A minimalist mum who threw 1,000 items out of her house got rid of so many belongings she is now forced to use paper plates for guests.
Dagbjört Jónsdóttir, 39, originally from Iceland but now living in Odense, Denmark, started embracing minimalism 10 years ago after finding herself “overwhelmed” by clutter in her home.
She’s divided her property into sections, and for the past decade has pulled at least two items a week from each section – before moving on to the next.
The mother of two said goodbye to sofas, chandeliers, dishes, glasses, cups, clothes, towels and more.
Dagbjört Jónsdóttir, 39, from Iceland, got rid of most of her family’s belongings and now everyone only has two outfits each
Dagbjört started embracing minimalism 10 years ago after finding herself “overwhelmed” by clutter in her home.
Dagbjört Jónsdóttir’s minimalist kitchen. She got rid of most things and each family member only has one set of cutlery, one glass and one plate each
She does not keep her children’s drawings, preferring to photograph and store them digitally.
Dagbjört has also taken away everything her grandparents and parents left her – including old clothes and jewelry – because she “sees no use for it”.
The family only has one set of cutlery and plates each.
Mum-of-two Dagbjört says she and her family soon began to notice a change in mood and were much happier having fewer things.
They now prioritize experiences over objects – with Dagbjört saying his children would rather “go to the beach” than play with toys.
The living room of Dagbjört’s house. She got rid of appliances including clothes dryer and microwave but still has a TV
Dagbjört’s children kept toys, but she says they’d rather go to the beach than play with things at home
A minimalist lifestyle is the idea of living with fewer items and using only what you really need.
Essential items that the family has
4 dishes (one each)
4 glasses (one each)
2 cups each
4 towels (one each)
2 outfits each
1 jacket each
Dagbjört, a freelance marketer, said: “I’ve lived all over the world and moved around a lot and realized I didn’t need all these items.
“I started my journey about 10 years ago.
“I was overwhelmed when I came home every day and saw all the things I didn’t need.
“I made a plan to declutter two articles a week and after two years I realized I could sustain this journey bit by bit.
“I started noticing a lot of changes in myself and in my family. We were much happier.
“Because we got rid of so many things, when we have people over, we eat with paper plates because we have so little of everything.
“We only have one towel each and we don’t have a lot of clothes. Just enough for a few outfits.
Dagbjört says becoming a minimalist was about figuring out how to change the way you live.
She said: “When you look around you can have fun just jumping in the rain with your kids, you don’t need work items.
All the items Dagbjört has decluttered from her home
All towels are one per person
Most of their clothes
Closets for children (have only one closet for all four)
All cooking utensils except bar four of each essentials such as crockery, glasses and forks
All books, except some children’s books
All chandeliers (they have no lights except in the kitchen and in the toilets)
set of tea cups,
Christmas decorations and Christmas silverware
Clothes from grandparents that have been passed down
“I started noticing my kids playing with toys less and now we have empty cupboards, and we go out and see the world together – we don’t need anything.
“First it was about putting things in a box and keeping it for a year and if I didn’t touch it, I got rid of it.
“But now I don’t get attached to anything, sentimental or not.
‘For me, it’s about having the feeling inside and enjoying life.
“If you do too much, it’s easier to quit because you got rid of too much.
Dagbjört Jónsdóttir’s minimalist kitchen took very little time to pack during a move
The hallway in Dagbjört Jónsdóttir’s house is completely clutter-free with just a houseplant adding a splash of color
There is a single picture on the wall of Dagbjört’s living room. Instead of clinging to her children’s artwork, she takes a photo and stores it digitally
A houseplant has been one of the few decorative elements in Dagbjört’s living room since she started her decluttering project 10 years ago
“Now when people give us gifts, they know us now and they give us experiences rather than objects.”
Dagbjört explained that her reasoning behind dividing the house was to help her not get overwhelmed during the cleaning process.
She said: “I divide my house into 12 sections and declutter for a year.
“I take one section a month and divide the room into four weeks so it’s not overwhelming and easy to maintain.
“So I can take two items a week to this room.”
Although she got rid of more than 1,000 items, Dagbjört says her children don’t miss her toys.
“Shortly after Christmas or their birthdays, I notice that they play less with the toys they bought,” she said.
“Their room ends up being full of toys they don’t play with, and they enjoy it more when there’s less stuff.
“We’ve seen over the years that they enjoy going to the beach with us rather than playing with toys.”
Her minimalist approach means that Dagbjört can now be much more selective with the things she buys.
She said, “If I see a purpose in using something, of course I’ll buy it, but if it’s not useful, I don’t see why I need it.”
Dagbjört posts content on social media about her minimalism, but says not everyone agrees with it.
“In my opinion, it looks very quiet,” she said.
“A lot of people hate TikTok, but each in their own way.
“It gives us peace and quiet and it’s more environmentally friendly.
“People think it’s weird that we don’t have pictures of our kids on the wall for example, but we have things in a book, and we just do things differently than other people.”
‘Some have also said that having less means I am poor.
“It doesn’t affect me at all, I know I’m not poor, I work for myself and we own our house and our car, so these comments don’t really affect me.”
Dagbjört has learned a thing or two about decluttering and is now writing a book.
She said: “Dividing Your Home Method is how I got the idea that I could make a book out of it.
“I think it can help other people on their journeys.”