Thursday, September 26, 2013

The road to less - part 4: the Great Declutter of 2013

Last week I took four days 'off' to purge this house. It was intense, exhausting, exhilarating, liberating, addictive, and confronting.

When I first wrote this list, I wasn't sure I'd get through it all in four days. But I did. And I feel satisfied.

Before last week, there wasn't a single square metre in the house that was calm, free from visual 'noise' and where I felt relaxed.

I was driven to create a more peaceful home. Somewhere clear and calm. Somewhere that didn't make me feel as though I couldn't possibly stop for a second, because there was just so much to do. I knew achieving this would fill me with satisfaction and pride and motivation to continue the journey. But in the spirit of keeping it real, what I didn't  expect to feel was ashamed and self-indulgent.

Ashamed because I can't actually understand how I ever fathomed it was ok to buy so many things that weren't needed for practicality or beauty (I will always desire to have things that make me happy just by looking at them). I just genuinely have no idea how so much unnecessary stuff accumulated. I felt appalled by the sheer volume of stuff I had to take to the dump (although I think they're called Refuse and Recycling Centres these days). Room after room, box after box, bag after bag of stuff that was neither useful, or beautiful, or meaningful.

The self-indulgence is simple. The fact that I am even talking about 'decluttering', 'simplifying', and 'living with less' is crazy. Millions of people have nowhere near enough, and I'm writing about how getting rid of stupid amounts of possessions is cleansing and calming. What a first world problem to have, huh. Sobering, really.

Regardless, there is still too much. But I am happy with progress to date. There are a few areas I haven't tackled yet, primarily because they're not mine. What should go and what should stay isn't my call to make.

A week on, the house is still clean. Surfaces are still clear. Things have homes. New habits are forming. I feel like I have space to breathe.

It's good.


  1. I've been waiting for this post! Looking at your list you have been incredibly busy. Good on you. And it doesn't take long to form new habits and the boys will follow along easily too. Have a great weekend Jen xo

    1. Thanks lovely Elaina. I hope you have a beautiful weekend enjoying your glorious garden. I am hoping to do some further posts with photos as soon as I get some spare time. I didn't take photos of the process! I guess I'm not a true blogger! I just got stuck in. But I have lovely 'afters'. xxx

  2. Well done!
    I need to do the same thing around here...all of a sudden it seems like our house is totally full! Once uni ends for the semester, I am going to tackle the house! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. That's exactly how I felt Caitlin. One day it was fine, then the next it was full! It's been so wonderful and liberating, but so confronting. I feel a bit adrift, but I'm sure I'll settle somewhere soon x

  3. Wow, I love that view of how much of a first world problem it is. Too much being an issue. What others wouldn't do to have enough let alone! I too am on a quest to cleanse and clear and find space to breathe. Timely post for me to read. X


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