In the last year I have been more willing and wanting to let go of some things. I want to sit somewhere in between the "too much stuff" and "the no or minimum stuff" and the old saying that it should be either beautiful or useful does make sense. I have taken (what I consider quite a lot of things) to the charity shops in the last year however it's a drop in the ocean. My thoughts about simplifying in 2015 is somewhere along the lines of "if I had to move house again, what would I like to keep/take and try and get rid of everything else". Usually it's only when we have to move house that we start seeing all our things so even though I'm not moving I want to reduce our things. When I moved nearly 4 years ago I had hundreds of boxes and a truck and a half of things and when I moved here I purchased even more furniture. In my previous house I had lots built in's which stored books and things and a huge kitchen that kept all my kitchen and china so when I moved here there was no where to put these things so I purchased a couple of Ikea China/Book cases. It's not really the cabinets that are the problem it's all the stuff in them and you can easily sell an Ikea cabinet if you had to.
This is what I worked on today, here's my Linen Cupboard "Before" on the left and "After" on the right. Note that the empty shelf on the left was full and looked exactly the same as the shelf below, stacked with linen. I only remembered when I started emptying the cupboard that I should take a photo.
I have been inspired by Carmella Rayone's blog called "The Assortment" which I have been reading for about a year now. Their story, their cabin and their life is very inspiring. As a result of their cabin having so many enquiries from around the world about people wanting to downsize Carmella has been working on getting the cabin/plan ready so people can purchase it for themselves. During the working of the plan she decided that the plan had to be of "international standards" so that the cabin/small house could be built anywhere in the world with the set of plans. Along the way she realized that she wanted to offer a couple of different options and therefore 4 cabin/small house plans were born. She has just released descriptions of these wonderful little homes which you can read about on her blog above. This was her original Design Philosophy and this was the result and here of their home. Carmella has called the designs Shelter 1, Shelter 2, Shelter 3 and Shelter 4. I think if I could click my fingers and have my dream place I would have 2 acres with Shelter 3 on it, a big veggie garden, animals, a big tyre swing, mounts of dirt for a BXM track the kids could ride on, a tree house and after the month of January we had in Brisbane I would have to have a pool which is a luxury but wholly molly January was tough to get through because of the heat.
Back to my simplifying in 2015 and Carmella's philosophy is inspiring and even though I will never be like this, I can only be me after all, I can learn and chip away at my stuff a little at a time and hopefully by the end of 2015 I will have less stuff. I know when Peter Walsh has a segment on The Living Room TV show on Channel 10 he gets a couple to get rid of 70% of their things in 2 days and that is huge. If you like your things, making decisions to get rid of things on the spot would be very stressful so I'm on an imposed get rid of my stuff and simplify in 2015 myself. I would love for Peter Walsh to visit for a coffee but totally would love to hate him if I had to do this entire process in 2 days. I see bags leaving my place to charity but as they say Rome wasn't built in a day and you have to work towards the life of Simplicity as it can't be achieved over night.
The linen cupboard has been on my mind the past few weeks and yesterday I opened the linen cupboard with the thought of clearing it out and I looked inside, got over whelmed and shut the cupboard door. That was yesterday however today I decided I would clean out the linen cupboard because as you know when you are trying to shove clean towels and sheets in there and they fall out that you just have to make it a priority. Always assume these projects take longer than you think, always assume that your place may look messier when you finish even when the cupboard may look better. Always assume that you are going to feel much better once it's done. I started by taking everything out of the cupboard and lining similar items together along the hallway. ie summer sheets together, winter sheets together, towels etc. One of the things I'm sure everyone has in their cupboard are cushions, extra cushions from previous decorating times that are too good to throw out and may require time to put them on eBay but you haven't made time to do it.
The other thing I did when going through this cupboard was remember a blog post I read on Andrea Dekker's blog a while back about her not having a linen cupboard. This is where I'm in the middle and I'm not going to be like that which is right for her family however I do have too many things. Lets face it normally when we wash our sheets they are washed in the morning and dry in the afternoon ready for the bed so to be honest why do we need more than one set of sheets per bed apart from a summer set and a winter set. Also I believe that when going through the process sometimes you have to do it in a couple of rounds. So today I got rid of lots of towels, large towels which are Sheridan and have been used but are still perfectly okay however we just use smaller towels now. I still have more towels than we require so for my family of 3 I have 10 bath towels. Using 3 at a time really 6 would be ample but in saying that I got rid of about 8 towels. Next time around I could reduce that number but for now I was more than happy to get rid of 8 towels and put it in the charity pile of things.
I also have about 4-5 sets of summer sheets for my Queen size bed which to be honest I would really only need 1-2 sets but I've kept 3 and next time I might be able to get rid of the 3rd set. I also have doona covers that are no longer my taste and will also go. For me I would love to get a little extra $$ and sell them on eBay given they were all expensive items and I don't want much for them however I haven't had much selling items on eBay in the last few years. 10 years ago I could sell anything but these days it's hard even if your prices are low, everything is cheap to buy now so for the effort to put them on eBay sometimes puts me off but I'll give it a go and if not, I won't hesitate to put them into the charity basket.
More organized and less stuff feels good.
This is what's left over. The pile of bags on the right and the white doona cover on the floor are for charity and the other three piles of Sheridan Sheets and Doona Covers I'll wash and put on eBay.
This is also for eBay, doona cover, valance, cushion covers and I have a couple of cushions in the top of the linen cupboard to go on eBay as well.
When I look at the linen cupboard now I don't feel stressed and those towels that don't get used now will go to someone who can use them. I have also managed to put my mix master and slow cooker in this cupboard which is great because the mix master has been sitting on my buffet for the past 4 years because there is no room in my kitchen due to it being less than half the cupboard space that I had in my previous home. Sometimes I get disheartened and overwhelmed when I look around my house because I know I want to get rid of stuff but sometimes it seems so daunting. So doing the linen cupboard today was great. Every room in our house needs a good going over and even just thinking about one room at a time is daunting so picking one thing and doing it is manageable. Don't get me wrong I still think this is a huge task but I'm giving myself until the end of the year and working on things when I feel I'm up to it like yesterday even though I thought I should do the Linen Cupboard and opened it, I didn't feel up to it. I hope this post helps anyone who wants to sort through things but also feels too over whelmed.