Sunday, 26 May 2013

Living with Less: Part 2

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, in the original Living with Less post, my Hubby and I had made our lists of all our personal possessions.  Now all we had to do was follow those lists and clear out the items that we had thought about and no longer wished to keep.  Easy, right?  In theory, yes.  In practice, well ... it seemed to depend!

Firstly though, some things I noticed about my own personal list.  The total amount of items in our home that are considered mine alone was a gob-smacking 492!  100 personal items could well be an impossible dream for me!  Bear in mind too, that some things like socks and underwear were not counted individually, but as a group - accounting for only one item on the list! 

Typically clothes make up 70% of a person's total personal possessions, but in my case they only made up 53% - 263 items.  Of these, a jaw-dropping 80 were tops, blouses and sweaters.  This was by far the most of any type of clothing I own, and the one I complain the most about not having anything to wear!  Go figure!

So, if I was below average on the percentage of clothes I own, what exactly was I harbouring?  The next two largest categories were jewellery and books.  This won't be a surprise to anyone who knows me personally.  And it was here that I hit a brick wall on trying to weed out and pare down.

Even with the list as a guide and some time to think, it can be emotional going through all your stuff.  Fond memories of well-loved gifts emerge, but from a time when you were 'someone else'; things that you have outgrown, that no longer work for the life you lead now.  Guilt and feelings of foolishness arise over money ill-spent.  At one particularly bizarre moment for me, I almost kept a bathing suit that no longer fits (never did fit perfectly) because it had cost so much and I had only used it for one vacation!

In the end, I managed to clear out about 20% of the stuff I call my own; less than 100 items (see, I can't even make it that I get rid of what one man aspires to live with - Yikes!!!!).  Although, in all fairness, there are still some things that I am planning to sell that are not included!  Hubby also cleared out a bunch of stuff; however he had fewer things on his list to start with.  Still and all, here is the end result of our busy weekend

We filled one bag each of things to donate, a box of items to sell and one bag each of garbage!  There is now a lot more room in the closet ... oh, and a tiny bit more on the bookshelves!  As tough as it was to make some of the choices, it really does feel better with the clutter gone.

So, is anyone else out there going through their own purge?  It is spring-cleaning time, the time when most of us get the bug to sort things out.  If so, let me know how your de-cluttering is going.


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