(Photo: Katie@!)

I’d like to wrap up the year with one of my favorite haikus, by Matsuo Basho:

Year’s end, all
corners of this
floating world, swept.

The activities and accoutrements of the holiday season can sometimes be overwhelming, and I love the idea of finishing the year with a clean slate.

Let’s take these final days of December to sweep out our corners—of clutter and commitments, of drama and distractions.

Let’s ignore those after-Christmas sales, stay out of the stores, and put consumption on the backburner.

Let’s clean out our closets, clear out our schedules, and cull our To Do lists.

Let’s purge any worries, disappointments or negative emotions of the past year.

Let’s let go of stress and expectations, chaos and busyness.

Let’s slow down, unplug, relax, and be still.

As 2011 winds down, let’s renew our focus on our minimalist journey; let’s ditch the baggage of the old year, and resolve to travel more lightly through the new one.

Let’s start 2012 in serenity and peace, with a swept home, mind, and soul.

Happy New Year!

{If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or subscribing to my RSS feed.}

37 comments to Swept

  • Magpie

    Happy new year to you, Francine, Thankyou for your inspiration this year. I have enjoyed it very much and have also learned a great deal as I continue on my path to minimalism

  • I for one will be joining you with these suggestions. Happy New Year to my minimalist GURU x

  • Megan

    Happy New Year Francine and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and providing such inspiration.

  • ajancheta

    You are an inspiration on living a beautiful life with less stuff. Keep up your wonderful writing.

    Happy New Year © 2012

  • A-men!! Over the last couple of days, I’ve tackled a couple of things that have been on my to-do list for (mumble-mumble) years! And I’m currently embarking on wrapping up a project (book!) that’s been around for almost a decade. For me, 2012 is the year of taking action!

    Thanks for your inspiration, Francine. Keep up the great work.

  • Happy New Year, Francine! Looking forward to more of your beautiful and inspirational writing in 2012.

  • Sarah

    Wow, for once I can honestly say: done and done :) No chaos or buying, just a relaxed pace, and I’m ready to welcome the new year!

    Happy new Year to all!

  • A perfect sentiment. Thanks so much for your end of year inspiration (to cap off your entire year of inspiration).

    May your 2012 be full of love and devoid of clutter!

  • AussieGirl

    Happy New Year to you, Francine and to all the miss minimalist readers out there!

    May we all have a fantastic 2012!

  • Happy New Year Francine. Excited about changes we made in 2011 and more excited with what 2012 will bring.


    Happy New Year, Francine and all!!! looking forward to a refreshing new start!

  • I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for all your inspiration. Happy New Year!

  • Elizabeth

    Happy New Year, Francine. It has been a joy reading your blog this year. Best wishes and much joy to you in 2012.

  • Betty

    As always, a great post. Thank you for a wonderful year of ideas and inspiration.

  • Really good post.

    Will continue to read into the year of 2012.

    Happy new year to you all.

  • Happy Calm, Swept and uncluttered New Year Francine!
    Love the idea of a clean slate in true minimalist fashion. No muss no fuss!
    Thank you for being a consistent source of inspiration for my mind, writing and life!
    Much love,

  • Happy New Year, Francine, and to everyone…

    Julia x

  • Madeleine Lawrence

    Dear Francine, I wish you the happiest of new years, and thank you for taking the time each week to keep us inspired on our journey. When you think of more and more people being inspired to live simply and stop accumulating, the effect on our planet and our happiness is massive.
    Sending much love, Madeleine

  • A beautiful post, thank you Francine. I really needed to read your post at this moment.

    All the best to you and your family for a light, joy-filled 2012.

  • Happy New Year to you! Thank you for your inspiring posts. I have only been following for about three weeks and it has really got me thinking more about my home environment….I have read and re-read Karen Kingston book on Feng Shui but the posts and comments here have seemed to round out things for me…I spent no money this Christmas and have spent this past week cleaning and clearing…it feels great!!
    I am looking forward to your 2012 posts …Have a wonderful new year…

  • Thank you for a great post! I love the new beginning that comes with each new year. I especially appreciate the advice to avoid after Christmas sales. It’s so tempting! Instead, we’re thrift-storing for the necessities that we actually do need (like a water filter for our well and a bed for our daughter). Necessities that we need…that’s a bit redundant, isn’t it…

    Oh well, happy new year! Keep writing!

    • Mims

      Bettina, considering how many “necessities” there are that we don’t need, I don’t feel like it’s really that redundant to add “that we need” ;)

      Happy New Year, and thank you for all the posts last year Francine!

  • Lorna

    I cannot wait to apply some of your tips for 2012! Thanks, Francine.

  • great post…happy new year….I look forward to another year of reading your and learning even more about travelling this journey with less baggage….while driving to georgia from new york last week to get my mom who was visiting with my sister i packed just enough to get me through a few days. At rest stops we saw people unloading things out of their trunks as they needed something on the bottom….I said to my husband…those poor people….the journey sure is easier when you only pack what you NEED!!!!!

  • denise

    many thanks for all of your wisdom this year!

  • Amy

    Thank you for your writing. You have made a difference in my life!

  • Debra

    Thank you Francine for your gentle wisdom. Your words have taken me down many new paths, and not just in my material world.

    I have recommended your site to many, and given your book to some who would most appreciate the boost – all have found valuable insights.

    So thank you again, and may all good things come your way in 2012. You have been one of the best things about my 2011!

  • hear hear! i’ve spent the post-christmas week dusting and decluttering the literal corners in my house. it makes me feel lighter mentally knowing that a lot of those little tasks are finished and i can start with a blank page in 2012. happy new year to you!

  • What a fantastic idea, Francine. Happy New year to you! I believe 2012 will be a very good year for me… consumption lifestyle be gone!

    A beautiful post :)

  • kaori

    happy new year Francine and every avid reader of Miss Minimalist. would just like to say thank you
    for all the beauty and inspiration of the past year, and for posting Basho’s haiku at the end of it.
    much gratitude also, for posting my letter about the triple disaster in Japan that happened back in March.
    would just like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Francine who called out for donations, and everyone who
    made a contribution. we in Japan are truly grateful.
    and am so happy to report that on this day the govt has announced a full shut-down on all 50-plus nuclear power plants across the nation. this is a dream come true for many of us; a real shifting of the
    earth beneath the feet.

    very best wishes for the continuing journey!!!

  • Elaine

    Thanks for all of your inspiring posts! Happy New Year!

  • Shari Dinkins

    Thank you Miss M. You inspire me! I moved from a corporate job in advertising, expense account, company car, and home with huge mortgage to a 1-room apartment, Honda Fit (paid off 4 years early), and a job in teaching that I love. Every few months, I go through my stuff and get rid of more. Most recently, I went through stuff left to me when my mom passed away and donated several boxes to the Salvation Army. I LOVE the thought that someone will be using her leather purse and putting photos in her (now empty) wedding album. I’ll scan in the photos and ephemera and share CDs with my sisters. I’ve done this with several other family albums and find that going through the pictures leaves me both energized and thoughtful. Today I donated a bread machine. I’d bought it a year ago for $3 from the Goodwill, made a dozen loaves, and never touched it since. As I dropped it (and several bags of linens and clothes) at my local Goodwill, I thought of how funny it was to “rent” the used things I need and donate them back when I’m done using them. My sister and I laugh about “shopping at home.” It’s something we do when we don’t want to buy any new stuff. Recently, I trimmed and hemmed a down comforter to make 2 lovely dog blankets. What a kick! I hope everyone has a wonderful new (and used) 2012!

  • Mrs Brady Old Lady


    That’s wonderful news, great to hear from you.

    Best wishes to you and everybody else!

  • just read this post. I think I followed all of the suggestion that why I saw this post today. spent 4 days completely non-digi.
    Happy new year!

  • Tina

    Still amazed at the number of McMansions around here. So much money to heat and cool them. Trying to live with less and giving away more. My husband just found some shoes to fill a bag. Wanting less and having less is an ongoing process.

  • Tina

    We are still in the smallest home of any of our friends or family. As we get older, I am happy we have less stuff. Most of the high cabinets are empty because I don’t want to climb up to get anything. We will need to go to the e– recycling soon with batteries and cords to give away.

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