Sunday, January 29, 2012

Minimalizing again

I spent a couple of hours rearranging our kitchen this past weekend & I'm pleased with the results. Though it's still a very cramped space, things are organized closer to where we actually use them, the to-donate box is overflowing, more items are stored out of sight & the cabinets are less packed.

Pruning stuff from my life really feels good & it gets easier the more I do it. I'm really starting to see that less is more. Ditching a couch in the living room has made more space & I like it better. Still really need more art on the walls though.

I think about my wardrobe a lot, but that's by no means the most cluttered part of my life. There are a number of seemingly unscaleable mountains elsewhere too. (Some not even metaphorical, urgh.) Here are some of the biggest clutter hurdles I'd like to get over this year:

Out filing cabinet is a disorganized mess, except for the things that I carefully filed away so long ago that I no longer need them. We need to sit down & spend a few hours putting our shredder to work.

My sewing room is so stuffed I can barely use it. Unfortunately, it's such a tiny room (about 7'x9') that I need a zero tolerance policy when it comes to clutter. This room reminds me of the 'Hoarders' episodes I've been watching online lately. I have been putting this one off for various reasons, not the least of which is how hard it will be to get rid of a lot of the fabrics & craft supplies I've accumulated over the past couple of decades. Selling, giving away or tossing all that stuff means admitting that I'll never do each of those projects that I bought the stuff for.

Creating a usable guest room out of Oliver's 'office'. Similarly to my sewing room, it's tiny & stacked floor to ceiling with stuff we rarely use. (It's also the home of the aforementioned filing cabinet.) It's slightly embarrassing to me that we have a four bedroom house but have essentially converted two of the rooms--plus the garage, but that's a whole other ball of wax--into storage closets. Part of our problem is the dearth of closets in the home: we have one in our bedroom, a tiny one in Sprout's room, plus a skinny little linen closet. That's it: none in the entryway, zero in the other two 'bedrooms', no pantry in the kitchen. But as I said, it's only part of the problem. The major contributing factor is our pack rat tendencies.

Lastly, I still have a lot more clothes than I use, definitely a lot more than I need. My to-donate bag is hanging on the back of my door & getting more & more full daily. I think this is key for doing a large-scale reduction of clothes: make it just as easy to bag it for donation as to throw it in the stuffed laundry baskets, to be dealt with in that fuzzy, unspecified future. I wish clearing out my sewing room & Oli's office could be done gradually & painlessly, but I think we're just going to have to set aside some large blocks of time to attack each one.

Have you got any decluttering projects planned for this year? 


  1. Re: the craft stash - I'm actually a fan of the 'buy no more until I use the stash' strategy. If you just get rid of everything, then you've made room for new fabric. If you say 'no more fabric for me until I use what I have' then you get a fun challenge, and you don't need to buy anything for a while. Call it a de-stash and brag on appropriate forums...

    1. I have tried to use up what I have, but I have SO MUCH--seriously, like two upright dressers full, plus a couple of boxes, some stacked on shelves & piled on top of the dressers. I'm thinking of having a yard sale in a couple of months, & trying to sell off the fabric for $1 a metre or something. Or maybe some kind of craft swap event at the house sooner than that.


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