Sunday, 5 December 2010
In October I mentioned that I'd set myself a festive challenge to give away 100 things in the run up to Christmas.... and I've almost finished! Hurrah!
I didn't keep strictly to the "one thing a day" process, but I did set myself the rule that I had to genuinely give away 100 things, not just get rid of them - things had to be given to friends or neighbours or one of our local charity shops, not just thrown away, as the main point of the exercise was giving not decluttering.
I'm up to #96 now - a set of number cookie cutters which I've never used in the 6 or 7 years I've owned them (I don't have photos of the other 95 items I've got rid of, so snaps of the cookie cutters will have to do!)
I have been keeping a list though...
So far I've given away: 15 books I don't want to reread (or never read in the first place), 4 CDs by bands I no longer like, and one tape of an album I liked so much I seem to have bought it twice, 3 films I don't want to watch again, 10 audiobooks I've since bought on CD or didn't enjoy enough to keep them, 4 blouses, 2 cardigans, 6 jumpers, 2 t-shirts, a dress, a pair of trousers and 5 skirts (all of which I've not worn for years), 2 dresses that shrank in the wash and no longer fit, a dress, a jacket and a cardigan that all never really suited me, some vintage kids books I bought to cut up for a craft project and never had the heart to, some lovely old maps (ditto), 4 plant pots in strange sizes, an ugly ornament someone bought us as a gift, a random fridge magnet, 8 spare mugs, a coffee set we never use, a decorative dish and plate I don't like that much any more, a santa hat I bought to use as a photo prop, 2 notebooks I've got no use for, a decorative hook I don't want to hang anywhere, 3 sets of writing paper I'll never use, a colouring book leftover from colouring in parties at University (what wild times!), some brooches I've never worn, a silk scarf in a very unflattering colour, a spare sewing kit, an unused sewing box, an old film camera, 2 bags I don't use, an assortment of bedlinen for a spare bed we no longer own, a big pile of fabric which a neighbour gave me when they moved and which a friend is now putting to good use making curtains for her new house... and those cookie cutters.
I know I said the point of this wasn't specifically to declutter but gosh it's made a difference getting rid of all those things, especially as the boyfriend was inspired by my clearout to have one of his own so even more stuff has left our house over the past few weeks.
I'm really glad I set myself the bigger challenge of 100 things this year instead of my usual 30 or so in the run up to Christmas. The first few dozen things were dead easy to clear out (even though I do this every year and we frequently donate things to our local charity shop) but it's got increasingly difficult to find "obvious" things I can easily do without. The process of finding things I don't need any more has really made me think about why I keep the things I keep, and about my shopping habits.
I will never ever ever be a minimalist. I like having a house full of colour and pattern and vintage treasures and sentimental trinkets and family heirlooms and things which just make me happy because they're beautiful. But I do want my posessions to earn their place in my home, and to have a house filled with wonderful things rather than clutter. I'm also definitely going to be thinking twice before buying anything new - will I be clearing it out again next Christmas thinking "what did I buy this for??"
Now, time to find those last four things...