The joy of less. A bit less anyway…

I’ve been thinking about stuff recently – having too much of it.  I took part in the Seamless challenge for 18 months, and also got rid of loads of things, but still felt overwhelmed.   Then I read The Joy of Less, by Francine Jay.  The book is about the reasons why we hoard, as well as being a practical guide to decluttering.

Several ideas in the book particularly inspired me.

Starting over
Pretend you are moving in to your house.  Take everything out of the cupboard, drawer, or room you are decluttering, so you are making a decision to keep something, rather than trying to decide what to get rid of.   We have a cupboard full of glass jugs, bowls and wineglasses.  A large box full of these have now gone to the charity shop (8 martini glasses used once in 10 years?  No, we don’t need them!).

I took a deep breath and emptied my wardrobe and now all my not-quite-right clothes have gone.  That dress in a beautiful colour, but so clingy I only wore it once, the gorgeous green skirt that was too short…. I can’t even remember the rest, so I obviously don’t need them. It is so nice to look in my wardrobe and only see things I can wear.

Store similar things together
I put all my unfinished knitting projects and yarn in one drawer.  I’m much less tempted to buy more yarn when I can see I have a scarf and two baby cardigans to finish.  Makes things easier to find too – I’m still cross that I had to buy new sunglasses last year because I couldn’t find the old ones.  Now they are stored with my scarves and gloves.

Set limits
I can have a fabric stash, but I’ve decided it has to fit in one drawer (don’t worry, it’s a big drawer!).  Not only does this limit my fabric buying, but I’ve stopped stressing about having too much.  As long as I’m within my limit, that’s fine.

Decluttering has made me think about the things I want to keep, but don’t use.  For example, I have a beautiful handbag which I didn’t use – probably because I didn’t want to ruin it.  Thinking that I ought to use it or sell it (and I couldn’t bear to sell it), I’ve made it my  everyday bag.  Leather looks good used, doesn’t it?!

I’ve also realised that the majority of the excess stuff is mine.  Mr D decluttered his wardrobe too.  20 minutes later, no angst, and two large bags filled for the charity shop – job done!

And how about the youngest member of the family?

She’s a great example of being happy without any possessions, and those she has fit into one basket!

23 Comments

  1. I love de-cluttering!! Unfortunately in our place, it’s the opposite – it’s my man who is a pack rat, and a messy one at that; it’s the bane of my existence LOL… one day I shall convince him of the wisdom of minimalism!! What you say? Men can’t be changed? Fah on that, I will keep trying til i die LOL.

      1. LOL!! I’ve tried that… he loses it all by himself anyway so that doesn’t work… and he’s too smart to be tricked into thinking he WANTS to be clean! LOL ^__^ I guess I’ll just have to find a way to be smarter mwahahahaha ^__^

  2. I also get my kicks through decluttering and recently made similar decisions like you to wear/use more of my “for best” items on an every day basis. At work people commented how smart I looked and since I’m aiming for the next stage professionally it can only help to dress smarter (like the ranks I’m aiming for). But mostly it felt like I’d been shopping as I had new choices in clothing and accessories when getting ready in the morning.

    As for the everyday plates and bowls that are past their best… I’m yet to convince hubby that we should use our wedding present dinner service as every day stuff!

  3. I’m going through a big decluttering process at the moment. Just too much stuff!!! I find going on holiday helps with motivation for decluttering – after living out of a suitcase for a while, it always reminds me I really don’t need a lot of stuff. (And yet, I own a lot of stuff…. *sigh*)

  4. Tjis is a very timely post for me because I desperately need to declutter. I seem to have stuff everywhere at the moment and its driving me mad.

  5. I’ve been trying to declutter my craft room as well, listing remnants and patterns I will never use on eBay and in my shop. I’m hoping to clear out at least one drawer in my fabric stash… lol.

  6. Yes, decluttering and streamlining always make me think of new beginnings. And, simply less mess! And the youngest member of your family has it right! Smile though you may not have tonnes of possessions.

  7. I love a good de-clutter – it seems to clear the mind too sometimes as well as bulging baskets and those fabrics you know, deep down, won’t work for a skirt. I like the idea of using the best for everyday and like the story of your leather bag.

  8. Oh this post really resonates with me – there’s something very therapeutic about having a clear out and getting organised. I need to do more of it though 🙂

  9. I frequently loath all the stuff I have accumulated. It is this fear that I’ll never get anything like this again, so I must hold onto it. I have worked through my fabric stash and my yarn stash this year and got rid of a lot of bits and pieces, but there is still a lot. It certainly has helped me not to buy as much as I did last year. This post inspired me to do more though. Thank you 🙂

  10. Great practical tips, thank you! I am coming to the realisation that I need to throw out a large majority of my clothes, leaving only a few things (about 60% handmade I’d say?) behind. And the fabric stash idea is great too, to know you’re ok within a certain limit. I just did a big clearout and reorganisation of my craft room, and a stash-bust/wardrobe clearout will be next. When I get up the nerve!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s