Saturday, 30 January 2016

Living With Less Stuff - January 2016

As mentioned in my last Getting Tough on Stuff post of 2015, I've renamed my decluttering challenge for 2016 and the series will now be given the title 'Living With Less Stuff'.  I've also tried to keep it real this year, and due to the amount of items decluttered last year (over 1250), I have lowered the total I am aiming to declutter this year to at least 500 items, which equates to about 42 items per month. If I manage more, then that's great, but I didn't want to get too ambitious and not be able to achieve the target.

This year's challenge got off to a brilliant start this month, as a total of 135 items got donated or put aside for donation. Fortunately for me, there was a Give and Take event towards the end of the month and most of the donations went there, which helped to clear some much needed space in my sewing room.

Here's what it looked like last week

and here's the room now.

It's looking so much better.  I could even get access and do some cleaning of shelves and skirtings last Sunday, when most of the room got a bit of a spring clean.  There are still a few small areas to tackle, but I will do those when I get the chance.

The box left in the centre is the more valuable/collectable items I need to take to the charity shop and there's also a bag of books behind it to take to the Little Free Library.

Some other decluttering news was that OH donated a full drum kit to the school this month.  It was bought for LB one Christmas, but she never took to playing it.  The school were very glad of it and it felt good to donate it within the local community, so it can be used by other children. He was just glad to free up some space in his office, where it had resided for the last few years.

I think we learned a big lesson there, about trying too hard to encourage LB in a particular musical direction.  Turns out it's singing that she enjoys most and you don't need an instrument to do that (apart from your voice).

I'm now really looking forward to the delivery of our new bed in the next week or so, as this will encourage me to go through all the things I am currently keeping under our bed and in other parts of our bedroom, and get a bit more ruthless.  I'd like the bedroom to be as uncluttered as I can possibly make it, to aid sleep mainly, but also because we may be having some work done in there at some point this year.

I'm also aiming to completely empty one side of the linen cupboard on the landing, in order to give a permanent home to the vacuum cleaner, which currently generally ends up kicking around in front of it, on one of the other landings or in one of the rooms.

It's a small thing, but it will make a big difference to me, as invariably it causes the landings/rooms to look cluttered, plus I'm frightened that someone will end up tripping over it and falling down the stairs.

Slow, but steady progress towards a life of living with less stuff. I'll be back with another update next month.


  1. You are a year behind me, I did a huge chuck out last year, mainly my stuff around the house. Hubby and I sorted through out the house, and Hubby did the kitchen(his domain). Hubby has started sorting his personal stuff, but it feels good to be able to see space in our home. We still have loads, items from when the girls were young ect. I love waling into my wardrobe and being able to see what clothes I have, I think I know every thing I own, nothing lurking in the back just in case! I don't feel I have lost anything, but the gains are huge.

    1. I am beginning to enjoy a sense of space in some areas of the house. In others, there's still quite a bit of work to be done. It's encouraging to hear someone who has already done this, enjoying the results and having no regrets.

  2. I can't recommend a nice clear bedroom enough. I have always struggled with sleep and quite a few years ago I read something about using the bedroom for bed and nothing else, so that's where I started my decluttering.

    I can't say my sleep is perfect now, but knowing there are no distractions and no mess hanging around really aids relaxation, as well as having no phone, computer or tv in there to keep me awake longer then necessary. I do have a radio though.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks. Yes, I occasionally get a bit of insomnia and often have to go into the spare room so I don't disturb OH with my tossing and turning. It usually works, but it would be good not to have the problem.

      We removed a portable TV from our bedroom a year or so ago, because we just didn't watch it, so no devices here now either.

  3. I like your idea of setting a timer and doing an hours worth of cleaning in one spot.

    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by. I'm afraid I can't take credit for the timer idea. It was Sophia's idea on her channel 'My Great Challenge' on YouTube.

      I'm enjoying using it to motivate me, as I might otherwise put off some cleaning jobs if I thought they were going to take me longer.