Over the past decade though I have discovered the wonderful, home-improving magic that is decluttering. Not a Marie Kondo style intensive purge of everything that doesn't spark joy, but a gradual (and ongoing!) sorting and sifting and whittling down of my belongings.
|Here's a photo of some very un-minimal scrapbooks because I like my blog posts like I like my stuff: colourful!|
About ten years ago I started giving a few things away at Christmas to balance out the commercialism and excess that can feel a little overwhelming in December (maybe you feel a bit overwhelmed by that at Christmas too?). This turned into an annual challenge to give 30 things away in the run up to Christmas. Then in 2010 I set myself a 100 Things Challenge to (yes, you guessed it) give away 100 things that December.
I was surprised by how easy it was to find so many things I didn't use any more or didn't even like any more... and I was very pleasantly surprised by the effect getting rid of those 100 things had on my living space. My space was tidier (and much easier to keep clean and tidy!) and I had more room to display the things I really loved.
So, in 2011 I quietly (without blogging about it because I felt sure I would fail) set myself a Less 365 challenge: get rid of one thing a day, every day for a year. Okay so it didn't work out as one thing a day (instead there were great flurries of decluttering enthusiasm followed by fallow periods when I thought I'd never ever find another things to get rid of) but by the end of the year I'd cleared out 365 things. Three hundred and sixty-five!
I did a little more decluttering after that as a natural part of moving house, then did a second Less 365 challenge - the second time it took me a year and a half to complete, but I got there in the end. Now each year I keep a list of the things I've cleared out of my house. Every year I think "well, I'm sure I'll hardly get rid of anything this year!" and every year I find more things that I no longer need or use or love.
In 2015 I cleared out 168 things, and in 2016 I cleared out 102. Big things, small things, single things and collections of things. Most of my stuff is packed up in boxes at the moment, but even so I've managed to cleared out 9 things already - including a DVD I watched and thought "yeah, I'm never gonna watch that again", a pair of trousers I tried on and realised are now waaaaay small (and also have a small hole somewhere, ahem, not ideal), and a dress I unpacked after my move and thought "have I ever worn this? where would I ever wear this?? why did I even buy this???"
After doing so much decluttering I've been meaning to write a blog post with some handy tips for years. Years and years and years. Have I ever actually done this? No, I have not. I've tried to write about it before but always failed, my word count rapidly getting out of hand as I tried to squeeze years of thoughts and feelings into one blog post.
So I've decided to write an ongoing (occasional) series of posts instead. Whether you're an aspiring minimalist or just want a slightly less cluttered home I hope you'll enjoy them!
Before I start though: are you a fan of decluttering? Do you dream of a minimalist home or do you have a house bursting with beloved possessions?