Two In, Six Out.

For the first time in a long time I bought new clothes yesterday. I didn’t stick to my zero waste principles but I’ve given myself a pass because I’ve sent six items off to recycling and charity. I have many empty hangers and my wardrobe looks sparse. I’m wearing a new top right now and it sparks a lot of joy. I had been in a frump slump for some time, wearing the same things over and over, many of which were quite old and a little dated. I’ve decided on buying some more new things, things which I have spent time trying on and which I love, and which are a little more expensive than usual. It’s nice to wear something that’s up to date, and I think Marjorie would approve.

Since that post, I have worked on my physique, I have weeded out what I don’t like and I have stuck to my resolve in terms of buying. I have four pairs of flat shoes, two of which are a little uncomfortable and run down, and two of which are extremely comfortable and run down. I’m planning on getting rid of all of them as soon as I find one pair that’s comfortable and stylish.

Two In, Six Out.

Marjorie Was The KonMari Of Her Day.

I think Marjorie gave us some of advice Marie Kondo is currently spreading around the world back in the 1930s. She tells us clutter is at outdated as modesty and that no one can live with musty heirlooms without becoming a bit musty herself. She advised that perhaps you didn’t need to spend a lot of money to improve your living quarters and that the best thing to do before opening your wallet was to clear out the clutter, give away the junk you don’t like and scrub the place clean. One of her cases like a ‘clean, scrubbed look’, a look to which I am becoming increasingly partial.

Our rooms are all painted the same colour and all our floors are wooden, which I love because they get dusty, you can see the dust and you can get rid of it. I tidied my bookshelves last night and the reorganisation resulted in more books going off to places new, discarding a few that were past any more rereads and more of a clean, scrubbed look overall. Marjorie cautioned us to keep our homes places to which we’d want to return, lest we succumb to having to decide Will I Or Won’t I, a problem which she says every woman has to settle for herself.

She’d agree with a lot of the current craze for minimalism and keeping only the things you love and which spark joy, even if she probably never considered that idea. She’d probably be more brusque and less sympathetic about why you’d want to keep something that looks like junk, but I think a ‘clean, scrubbed look’ is something many can relate to wanting.

Marjorie Was The KonMari Of Her Day.

The Morris Dance

High on my to-list for the next couple of weeks thanks to a lighter than usual work schedule was even more decluttering and organising. I know I should have been done with all of this by now but various life events have meant that some things are still stored ‘just in case’. Today I consolidated some of the stuff, most of it is going off to the charity shop, some is in the WTF pile and will be tossed unceremoniously into the clothes recycling bank tomorrow and whatever was left has been squeezed into one and a bit storage bags.

I’ve rearranged some wardrobe space, found stuff I really shouldn’t have forgotten about that needed a new spot or to be discarded, dusted the shelves and felt a little better. Tomorrow I’ll offer some of the useful to others but not to me right now things to others who might be interested and I’ll enjoy knowing they’ll be headed off to be used instead of stored.

I continue to cling onto some things that are neither beautiful or useful despite my own thoughts which are very much shared by others. I know at heart I am a natural hoarder, I love stuff and now I don’t have to pare down because our space is so much larger. I guess the more minimalist side of myself is winning a bit though because even since I started writing this post I’ve made up my mind that some of the ‘maybe’ things can go.

The Morris Dance

Comfort Zone

Even though we moved house a year ago, I only relaxed into it in November for myriad reasons. Now there’s corners and nooks and crannies I love. I love our wooden floors and the proportions of our living room. I love having a separate dining room so that on the nights we cook and eat together and listen to opera on the radio we don’t have to look at the cooking messes. I love the light we have in every room and that even on a gloomy day the house looks and feels light. I love that we got rid of most of our extraneous stuff before we moved and have gotten rid of even more since the move. Now I’m feeling settled in the house I can even learn to love the bits I don’t like so much.

Comfort Zone

She Had So Few Possessions That She Valued Them All…

…is a line from Echoes, by Maeve Binchy. It is definitely a line that’s been playing in my head head lately, as I continue my decluttering and living more lightly process. Discarding and learning to love and live with what I truly like is a luxury, I know, in a world where myriad problems affect countless people in war torn areas and other less stable parts of the planet. I appreciate that I have the time and headspace to mull over things like this.

She Had So Few Possessions That She Valued Them All…

What Am I Saving This For?

Last year, I decided to save the money I’d usually spend on impulse clothes purchases and keep it aside as a lump sum to spend after a visit with a personal shopper. I dutifully stopped myself buying all the tempting bargains I’d usually give into and, in September, went along for my appointment. I was taking a hint from Marjorie.

I spent an hour and a half trying on clothes, some of which I loved on sight, others of which I hated and most of which were outside my comfort zone for reasons of colour, style or price. I ended up spending a lot of money on two skirts, a pair of black jeggings, a pair of jeans, several tops, a dress and a cardigan.

I’ve worn every single thing, with the exception of one blue top, countless times. The dress is something I wear at least once a week, usually more, the jeans are a staple and meant I ditched all but one of the other pairs I was indifferent about and all the tops and skirts are on heavy rotation for work, play and other occasions.

The one blue top is something I love, but never seem to wear, maybe because it feels a little too ‘dressy’ for work, yet doesn’t fire me up when I want to get dressed up for a night out, and until now I’d considered it too nice for ‘everyday’ wear. On Sunday I was looking for something to wear with the black jeggings and I pulled the top out and put it on.

Yes, it was dressy. Yes, it was too nice for ‘everyday’ wear. Yes, I said, yes, I will wear you today. It felt nice to put something that still feels new to me on, and feel a little bit overdressed for what turned out to be a day mainly spent reorganising two rooms and doing some serious decluttering.

So I’ve learned my lesson. Within reason, I’m going to wear the things I’ve been saving for ‘some day’ more regularly. It’ll mean some other things will get a bit more rest between wears and my wardrobe options have expanded without spending a penny.

What Am I Saving This For?

This Was Not A Day Of Rest But It Was Relaxing.

I thought I’d decluttered as much as I could before we moved, but it turns out even someone who’s gotten rid of about half her stuff can still pare down further. Today I decided the Random Boxes Of Stuff that have a habit of accumulating like dustballs under a bed needed to go.

I’ve chucked out makeup I’ve been only half interested in using for months. I’ve collected all the hair stuff I no longer use since I stopped using shampoos, organised it into a box and put it in a bathroom cabinet-it was expensive and I’m not going to throw it out immediately resulting in me needing to rebuy various bits and bobs. I tidied all the hair ties and pins I’ve had on heavy rotation since the aforementioned no shampoo journey into a small metal box that contained lime leaves only 15 months out of date.

I’ve rejigged our spare room to a setup more of my liking and sorted through bedlinen. We moved a chest of drawers that had been in another room into our spare room, it works great and means we don’t need to buy anything else for storage. Given the consolidated linen collection, there are two spare drawers for guests.

I’ve chucked out out of date medication (well, not so much chucked as bagged for disposal the next time I’m in a pharmacy), sorted out our tiny ensuite bathroom shelves and I’m delighting in a clutter-free bedside table. I’ve a bag of items others have told me they’ll use ready to leave the house tomorrow.

This has been relaxing, in a strange way. Getting rid of all the things we don’t need, use, like or want and either recycling them or sending them on to those who will use them is a very good feeling.

I’m not quite finished and I have held onto one broken item that can’t be repaired, but it still sparks joy as it was the first Valentine’s day present my husband gave me, back when we were still boyfriend and girlfriend. It may seem a little strange to keep it, given my decluttering zeal, but sometimes my heart rules my head. It has a new home nestled among the silk scarves I rediscovered during a previous session of sorting stuff out, and now wear regularly because of my new hair situation. I’ll see it every day and I’ll still think happy thoughts.

This Was Not A Day Of Rest But It Was Relaxing.