Wednesday 28 May 2014

Less 365 Project Progress Report: Falling Behind

As you might guess from the title of this post, I've fallen behind with my decluttering project, Less 365.

I hit the halfway mark at the end of December so, if I'd managed to stick to my "declutter one thing a day, every day for a year" challenge I'd be nearly finished by now... but sadly, this is not the case. On my decluttering calendar I'm only up to 16th February, and in the real world it's nearly June already! Eeek.

So far this year I have decluttered...

Three almost-broken bracelets, a bangle I loved but haven't worn in at least a decade, two books of cartoons I haven't read for just as long, two now-empty storage boxes, a pair of heels which looked amaaaazing and were super comfy but (like all heels do) still made me fall over, a notebook that was so fancy I was too scared to actually write in it, a hardback copy of a book I owned in paperback, three exercise books I don't need, a cardigan that shed mohair fluff everwhere...


... a smart cardigan that I panic-bought to wear to a wedding but which turns out to be super itchy, two craft magazines I'd finished with, thirteen craft books I've reviewed but which I'm honestly never going to make anything from, twelve DVD box sets I'm not going to re-watch, a pile of fabric squares that never made it into my patchwork quilt (and which weren't nice enough to be worth keeping)...

... four pairs of shoes which I never wear because they don't actually fit me very well, a vintage plate I don't really love, and a pack of cute drawing pins which I don't need (because I own another identical pack and approximately a gazillion normal drawing pins, and only have one smallish pinboard!).

As always, some things have been gifted to friends and family, some sold on Ebay, some taken to the local charity shop and others thrown away or recycled. 


This is my second year attempting a Less 365 Project (you can read about the first year here) and I knew it was going to be a challenge when I started, especially as (of course) the more stuff you declutter the harder it becomes to find things to clear out, and the harder those "yes, I definitely don't need this anymore!" decisions become.

I am very pleased that I have managed to clear these things (and the previous six months worth of decluttered bits and bobs) out from my space where they were sitting un-used, un-loved or no-longer-needed... but it's still a bit frustrating to have hit a wall like this.

The joy of self-set challenges though is that you made the rules, so you can change them! Hurrah! So, my Less 365 Project will be continuing... just a bit more slowly. Instead of feeling like I'm falling behind, or failing at my challenge, I'm just going to keep on going gradually until I've hit that "365 things" target.

I love how this challenge is helping me look long and hard at all my "stuff" (like lovely-but-uncomfortable shoes which are not magically going to become comfortable or magically turn back into the money I paid for them), to make long-overdue decisions like "do I finally mend this or get rid of it?" and to clear some space to better display and enjoy the things I'm keeping. A delightful side-effect of thinking a lot about decluttering is also that it's also helping curb my spending on buying new "stuff", which is great for my bank balance and saving me some more pennies to spend on wonderful Nice Days Out.

These are things that are worth doing, no matter how long the "challenge" takes!

I have no clue how long it will end up taking but eventually I will have cleared out all three hundred and sixty-five things from my space... and I'll let you know when I get there. Wish me luck! :)


Anonymous said...

Good luck! I do love de cluttering :)

Amy said...

I started a Less 365 project too, and agree that it's quite easy to do in the beginning, and then gets progressively harder! I've found motivation recently though, I'm moving house soon and when faced with the realisation I have to pack EVERYTHING up it becomes easier to decide if I need it or not! Good luck with the rest of your decluttering!

bairozan said...

I support this initiative and even though do not follow the day-to-day pattern, I recently cleared out two racks of old craft projects or materials that I know I am not going to use. Priorities change! I also give away or throw out clothes and shoes twice a year - when I change the seasonal wardrobe. Nevertheless, I have many things that I should get rid of and this is one more reminder to do so :)

Bridgeen @cherry_cinnamon said...

Decluttering is a very healthy exercise! I've been decluttering make up and clothes recently. I think it also makes you appreciate what you do have more. And be more definite about what you want. Also apparently spending money on experiences rather than material goods is better for your happiness and mental health- so you go girl!

Kay said...

I love this post and am going to start this today as I seriously need to declutter our house. Just one thing per day makes it sound so simple.

Helen said...

What a ggod idea, although i think it's going to take more than 365 things to declutter my house. Good luck and keep going :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Chloe - Thanks! :)

Amy - Oh gosh yes, moving = an excellent motivator to get on with decluttering. When I moved suddenly a couple of years ago I was aghast at the amount of stuff I'd accumulated and that I had to pack up (and carry down all the stairs from my flat!!). Thinking about what I'd be happy to pack and take with me when I next move = a great way to focus and make decluttering decisions. Best of luck with your Less 365! x

Bairozan - "Priorities change!" - yes you are so right about this. Don't feel bad because you're current self isn't interested in the same things as the person who bought that bit of clothing or planned that craft project a few years ago. People change, life changes, you've got to roll with it :)

Bridgeen - Ooh, that is a good thing to know! I have definitely been doing that this year (spending on Nice Days Out vs buying STUFF for myself and my space) and it's been a great year. And decluttering definitely makes you appreciate the things you have, esp when you now have the space to actually display them, etc. I much prefer my living space now it's not so crammed with stuff.

Kay - Good luck! I chose the one thing a day approach as I tend to feel overwhelmed by "spring clean" type clearouts where you have to make loads of decisions at once and be really ruthless. Doing it bit by bit makes it much easier and it really adds up as the weeks and months go by.

Helen - haha yes mine too, I have been decluttering on and off for years and yet there is still clutter! And thank you xx