Monday, 23 February 2015

Less But Better: 10 things we have too many of....

The most important thing I have discovered about living with less is that this is not some peculiar project in suffering or going without. For me, it has become a way of learning to appreciate our belongings, knowing their purpose in our home and understanding how much of something is 'enough'.
When we first started this journey, we had too much of everything. My love of grabbing a bargain from car boot sales and flea markets meant that we soon filled our house and finding homes for all the stuff became a real problem. Cleaning was a massive chore and I was forever sorting and organizing.

We definitely hit the point where we had many, many multiples of everything. We didn't just have enough bedding sets, we had a cupboard absolutely crammed full. And seriously, how many tea towels or tablecloths do two people and a baby actually need?! Certainly not drawers full!

Owning multiples of things because a primary source of anxiety for me. I could never find anything, nowhere had anywhere to live. I guess this is another reason why aspiring to lead a more minimalist life appealed to me so much.  I wanted to enjoy our house and I wanted to enjoy owning things again.

One of my favourite quotes defining minimalism is this....

"Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it."
Looking round our home, it was pretty easy to see where I had purchased too much of something. These were the areas that I wanted to start with in terms of reducing and/or removing. Today i'm going to share what our 10 main offenders were (and still are to some extent!)....

1. Ornaments
Including ceramic animals, candle holders, vintage toys and dolls. My goodness, these are a nightmare to dust and it is a chore i'd rather do without! Most of these will be leaving our home via eBay or charity shop donations.

2. Clothes and accessories
I'm guilty of having a wardrobe crammed full of clothes but reaching for the same 4 or 5 outfits repeatedly. The same goes for accessories, shoes and jewellery. I'm aiming to get rid of anything that I haven't worn in the past year.

3. Bathroom & Bedroom textiles
Main offenders include bedding sets, vintage eiderdowns, quilts, blankets, throws, bath mats and towels. I'll be donating/eBaying everything that isn't essential.

4. Perfume
Perfume is my beauty downfall but after a good session on eBay (people go absolutely nuts for half used bottles of perfume, I have no idea why!), i'm now down to two bottles..... one for day time and one for special occasions/nights out. 

5. Paperwork
Including old letters, receipts, bills, bank statements, payslips. Anything not important will be going on a permanent holiday to the recycling bin!

6. Soft toys and holiday souvenirs
Soft toys from trips to Disneyland each year, snowglobes, postcards, etc. I'm not really sure where to start with these as a lot of it is sentimental. In the future though we'll certainly not be designating the bulk of holiday money for souvenirs and instead we will spend more time out of souvenir shops whilst on holiday!  

7. Kitchen and dining textiles
Tea towels, tablecloths, placemats, etc. Most of these have already gone via eBay or charity shop donations.

8. Magazines
I'm one of those who keep old copies of magazines, or I used to be anyway! It's not like i'm ever actually going to sit down and read an out of date issue of Country Living, is it?!

9. Virtual clutter
Old and unused files on my laptop. Apps on my phone/iPad. Bye bye!

10. Craft items
I love making things but I really need to admit I probably have too many hobbies and things I like to do! I rarely get chance now looking after a busy toddler so i'll be taking a good look at what I have and selling on anything I won't be using.

If you had to write a similar list, what would be on yours? I'd love to know!


  1. oh gosh, I definitely fall into this trap - too many clothes, shoes, accessories. Too many books, too much fabric and craft items and just generally too much of everything.

  2. I can really relate. Whilst we were on Honeymoon I had one of those moments of clarity. I realised there was nothing I really needed *that much* at home.
    I love my sentimental ornaments, treasures etc., but I have really reassessed and down-sized my collectables. Like you, I was obsessed with clutter... often of the kitsch, vintage, cute, variety.
    I've learnt that less is more in every sense.
    Plus it means, now I 'treat' myself to one item every now and then, and holiday souvenirs are restricted to few (but special).
    x x x

  3. I can definitely relate to this - I get into this moments where I end up hoarding things and so I end up having a big clear out every few months to try and stay de-cluttered and keep the sentimental things or important pieces - I do find it difficult sometimes so posts like these inspire me to keep at it! - Tasha