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.
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.
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!