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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Less is More

Over the past week I have had a thorough sorting out of things in my house.  We keep our home tidy, I we don't have a lot of clutter, but every once in a while it is good to go through our possessions and weed out things that we no longer need.  It is liberating to be able to let go of stuff.
I started out with the family room book shelf, I was pretty ruthless, and although I did keep some books I surprised myself at just how many I was really ready to part with. I managed to find new homes for all but about eight of the books, I will drop them off at the Goodwill store.
I then read a post over at where I read about the 21 day organizing challenge, I was challenged by Day #12 Spice Cabinet! I don't know about you but my spice cabinet was a bit of a black hole, a nightmare to find anything, and duplicates of all kinds of things. It took me fifteen minutes to sort it out, I combined duplicates, tossed old out dried up clumpy things, and then arranged the pots. I decided to put the least used items in the back and the frequently used items to the front.  I can not tell you what a pleasant experience it is to now open the spice cabinet and easily find what I need - a BIG THANK YOU to Living On Less Money blog.
Well why stop with the spice cabinet, I had one other cabinet of shame in my kitchen, I tossed out many items, an extremely ancient jar of Ovaltine, it was no longer powder just a solid block of malt powder, ancient herbal teas, and just an odd assortment of stuff. This cabinet is now tidy and useful once again.
Saturday I decided to tidy the basement, I really did not have anything to get rid of, but the floor needed sweeping, things needed to be straightened up, and there were many cobwebs to vacuum.  I did survey my storage shelves and decided that I only needed one vase rather than five, and I weeded through the tablecloths and just kept a few.  Next stop the sewing room - I decided to get rid of ancient yarn, odd pieces of lace, a lot of fabric scraps and a couple of things I have never used including two books, I donated all of the sewing room stuff to a thrift store in town that sells a lot of craft items. I then sorted out my closet, my husband now takes up more room than I do!  I cleaned out a few other things, a drawer in my dresser and the shelf in the hall cupboard.
I am so happy that I sorted out all of this stuff. I do have a full trash can (my only regret) but some stuff was simply not worth donating, and I did take a large load to Goodwill, a small load to another thrift store, and I gave some items away.
I wonder why I kept some things, why for example did I keep oddball wine glasses in the cupboard above the stove, we never used them and they were chipped and/or mismatched, and seriously how many wine glasses does a person need? I wonder too why  I needed so many tablecloths??
Anyway, letting go of things is very freeing, it is pleasant to open a cabinet, drawer, or cupboard and find it is uncluttered and organized.  I also realized as I cleaned stuff out that many items I purchased because they were a deal, turned out to be a waste of money as I never used them.  I really like garage sales, I have decided that this year I will not go to any, because several items I rid myself of this weekend that ended up being a Goodwill donation were things I purchased at garage sales. Think about it, I purchased junk someone else did not want and then realized I didn't want it either, so not only did I pay someone for the item, I then hauled it to the Goodwill for them!! I think that is crazy behavior and I will not do it anymore!!
I think we should all review our possessions at least annually and evaluate why we keep the items we do, and decide is it really worth keeping, then donate what we don't need.  In turn, I think we should really evaluate new purchases, do we really need the item, how have we managed until now without it, if I wait a few weeks will I still have the same intense desire to purchase the said item.  I am not saying never purchase another thing, because some purchases are necessary, but many are not, and many come with buyers remorse.


Vicky F. said...

You've inspired me, Martine. My spice cabinet is a black hole as well!

Bean said...


Saloma Furlong said...

What an inspiration this post is... I want to do that! But, alas, I'll be traveling for the next while, and won't get to it at least until I return.

Thank you for being such a good example -- of an exemplary housekeeper, a discerning consumer, and a generous donator.

So happy I found your blog. I cannot wait to read more posts.


Rome_is_Home said...

Ah yes I need to do some spring cleaning and indeed, less is more :)

Bean said...

Hi Ladies, Thank you for stopping by!

Gosh Saloma, I don't know about about being an exemplary housekeeper!!

Rome is Home - nice to see you Amy :)

Hawthorne said...

Ha! I did my spice rack too, and found loads of them were out of date, many of which were not even opened. I have been trying to de-clutter my house for a long while but my late husband was very much against it. Since he passed in November last year I have been given away box after box of unnecessary stuff, and it's like a breath of fresh air! The worst to deal with has been umpteen bags of old letters, bank statements and work papers because each one has to be checked out before deciding if it can be recycled or needs shredding. Just when I think I've done it all I find some more - some of it dates back to 1996!!!! Wonder if he's hoarding stuff in heaven now? ;-)