I've realised I'm a minimalist with useful stuff and less so with the pretty stuff. Applying the question, 'Is this something I find to be useful or beautiful?' is relatively easy and has helped me to declutter so much I may have gotten rid of half of what I had. I didn't really count or measure but it has been a somewhat embarrassing amount. There is at least one charity shop in town which might currently be entirely stocked by me. I've still got clothing set aside to sell but it's not the right season so I"m storing it. I find that I can't wait to get rid of it, though haven't yet let go of the possibility of making money from it. There are definitely still things I could get rid of, things I am keeping just in case or for sentimental reasons and yet they are hidden away in a cupboard. I have a set of pots and pans that probably includes one or two more pots than I actually need but I can't bear to break up a matching set. It has never been my goal to be a minimalist and to assert that I only have X number of things or only exactly what I use every day or anything like that. I will probably always have more than I need, but it is my goal not to have much more. It is my goal to simplify and to continue to simplify.
On the other hand, I have allowed myself possessions whose function is purely decorative and I have so many of them my decor is in no way minimalist. It is, and probably always will be more of an eclectic/bohemian/librarian/hippie looking sort of home. I like a home that tells you who lives there and I am not a minimalist. Minimalist principles are a tool I use to guide my life in a direction that is comfortable for me because it is simplified. Most of my decor is not precious nor even sentimental, I simply like it. If I grow tired of something I generally have no difficulty giving it away. I have five hundred books after carefully culling. I have 45 house plants, candles beyond what I'd need in a power failure, bits of pottery and bits of nature all over the place. I don't find bare surfaces appealing. I like the texture of some textiles and personal items around and I have my own sense of what is too much and what is not enough.
Imaginary guest (a rude one): "Why is that pewter cup sitting on your hearth there beside all those rocks?"
Me: "Because I really like it."
Guest: "Is it an antique?"
Me: "I dunno. I doubt it. maybe vintage."
Guest: "Why is it on the hearth?"
Me: "Because I put it there and left it there and found I liked seeing it there."
Guest: "And what are all the rocks for?"
Me: "They are not for anything. I just like them, but I agree I might have too many. Their abundance causes me no distress."*
Yeah, I really talk like that sometimes. That's what you'd expect from someone whose home looks like mine. I think.