo many of both that really just need to go. I’ve been holding onto books I bought at one point but think I MIGHT read. Realistically, I probably never will. I also want to be more intentional with my book collection – only keeping favorite authors/books/series.
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  2. Alexa S.

    I love that you’re focusing on simplifying in these areas of your life, Cassie! I definitely think that it’s important to make sure to keep only the things that you really need/use/love, and it really changes the way an entire house (or in my case, my entire life-slash-mind space) feels. I know you’re going to rock these new rules to get you simplifying! <3
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