One huge goal/hope I have this year is that my wife and I live more creatively, positively, and nourished. Our environment obviously plays a large role in having the space and time to be more focused on living, so de-cluttering has been underway for a few months.
Once we had processed the material left-overs from our wedding, the de-cluttering kicked into high gear in early December. We are working to: dump things that have negative feelings or memories attached to them; repair or remove the broken; pass on things that are not right for or do not fit us; and, customise or personalize what we do have so that any material objects are either useful or bring us joy. No more running in the wrong direction as a result of clutter!
We currently have about 10 full charity shop bags in the ‘spare’ room and that is after taking a huge wheeled bag in to town this weekend. Of no particular interest to you, but infinite motivation for me, is the following list of things we have removed from our lives so far:
1. Party supplies like plates, napkins, plastic cutlery and cups. A year and a half old but still in wrappers. Went to the rowing club.
2. Too small rowing top given to one of the juniors.
3. Wedding hair and nail stuff, to a neighbuor who will enjoy.
4. George Foreman grill that Honey hasn’t used since we moved in together two years ago.
5. Holiday stuff that we haven’t put out in a few years like laminated decorations I made in 2006 and non-sentimental decorations that take up storage space and only get out once a year (like a plastic pumpkin bucket).
6. Clothes that do not fit me right, including a paisley shirt I loved the pattern of and would always dry wrinkle-free. It was one of my ‘go to- shirts, but it did not fit well. Donated
7. Glass jars- we are always producing extras from peanut butter, olives, etcetera, so there is no need to keep the ones that are not perfect for food storage and cleaning. Recycled
8. Honey went through her jewellery and got rid of most of the costume jewellery from her teen years, none of which I had seen her wear in our time together. This meant I could move my jewellery in with hers, with an incentive to get rid of the pieces I never choose. I then got rid of a large wooden desk organizer box I kept my jewellery and hair supplies in. I had thought for a while to re-do the box, but we don’t need it and it’s huge for our space. Donated
9. More holiday decorations that are not my first choice to put out. Plastic flags, shrunken heads for Halloween (the how to is here) that we burnt but kept anyway…and did not use this year! Donated everything but the heads. They were composted.
10. More clothes that fit okay but that I never choose first. I wear them only when there is no clean laundry. Even then, they take a lot of prep, like ironing. I am serious when I say I want to simplify the distractions and have more time for quality living. At least a bag’s worth of clothes are gone.
11. Holey or stretched out socks. To the bin for these, I’m afraid. We already had plenty of rags.
12. Took expired meds to the doctors and pharmacy for disposal. Sharps to the doctors, although I learned that the pharmacy can also do that.
13. Cracked food processor with only one blade, juicer with burnt-out motor (it turns out I did break it on carrots in the end), and cracked crockpot, gone into our recycling bin. Does your council accept appliances?
14. Grinder machine made redundant by our new food processor. Donated
15. A pair of Columbia sport sandals that I bought when I lived in the USA and have worn maybe 7 times in the past 10 years. Cleaned the soles and donated.
16. Pantry: seaweed four years out of date, breadcrumbs two years, rice flour that I think was the first bag I ever bought in Scotland (all accepted by the council compost), insulated shopping bag, insulated lunch bag, two bags full of plastic bags (recycled), trimmed down numbers of 14 canvas bags!
17. Honey got inspired and pulled two bags of books from the shelves. Donated
18. Three hours in the spare with each of us conquering papers from our past: study notes, very old pay stubs, notes and cards that are not treasured, and many more layers to the shoe boxes and filing boxes. Two large paper recycling bags.
19. Craft supplies for things I am proficient in but do not love or supplies kept ‘just in case’, such as cross stitch kits, tons of ribbons, any variety of notions. If it was not related to crochet, knit, painting or sewing, and I could not envision using that component (peach lace I got at a charity shop several years ago then it headed back to the charity shop!).
20. All Christmas gifts were given in gift bags to use our unnecessarily large collection. We did not return home with a single one of those gift bags and even sent friends home with the bags they had arrived with.
21. Packaging that has been saved. My family lives in the US, which means that purchasing packaging to send gifts is expensive so we have collected and saved padded envelopes. Part of the irony is that sending anything is currently too expensive so the stash of packaging just grew. Cardboard was recycled and shipping envelopes used up on number 22.
22. People’s stuff is currently getting returned to them. Books we borrowed from friends in England, Christmas decorations belong to Honey’s old flatmate that ended up in her boxes when we moved in together, you name it!