It came to me yesterday afternoon, while I was on my hands and knees, reorganizing the saucepan cupboard. When you have too much, you can't actually appreciate what you have. When you have just enough, somehow you appreciate it more. I know that I am very lucky to be in the position to experience 'just enough', let alone 'too much'. And I have to say, that although it is hard work, I am systematically working through our entire flat, and every one of our possessions, decluttering, downsizing and reorganizing what is left, it is so rewarding.
I started following the Brocante Home Trash It or Treasure It programme, but as it went on an hiatus, I didn't. For the first time, I was really bitten by the bug, and so I have continued. I still have a way to go, and because I have been focussing on drawers and cupboards a lot so far, to the untrained eye it might not look like lots has changed, to me, everything has changed, and I couldn't be happier.
When I was first dating Carl, he was a 'social smoker' and said he would give up. But he found it harder to do than say, and however much I wanted him to give up, he had to be ready, in himself. And so I think it is with this kind of editing and stripping back. I have wanted to do it in the past, and have started Trash It or Treasure It or Flylady only to fall by the wayside...but this time I am ready.
I think I am probably about half way there, but already my sense of peace is increasing so much. The local charity shop is getting bags and bags of donations, which makes me feel good. I realised, while sipping a cup of tea this morning, that there isn't a single thing I have got rid of that I regret. There are things that I have loved, but outgrown. Spares of things I haven't used. Things I have bought to 'make do' that never brought me joy. So I am setting them free to find new homes.
It feels so good to be doing this, and to be doing it because I really want to. I finished the kitchen yesterday, and just making a pot of tea this morning felt easier. It isn't just about the decluttering, although that is vital - it is about the reorganizing of what is left, and thinking about little things that will make life easier or better, or more comfortable. I have started a list of projects to look forward to, once I have finished:
Covering the kitchen table in oilcloth (inspired by tea at the Cragg Sisters) and paining the chairs
Designing my own book plates to go in my books
Replacing our chest of drawers in the bedroom with a second hand dressing table
Buying some of those removable hooks which stick onto the wall, to hang up some of our framed photographs
Making a pompom rug for the living room floor
I also found this blog post very inspirational -
Although I have a full time job, I do love the work I do in our home, and it was really interesting to read about someone else seeing it as a privilege too.
Right, time to roll up my sleeves and tackle another cupboard....