Top 10 Posts of 2016 — The Best Of HowToGYST

I feel like 2016 was the year the blog really found its feet. I focused on providing quality content on a consistent basis. When a post wasn’t “just right” I held back on publishing it because, frankly, you deserve better than that. You come here for answers (and, hopefully, a bit of entertainment) so I refuse to churn out sub-standard work just for the sake of saying I’ve published something that week.

As a perfectionist, I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% happy with a post, but I’m learning the point at which I still feel it’s quality work. And, frankly, I’m proud of the posts I publish here on the site. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 posts of 2016*:


Top 10 Posts of 2016

(Psst. There’s also a top 10 videos post if you want to check that out too!)

Top 10 Posts of 2016

Click the pics to be taken to the post.

#10. Minimalist Living: How To Be Curator Of Your Own Life

There seems to be some misunderstanding (or, at least, debate) as to what "minimalism" really means. I know a lot of people feel you have to go off the grid and lead a very lean life. That isn't the case at all, so I shared what minimalist living really means to me. I also answered the 2 questions I saw crop up a lot in the minimalist/KonMari community: how much stuff is too much, and is minimalism even possible with children?

#9. Get Back On Track: 4 Steps To Getting Your Groove Back

We’ve all been there — you start with grand plans but, somewhere down the line, you get derailed. I shared my strategy for getting back on track in 4 simple steps.

A great guide to minimalist living (even with kids and lots of stuff)
How to get back on track in 4 simple steps. Find out what they are to find motivation again here:

#8. Stop Forgetting Things... Today!

This was my post introducing the concept of mind sweeping, something I started doing on January 1st 2016. It's been one of the most beneficial things I've ever done, allowing me to capture all my thoughts and to-do's in one place so that I never forget anything, from simple things like what I need to buy at the shop, to big things like my daughter's first day at pre-school. Everything is jotted down so that I can keep the memory forever... and remember to buy milk.

#7. The KonMari Method -- Books (Round 2)

I re-did the KonMari Method in 2016 and this category was very much an odd-one-out for me. But with good reason!

'Live each day as if it were your last' is bad advice. Here's what to do instead (no more endless swan song):
The KonMari Method -- Books. Before and after pics, from a bookworm. ;)

#6. Review of "The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F**k"

Sarah Knight's first book is a belter, taking you step-by-step through her (*KonMari parody klaxon*) NotSorry Method so you can declutter and categorise your f*cks and budget them accordingly. If you're sick of having to deal with sh*t, this is the book for you. If you'd like to purchase it, I'd be ever so grateful if you could do it through these Amazon affiliate links (won't cost you a single extra cent than if you just went on Amazon yourself, but my link has a little code that means Amazon will give me a teeny tiny commission on most sales... 'cause a gal's gotta eat! Read my 'disclosures' page for the info. Thanking you in advance):

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

On a side note, Sarah Knight's second book, "Get Your Shit Together", has landed so check out my review!

#5. Completing The KonMari Method: A Guide

I had received so many questions about the KonMari Method, like whether I regretted anything I decluttered, or how I managed it with a semi-hoarding husband, so I answered the common, recurring ones in this post.

Review of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up"
KonMari "after" -- The KonMari Method One Month On

#4. The KonMari Method -- Paper (Round 2)

Pretty much exactly as it sounds. I shared my experience with this category the second time around, and Marie Kondo's #1 tip when it comes to paper clutter. (It's harsh, but effective.)

#3. Alternatives To The "17 Before 2017" Challenge

This post took quite a while to compile, but I was still pleasantly surprised by how popular it was. As many of you will know, the "17 Before 2017" challenge is something I took on a few months ago, where I tasked myself with completing 17 things before 2017 rolled around. When I shared the list I'd come up with, a few of you mentioned that you were keen to take on the challenge but lacking in time, energy, full health, etc. I started sharing some ideas I had and, in the end, decided to include them (plus a lot more) in a single post. It was only supposed to be 17 alternatives, to keep with the theme, but it ended up growing to 50!

My original "17 Before 2017" video is here, and my update on how I fared is here.

Digital decluttering of computer files & social media profiles. How to do a digital detox & free up storage space.
Alternatives to the "17 Before 2017" challenge, for when you don't have the time or energy.

#2. KonMari Method -- Clothes (Round 2)

I'm delighted to see this post so high up the list because it took me HOURS and HOURS to complete. Quite apart from its length (where I share my experience, all the 'before' and 'after' photos, and an explanation as to why I decided to tackle the KonMari Method a second time), I also compiled a comprehensive list that breaks each of the KonMari categories down into sub-categories. To date, there have been over 500 downloads of that checklist, and I hope its helped some of you break down what might otherwise be a mighty beast into something altogether more manageable.

And finally, the top spot goes to... *drumroll please*...​

#1. Monthly Review: Why It's Important & How I Do It

Hurray! This was another post that I poured a lot of time and effort into, and yes, another one that had a free download. The monthly review is something I've been doing for several years now. It keeps me on track towards my goals, helps me measure my progress (or lack thereof), and keeps me focused on what matters most. And I'm so excited that so many of you started doing it too!

'Live each day as if it were your last' is bad advice. Here's what to do instead (no more endless swan song):
Monthly review

Wow, you guys REALLY like decluttering, with the topic taking up half the list. 😉

I put a LOT of work into my posts, so it’s incredibly encouraging to see that the ones I poured my heart and soul into — the ones that took the most amount of time and effort — are the ones appearing in the top 10.

I also love that everything on the list is something I’ve tried myself. There’s nothing there that I feel doesn’t “fit”.

Now, I’ll be honest, the thought of having to write over 60 blog posts for 2017 makes me incredibly anxious. My heart actually starts racing. I tell myself there’s no way I can write that many — I won’t have the time, I certainly won’t have that many ideas… But then I look back and realise I did it for 2016… and for 2015, so why should this year be any different?

Come January 2018, I’ll be compiling a new top 10 list, and I can only hope I’ll be equally as proud of what appears on it, and that you’ll have found those posts equally as helpful.

Thank you so much for all of your support in 2016, and for making it such a standout year. Every hour I put in, every word I type, all the research I do… It’s all for you. I can’t thank you all enough.

I’m so ready to make 2017 even better!


Out of these top 10 posts of 2016, which was your favourite?

*If you’re wondering how I arrived at this top 10, I took the total page views for each post, and added 100 for each comment it had (to me, a comment is easily worth a hundred page views because I want people to interact with my content, not just skim it and leave) to give me a total figure. I then used this to rank them. It’s why, despite 1 post having more views than #10 above, it got bumped because it had less comments ('10 Ways To Declutter Your Home', if you’re curious).

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  1. That’s my rainy day reading for the next couple of months. Your chatty style is so friendly, you definitely entertain while still getting your point across. I’ve been paddling around for a little while, time to dive in!

    I have a couple of questions for you – do you envisage a time when you have KonMaried all your shit and run out of fodder for posts? And which post did you enjoy putting together most (even a top three)?

    See you in Facebook land!


    • Hi Caroline. =) I’m hoping that, yes, there’ll come a time when I’ve KM’d all my shit, but I don’t think I’ll ever run out of fodder for posts! I still get plenty of questions about it, and still find lots of benefits in my life. But, to be honest, once all this dies down, there’ll be something new to take its place. 😉
      As for favourite posts to put together, I really like my monthly review post because it’s something super simple to implement but has big results. And it’s something I do in my own life. So I think it’s a really great reflection of what I try to do here on the site.
      I also loved my alternatives to the ’17 Before 2017′ challenge. It was quite quick and easy to put together, the ideas just kept flowing, and it was so much more popular than I ever imagined it would be.
      After that, I’d say my post on minimalist living was another favourite because I talk about designing a life you love which, again, is pretty much what the site is all about.
      (None of my KonMari posts feature because there are usually so many pictures involved and I find editing photos to be quite tedious and not one of my strong suits.)
      Hope that answers your questions!

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