My method of decluttering and minimising items has always been the same: I approach one particular area and go through every item. This has been a different experience for me as I knew there wasn’t an area in the entire house that could give up 100 things, so I had to approach it differently. For the first time, I looked everywhere and gathered as I went, checking in every cupboard and drawer.
Here’s what went:
6 soft teddies
1 plastic plate
18 items of clothing (daughter)
27 items of clothing (sons)
3 plastic beads
3 bottles of toiletries
1 Tupperware pot
1 pack of incense sticks
1 bottle opener
1 electricity monitor
13 bits of paperwork
1 pack of bookrings
1 pack of bulldog clips
1 old pillow
TOTAL: 102 items
I had also stashed away a huge pile of other stuff that I’ve been adding to for the last four months, so I thought today would be a good time to sort that out also:
After recycling the card and plastic, and throwing away a couple of things that couldn’t be recycled, I was left with 3 bags of books, 2 bags of textile recycling and 3 bags of toys/DVDs and other bits for the charity shop. Forgive my dirty floor – we are having the muddiest weather here at the moment:
Great challenge, and it got me to actually get rid of everything instead of setting it aside to get rid of and leaving it for another day.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a decent job in sorting, decluttering and tidying. The whole house is starting to feel a bit neglected, and messy.
This Sunday afternoon, with the school holidays just two weeks away (and more mess and chaos imminent), I decided to do a quick clear out of the left side of the upstairs cupboard. I realise that to some my cupboard will already look pretty tidy. It has been a long journey to get here and we are still downsizing and learning to live without so much excess. However, we have already let go of so much (and feel so much lighter for it), that it may look as though we have no need to sort through again.
What I will say though is:
a) things have a habit of accumulating when you are looking the other way,
b) it is good to regularly question the value of things you don’t touch from year to year, and
c) there is never really an ‘end’ to living a more minimalist lifestyle.
Needs and wants change with the seasons and years, and the ebb and flow of our possessions reflects this. But if it is all arrival and never departure then gradually your life becomes fossilised as layers and layers of stuff that (let’s be honest), are going to be someone else’s job to sort through when you die.
So, out of the cupboard today came:
Sony laptop box – to sell with the laptop as I have a desktop and really don’t need both.
Large baby floor blanket – donate
Spare cushion – replaced the old one downstairs
Picture that C painted when he was 4 that I love. I put it in the frame properly, not perfect (perfectionism is something I’m trying to overcome), but just got it done, then hung it on the wall. C loved having his picture put on display (and it was a 2 year-old job off the list).
Portraits of my mum, and several old relatives from my Dad’s side. Put up the ones of my mum, Emanuel (my great great grandfather), and Amelia (my great grandmother). Stored two others behind these in the frame.
Baby carrier – to sell
4 moses basket sheets – donate (Now, some things are harder to say goodbye to than others. They brought back such memories… but, I’d rather they were used for a lovely new baby than being left in a cupboard gathering dust, so off they went after some sentimental brushing against my cheek).
Baby blanket, bought for us when I had my first son and used for all three but still in very good condition – donate
Two horrible, old, spare, white pillowcases – recycle
4 out of 6 plastic-backed cot sheets. They are spares on top of the four normal ones in the event of serious vomiting episodes. Decided I only needed 2 – donate 4
2 out of 4 spare cot sheets. Decided 2 was fine (I have four others I use regularly) – donate 2
2 out of 4 moses basket blankets. Useful for cool nights and car trips – donate 2
4 out of 10 muslin cloths. I donated around 40 of these last year, but have used only a couple on a couple of occasions since – donate 5, recycle 1 stained.
Into the cupboard went:
The storage box for a fan we are currently using (crazy hot weather). Most of the year the fan goes in the box and the box goes in the loft.
And there we have it. Probably a couple of hours work in between doing everything with the children at home, but SO nice when finished. I then refolded the remaining linen, just because it looks nice ?
Oh, I’ve got so much to catch up on with you lovely people!
After a week away I was really feeling behind in my sorting and releasing of possessions.
To make myself feel better I did a quick whip round this afternoon and then carted it all out of the house while I still had the energy. Great to move things out and keep the progress going.
My big item today was a JVC Micro Stereo. It’s been on a shelf upstairs unpluggged and unused for 6 months. That surely says everything about whether or not I need it.
I still had the box and instruction manual in the loft, so I boxed the whole lot up and took it to the household waste centre. They will sell it on cheaply to someone. It’s in fantastic condition (and ipod compatible!) so someone, somewhere will get a bargain. I feel simultaneously great about letting it go, yet slightly nervous that people might think I am mad for not trying to get some money back for it. But I like the idea of releasing stuff for nothing. Someone else will benefit instead of me, which is kind of nice.