Making room for simplicity

Usually when the new year arrives there is vision of grand plans, boxes to tick and goals that are often unachievable.

However this year for me it’s about mindfully not making grand plans, not ticking boxes and not making unachievable goals. In fact it’s more about finding what things I can cut from my life.

My inspiration for this came from a book that it appears everybody is reading at the moment, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing“.

The general concept of decluttering Konmari style is to only keep things that bring you joy. I certainly felt a boat-load of joy when she said not to file paper work away into separate folders (I seriously had a pile sitting there for 4 years that I hadn’t gone through which is now done!). The key is to ensure everything has a home, that way you can create habits around returning items to their homes.

This book sparked the biggest clean out I’ve had since I sold all my stuff to travel the world. Countless trips to the lifeline bins, and a few recycling bins full. And now it’s done, I reckon I could do it all over again (and I am planning on it).

I am all for a clutter purge and I do it at least once a year, I own less clothes than my husband, but one thing that I really was mindful of this time was where was all this stuff was coming from? and then massive amounts of guilt about when I threw it out where was it going to?

I am not really into stuff, but I am a multipassionate who has lots of creative hobbies (think lots of craft stashes). I am not a shopper, in fact I hate it with a passion. The only things I really buy are books (which I know I need to ease up on and visit the local library instead) and because my craft stash is pretty well stocked and I’ve been too busy to even start anything new, I haven’t purchased anything there in years.

So here is how I tackled the great declutter of 2016:-

Clothes – easy 

If I haven’t worn something, it doesn’t fit or I don’t feel comfortable in it – it’s gone. Easy. I do hold onto some nostalgic clothes such as concert t-shirts but that’s it (and I am tempted to turn them into throw cushions covers). If it’s not in use it’s gone. I want to really become quite mindful of clothing purchases from here on in – especially after watching the documentary the true cost of fashion. I am not super fashionable, I work from home so I don’t need an extensive wardrobe but I would love to implement a capsule wardrobe and be extremely strategic with my clothing purchases in the future.

Books – moderately easy

I am a self confessed book hoarder. I am not the type who will read a book twice (except maybe 1 or 2) so it really makes no sense. I am the type who will buy a stack of books and not read them. I have possibly 20-30 books that are currently unread or partly read. Those books were the hardest to let go of. But looking at the titles I figured if they didn’t still appeal (and many didn’t) I would let them go, so I did.

Paperwork – easy (but difficult to start)

This was something I was resisting for a long time. Like 4 years (and before that I had an assistant who did it all for me). So I was so freaking ecstatic when Marie recommended having 3 folders. Things to keep forever (such as important legal documents), Things to action, And things to keep for a short time (so mainly things for tax). This made this job soooo much easier. Now when paperwork hits my desk it goes into 1 of the 3 folders and I could decommission my filing tray.

Craft Supplies – Hard

So I have these pretty organised, but I didn’t do a great purge on them. I still have a box of yarn, a box of art supplies, a box of fabric, a box for candle making and a box for screen printing. I will reattempt this when my will power is a bit stronger.

Random Stuff – Easy

Over the years we have received many gifts that just aren’t our style. I had a tendency to hold onto these things because they were gifts (and my husband still feels this way so it’s hard for him). But at the end of the day, a lot of these things don’t bring me joy, I don’t want to put them on display. So they have to go. The random draws that have random stuff, were sorted and culled. Mostly spare buttons, random screws and receipts that had been wiped clean of any information.

 

It’s amazing how much lighter you feel after a good declutter, especially with an impending move. The big hurdle now is getting to heart of the issue and that is to not get the clutter in the first place. And that is the real challenge.

So some changes I can make right now on my war against clutter:

  • Change all my bank/bill statements to e-statements
  • Join the local library
  • Be strategic in clothing purchases
  • Downsize my hobbies
  • Purchase things for usefulness and longevity
  • Avoid frivolous purchases

I’d love to hear if you’ve Konmari’ed your life and what positive effects you’ve had from the big purge.

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