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Friday, 10 May 2013

Living with Less

So, as I sat there, shredding all my old journals, I looked around our home office.  Have to say, the room looked as though a small incendiary device had gone off in it.  As part of my on-going evolution, I was becoming overwhelmed by all the 'stuff' anyway, and this room was particularly troublesome.  It was time for a major clear-out! (BTW - can you imagine being my poor Hubby through all of this?  Some days it must feel like he's living with a total stranger, who's also a total nutter!)

We're not pack-rats by any stretch of the imagination, so I didn't think there would huge amounts to throw away; I just knew that we needed to get rid of some of it.  That having been said, I wanted to try a different approach than in the past.  Rather than rip through my closets, draws and other assorted hidey-holes, discarding things based on gut reaction, I wanted to be more organized about the whole process and think about what I kept, as well as what I was getting rid of.

The Internet is a wealth of information, but for this job, I wanted to have a good, old-fashioned book so that I could pick it up, refer to it then put it down again easily (darned irony again - bringing something new into the house to help me get rid of all the old!).  Given that this started as one of my wonderful, vague ideas, I didn't have a particular book in mind, so when I happened upon one by chance in my local Chapters store, I picked it up.  The book I found was this:


The author is a decluttering consultant, and the premise of the book is based on the idea of trying to live with 100 personal items or less.  This very specific idea has been around for a few years now, and in truth it's a bit of a band-wagon.  If you Google '100 personal items' there's the original article by Dave Bruno from his blog 'aguynameddave' plus a bazillion other blog posts and opinions.

I didn't want to set an arbitrary number on the amount of items I personally own, but I did want to downsize, in the belief that perhaps by doing so, I could create space for all the new, exciting things that I hope are coming.  At the very least I hoped for less to clean!  The book seemed like an easy read with lots of photos and illustrations, plus she gives you a pretty straightforward routine to follow.

Her suggestion is to start by making an inventory of what it is that you own.  That simple; but I'd never thought of it before.  Probably because it seemed like a lot of extra work for nothing - day one and I was already resisting!  But I'd paid my money, and if that's what the book said then that's what we were gonna do.

In the end, writing everything down wasn't as tough as I thought.  We set aside one Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago, and just worked on our own personal stuff - all the clothes, shoes, books, gadgets, etc. that are uniquely our own.  My list is frighteningly long, but I have looked it over several times now and can see lots of things that can go.  Most of it I will try to sell or donate, but I'm astonished at how much is only fit for the trash!  I'm basically harbouring garbage!  With list in hand, I'm hoping that the actual clearing out will now be easy.  I'll let you know how we get on.

Cheers,

Donna

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