Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Too Little or Too Much




How true is the statement above!!

So many of us seem to acquire much more than we need to get through this life ... which sits well with many folk who love their stuff and like to be surrounded by their collections, their souvenirs of days out or holidays, things they might use one day, spares of things they use regularly, or not so regularly just in case the original decides to give up the ghost.

I would have fitted into most of those categories at one point or another in my life, but now the story is so much different.  Over the years, as recorded on the blog, I have decluttered a few times, had large sweeps of the house, sorted through clothes, taken part in Project 333.  I've read books that inspired me to have yet another go, Marie Kondo and 'The Life-changing Magic of Tidying - a simple and effective way to banish clutter forever' springs to mind (yes I still fold clothes her way ... and things are easy to let go of if they do not spark joy) but I obviously didn't do it its completion as I still feel there is excess in the house.

Well not for much longer!! 



This quote sums it up well.


I'm currently working my way around the house emptying out cupboards, giving the empty cupboards a quick clean and putting back only that which is absolutely necessary.  I'm being ruthless, if we haven't used something in the past year I really don't think we need it.  I don't need ornaments to dust, things to hoover around that don't need to be there and we certainly don't need things just because someone has given them to us thinking we needed them.

The picture of the kitchen cupboard is a 'before' one by the way ..... such is my new found ruthlessness!!

I think this ruthlessness has been inspired by finally having our new 'investment/pension pot property' and seeing it empty whilst it is awaiting it's first tenants.  The space there is so calming, the empty rooms even though they are small are invigorating, the cupboards empty of contents so calming.   I have been round with the dogs on a few occasions and just sat on the carpeted living room floor with the patio doors flung open watching the dogs playing in the garden and imagined us there in years to come.   And of course to live there when this place becomes too much for us, hopefully many years from now, we will have to whittle down even more what we own, so my thoughts were why not do this now and enjoy some of the sense of peace and lack of responsibility that owning less brings.

So while car boot sale season is in full swing I am sorting out, clearing out and generally giving the house a good shake up.  It's very therapeutic  :-)

Sue xx





22 comments:

  1. I have so got to bin everything I have...it will take forever though!

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    1. don't bin :( recycle and find it a home or another life please, it makes me so sad when stuff goes in the bin when its not at the end of its lifespan.

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  2. I hate cluttered surfaces and all your white crockery looks very neat even in the before picture.

    I remember once saying in a Penny Pincher letter that the more your own the more time/money it takes looking after it. Then I bought a beach hut!!

    I'm very happy about book ownership being reduced (though there are still 400 ish). The year with almost all books in boxes really showed me what I needed to keep

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    1. We switched to all white a couple of years ago, it makes it very easy to replace broken plates etc.

      I'm suddenly finding it much easier to get rid of books and magazines, the shelves are slowly emptying :-)

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  3. I would so love to and sneakily do, but the DP, although he never notices when I do remove stuff is dead against it. We still have stuff from the b&b we ran....... His domain is the kitchen so he would notice if the cupboards were suddenly bare except for the essentials. Hey ho.

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  4. Exactly what I am trying to do at present Sue - but I think I am only at Stage One whereas you seem further along the road of common sense.

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    1. It sounds like you are doing wonderfully well, two boxes most days is a fantastic achievement. xx

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  5. I try, I really do! The more I de-clutter the easier it becomes. However I do get ridiculously attached and sentimental about stuff hence I have a problem.

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  6. I know exactly what you mean we felt the same when we first bought the cottage but then everyone started giving us presents for the cottage and it soon filled up! Then we felt the same when we first got the caravan - if we are not careful though that could end up the same. It is such a liberating feeling to have a lot of empty space.

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  7. I've been working on this for the past couple of years - and even though I was never a knick knack person or a hoarder it's still astonishing just how much one person has accumulated over the years.
    I've donated, gifted, and sold a lot of stuff so far but there is still more! A friend is having a garage sale at her house in a couple of weeks and has asked if I'd like to join in - YES I would! Half my dining room is piled up with stuff that's going out of here!
    I'm also still downsizing my wardrobe - these past few months of not working has been really enlightening - I've just packed away about 20 sweaters that I never even wore this past winter! I intend returning to work in the Fall (at least part-time) so I've already decided on my Fall/Winter wardrobe and sorted those items - the only thing I'll need to buy is a pair of black walking shoes.
    Books have always been my weakness - but I'm even getting better at giving those up - it really is such a relief!

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  8. When we moved from our 3000 SF farm house to out small 670 SF grain bin house we tossed and gave away tons. But still we have more, in boxes, that must be redistributed. Thanks for the kick in the butt to do so.

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  9. I've been reading here for years, and de-cluttering, re-arranging and renovating as I can for my wheelchair in a 700 square foot flat. I've always been tidy and minimalistic but needing to navigate spaces on wheels poses its own spatial and other challenges. Right now, the kitchen which is tiny, is under renovation. I understand what you mean about the allure of empty spaces be they shelves or rooms. Good luck with your clearing.

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  10. In my experience, that very thing you had in the shed for years and never used, is the thing you want about a fortnight after you got rid of it!

    As an antiques dealer, we have an eclectic mi of things in our house - furniture made by hand in the days when such skill was an everyday accomplishment and when people put themselves out to make something beautiful even in the everyday pieces of furniture. I have books (100s of them) which are old friends and I couldn't part with. I have china, with beautiful patterns, which is used or just gives me pleasure from being on a shelf. I have photographs and paintings which sometimes turn a bad day into a good one just because they are of somewhere familiar to me, or have lovely scenery my mind walks into. I am a totally lost cause to Minimalism. Guess I am too much of an old romantic, though not quite in Hoarder territory yet!

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    1. As an ex-antiques dealer I know the feeling. But it was while I had my first shop that I started going more minimal at home, I could release the other side of my character in the shop and have it full of beautiful things that were going to go to good homes. I had the occasional blip when something too beautiful to part with had to stay at home with me for a while but by and large my system worked ... I'm still a sucker for a beautiful piece of old china though, although now I can buy it, enjoy having it for a while and then let it go :-)

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    2. Fashion is the trouble in the antiques world. I have seen so many trends come and go, and Ikea has a lot to answer for! At the moment, it's 50s and 60s stuff which is all the rage. I have a few bits but loathe Ercol with a passion and I stick to selling things I like.

      I have to stay my hand SO many times as I still adore old china, and though I have got rid of much of it and am about to start parting with my Torquay pottery collection (all but the rarest pieces) I still get drawn to it. Jugs especially. Naughty Jennie!

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  11. Hi Sue,

    I have obviously missed your return to blogland, last time I came to visit I wasn't able to leave a comment. I am so pleased that you have made your way back and I can now comment again :)

    I too fold the Marie Kondo way, having discovered her a while ago. I have my daughter also doing this. There is so much space in my drawers and cupboards these days and they look so neat and tidy.

    I do have a problem with collecting vintage items. Although in saying this, I do use most of the kitchen ware and other goodies I have acquired and have moved the modern stuff on. I do keep this in mind when looking at something I would like to purchase. The first question is; will it be useful? If the answer is yes I take the item home. If not it stays behind.

    I love the look of a minimalist home. My daughter lives this way. It is so much easier to keep tidy and clean without clutter. And it looks orderly and clean!

    Thanks for the inspiration to have another sort out and move some more "stuff" out of my house!

    Wishing you well,

    xTania

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  12. It is good to declutter I am currently sorting to do a car boot this weekend if the weather is good, we last moved 2 years ago and I can't believe how much stuff I have sorted out already.

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  13. I have a friend that I meet every couple of months and she treats me to lunch now for my goodies. I collect everything up I don't want stick it in a bag whether small or large, bits of toys everything unless broken or unusable and she has a small car boot business hobby she does. I also used to go to her sheds and see if theres anything I needed, ive had blinds, pictures, tapestries and knick nacks all sorts of stuff for the house, some of the stuff found its way back to her when I was done with it, nothing gets wasted. Met her today and shes had a bootful.

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  14. I love a good declutter, still so far to go though, I'll never be a minimalist xx

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  15. I am at present decluttering.
    I have a houseful of inherited stuff that I don't want/like but till now have felt obliged to keep!
    I have no wish to take the coward's way out and leave it all for my children to deal with.
    As I clear spaces I'm revelling in the sense of lightness and peace I feel.
    There is also, as you say, Sue, the lack of objects to move, dust and clean.
    Like you I can think of other things I'd rather be doing though I do have friends whose homes are full of things that they obviously have great pleasure in caring for.
    I'm also with you on the white pottery front. It makes it easy to team with the odd pretty jug, dish etc.
    Thank you for nudging me in the right direction yet again! Sue

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  16. This is a timely post Sue, as I'm trying to work through all the rooms in the house, taking out stuff, donating to charity shops or putting in the Farm-gate shop as free giveaways. I wish we had car boot sales in our area, but we do have a local classifieds page on Facebook, which is quite fun too, but sometimes annoying having to make arrangements to meet to hand the item over, ....times many items. We have way too much stuff, but it's hard to part with many things, such as the coat/hat rack that I got rid of last year, now I want it back as I have the perfect useful place for it.!! :)

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  17. Speaking of de-cluttering, I have a question: Where is the best place to sell Wedg Wood service for 12 including platters and gravy boat? Thanks.

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