Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Simplifying

Hello friends,

I have a confession to make!

I have too much stuff and it is really annoying me!  

A dear friend once told us that we spend the first half of our lives collecting stuff and the last half getting rid of it! 
How true this is...

Why do we hang on to things? Does it remind us of happier times in the past?  Does it hold us back from moving forward? I am referring to vintage items that I have been collecting over the years. They do feel special. Is this a good thing?  Can I part with some of my collection? I am not sure, we will see.


It could be because of Spring, but lately I have been feeling the urge to purge (as in de-clutter).

After browsing minimalism and de-cluttering blogs, I have put into action what I have learned. 
YouTube also has a ton of helpful videos to keep me inspired.


The first thing I tackled was my clothing. 
I don't wear fancy name brand articles, so it wasn't really that hard to cull. 

Gone is the clothing that I haven't worn for a while or no longer love. 


Have you heard of Marie Kondo from Konmari fame? 
She is a young Japanese woman, who has a fantastic method for clearing and organising the clutter in our homes.

So after taking some inspiration from Marie, I now have very neatly presented drawers. Marie has a special way of folding clothes to make them fit nicely into drawers. 
The good thing about this method is you can see which shirt or item you want without rummaging through and messing up the whole drawer. 

First mine...


Then hubby's.



Too many emails was another problem. I found I couldn't keep up with them all. So I have taken action and unsubscribed to most of the emails I was receiving. I now have only a few of my favourites coming in, and it feels so much better. I have also cut back on social media.


The cupboards have been getting a good sort out too.  I have thrown out a lot of items that were no longer used. My cleaning gear now consists of just a few things that I use all the time. 


You may have noticed that I have simplified my blog. It was becoming too cluttered and not a place I enjoyed anymore. It is still a work in progress and there may be more changes as I attempt simplify further.


Books have been culled too. No need to have so many collecting dust, never to be read. Someone else can have the use of them, so off to the op shop they go. I have kept just the ones that are important to me.


I am longing for a really simple rest of my life. I don't want to do all this busyness anymore.

I come from a family of hoarders. Both my parents and grandparents hung onto things for years and years. Just in case.
So I have a battle on my hands.


In my kitchen I use a few vintage items. I wont be parting with these. When I use them it is a gentle reminder of simpler times. 


I think hubby may be getting a bit worried. He will be hovering over his possessions, just in case I decide to start on his.


What I have done so far;

~ Our bedroom
~ Most of the laundry room, cupboards and drawers
~ Our sons drawers
~ Most of the bookshelves
~ Cupboard in the entryway
~ Sorted email
~ Started cleanup of my blog


Still on my list to do;

~ Spare room drawers and wardrobe.  These have been used for storing "stuff"
~ Sort through DVD's, we don't watch them
~ The rest of the bookshelves
~Sideboard cupboard, another storage for "stuff"
~ Kitchen dresser, meat-safe and icebox
~ Finish last cupboard in the laundry
~ Linen cupboards (I have been putting this off)
~ Pantry
~ Kitchen
~ Sons bedroom
~ Main bathroom
~ Finish off clearing out the rumpus room
~ Go through boxes of stuff in storage
~ Sort out plants outside
~ Outside front garden.  I struggle to grow things mainly because they need a lot of water, so I am going to put down rocks and grow hardy plants instead.

I am sure to add more to this list.

I have a way to go yet, but I will continue on...I am also wanting to give the house a fresh coat of paint, as the colours of our walls are very outdated. They have not been painted since we moved here. I am going to go neutral all over, away from the variety of different colours the previous owners chose.




Do any of you have the same problem with letting go of things? Maybe you are a minimalist already or on your journey to become one. Or perhaps collecting things makes you happy. Let me know, I would love to hear your stories.

I will leave you this video to watch. Please do yourself a favour and watch it if you haven't done so already.



I have enjoyed seeing the beautiful flower displays this year.  I have shared some with you in this post.
The large amount of rain has changed the landscape into a sea of colour.

Have a wonderful day!


32 comments:

  1. I agree with the idea that we have a desire to simplify as we get older, I suppose we're more aware of what's important and what isn't.

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    1. So true Gorges. My mindset is definitely changing the older I become :)

      xTania

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  2. Gosh there must be something in the air, I just spent the past hour and a half sorting/cleaning my kitchen draws! When I have a big declutter, I always think "If I was to move house, would this be worth the effort it takes to pack it and unpack it again" its a real motivator for me!

    I've seen the story of stuff a couple of times, its one of my favourite environmental films. I think kids at school should be made to watch it...several times in their schooling lives!

    Good luck for the rest of your decluttering, the house will feel fresh and airy come Christmas :)

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    1. I like your thinking Cheryl.

      When we moved here we came from a far smaller house. I think the more space we have the more we want to fill it with stuff!

      I decided to post this so I can follow my progress. Having said that I have not progressed very far today. Hubby has man flu and I am not in the mood from sorting and cleaning lol.

      I hope to have most of the list if not all done by Christmas. Maybe the painting wont happen just yet, but it will happen.

      xTania

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  3. Hi Tania. You must be feeling really pleased with all the decluttering you've done so far. I love that way of folding clothes to put into drawers!!! What a good idea. My house could use a good declutter too especially the study because, as a teacher, I would hold onto something in case I thought I'd use it again, one day. Over the last two years, I've progressively given away many of my teaching resources and am happy that they can be used by others now. I've kept some for when I do relief teaching work. Like Cheryl, my kitchen drawers could do with some decluttering and organising too. The flowers you've posted pics of a so lovely...it must be wonderful to see them all coming into bloom after good rains. Meg:)

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    1. Yes Meg I am pleased with my progress so far.

      The weirdest thing happened in a dream. Recently I dreamed of lots of frogs living in our shed. Apparently it means there will be changes ahead. Since the dream I have been cleaning, sorting and making plans for a simpler life. I think this must be the change ahead.

      It does feel good to give away some of our stuff. It is like a weight being lifted off our shoulders.

      The flowers are in full bloom here. The countryside has been transformed. It is still green in many places which is unusual for this time of year.

      I try to keep my kitchen as de-cluttered as possible. I had a big clean out a while ago and removed any items that were never used. I still need to get things in order from time to time.

      xTania

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  4. Moving house was a great de-clutter. But, having been here for 4 years, with less cupboards than I previously had, it is also a declutter time again for me. I'm tired of having to search for what I need - through piles and piles of stuff that I no longer use - and probably never will again.

    It's a very liberating feeling when one does de-clutter - and I want that feeling again...

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    1. I agree wholeheartedly with you Dani, it is very liberating :)

      xTania

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  5. I hear you loud and clear. I'm a hoarder and have clutter everywhere. I love the boho style decor but also like things neat and tidy so am in constant conflict which gets me down. I have done some decluttering and now fold my clothes the Kondo way which I find very helpful. Such a long way to go but it's a start.

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    1. That is exactly how I feel Anne. I always seem to be unsettled with what ever style I try and you are right the disorder can sometimes bring you down.

      I think having just the basics is the way to go. To have just what you need and nothing else, not sure if I can do it though, but I am going to give it my best shot.

      We visited friends recently that have just finished designing and building their own house with their own hands. I was in awe of how they have just the basics with a little of what they love scattered neatly around.

      xTania

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  6. This is a great post Tania, which comes at the right time. I seem to be constantly decluttering, but I had a little giggle last week when I paused over an old striped top that was in the throw out/op-shop pile. I was literally swaying with it in my hand, between putting it back in my drawer or putting it on the pile. It went back in the drawer..!! But I know I'll never wear it again, so guess what?, I'm going to get it out right now!! Thanks for the push. :)

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    1. Hehehe Sally, sorry to be a kill joy...good for you being so strong and removing that item you will never wear and putting it back on the out pile! ;) I pictured myself as I was reading your comment. I remember doing this over the years too. I think I should put the bags in the car now and take it to the op shop so it is gone, gone, gone!

      xTania

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  7. Dear Tania,
    We have moved a few times which were times that I got rid of clutter. I sold about half of my stuff in a garage sale at one time. But clutter builds up and its a constant process!
    I have built up my pantry (which I don't consider clutter but security) by using up things and reducing clutter that way. I also think turning clutter into donations or selling is great. Thats takes it from useless to useful!
    I do not like ornaments and have none. I don't like book cases of books either I find them dusty and old and yuk (but some people would be horrified!) I only keep books I absolutely LOVE and would never part with. That is about twenty books at present. I don't keep magazines or anything like that I scrap book precious pictures and articles etc. I don't keep cook books either I just keep the actual recipes I love.
    I don't keep any clothes I don't love and wear except for my painting clothes. I don't keep any gifts I don't like much out of obligation and it seems a lot of people have heaps of stuff they don't like even furniture and paintings etc and I think that one is crazy! If you look at something and it annoys you or is ugly get rid of it!
    All this aside I don't think has bottles, camping gear, torches and such things are lovely but they are wise and necessary and so I do not subscribe to the notion of if it doesnt bring you joy toss it. Somethings do not bring joy just now but when the power is out then they do bring me joy! haha!
    Overall I think getting rid of clutter makes you feel really good! Things feel better, fresher and life is easier!
    Having just painted for a year I can say a fresh coat of paint is lovely! My whole house looks lighter and brighter and as you paint it is kind of like a spring clean as ell as you have to move basically everything... much of it never got put back but if it did it was cleaned first. So it was huge!
    Well done! Sorry for such a long rant! With love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Oh thank you so much for the long rant Annabel! It has been very helpful :) I think you may hold the secret to no clutter. Your ideas make so much sense. I am going to think over your suggestions and see if I can implement some of the ideas into my home.

      I have stopped going to the op shops so I do not feel tempted to buy more stuff! And I have been thinking seriously about the things I could sell after reading your post yesterday.

      I wish one of those TV programs (Extreme hoarders lol) would turn up on my door and sort it all for me lol! Maybe I could drag it into the front yard and only put back what I love and need, like they do!

      I do not seem to have a good eye for decorating so this is why I put things off. Its hard to make a decision. I come from a long line of procrastinators lol!

      It is solely a matter of getting off my butt to "just do it"!

      I admire the way you got in and painted your whole house yourself. It may have taken a while, but it sure looks great now :)

      You have re inspired me!!

      Much love,
      Tania xx

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  8. Have you ever thought of a well kept hedge of Saltbush. There is a museum in Hay ...think it's called the big merino ...and it has this beautiful hedge. I don't know if mr Google give any pictures to check out.
    Well done in your purging :)
    Alexa-asimplelife

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    1. Thank you Alexa, I will check that link out, plus do some googling too.

      I had not thought of making a hedge from saltbush. We do grow saltbush here so it should do well.

      xTania

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  9. http://flickrhivemind.net/User/Shear%20Outback/Interesting

    Shear Outback is the venue in Hay with drought proof gardens. Tis gorgeous.:)

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  10. Hi there. Just found your blog and signed up as new follower and yes I too struggle with clutter. best thing we ever did was move from our BIG farmhouse last year into a tiny grain bin house. Went from 3000SF to less than 700SF. So sold and gave away many items. It's always a work in progress but the more I give away the lighter I feel.

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    1. Hi Donna, welcome to my blog!

      I have just been browsing over yours and am in awe of your grain bin house! What an adventure you are on! I can see I am going to enjoy reading your posts :)

      Thanks for the tips on decluttering. Before we lived in this large house we were in a much smaller one. The more room I have the more I seem to be filling it with crap!

      xTania

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    2. I am having trouble with blogger, it wont let me follow you for some reason! I will keep trying though :)

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  11. Yes same problem here. Both myself and hubby like to keep things just in case. Especially broken things that we could fix. Even after we've bought a new one already! I have been decluttering too and it feels good :)

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    1. Hi there Liz,

      It would appear that I am not alone in my addiction then lol!

      I am so pleased to hear from people who have similar traits. I think a good tidy up and organise is in order!

      xTania

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  12. Good luck with it all Tania. Both hubby and I are hoarders and we both come from families of hoarders so it often feels like an uphill battle. I've been working slowly through things trying to keep it under a bit of control for years and have only been making slight progress.

    Having Christmas at our house this year has really made me look at what we have and I'm now in de-clutter mode but I think I'll check out the link to Marie's sight and get some inspiriation. I need all the help I can get!! :)
    x Susan

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    1. Good luck at your end too Susan. Christmas can be hectic enough without the thought of decluttering added in. Hope you take it easy and just do what you can. It will always wait for you for when there is more time :)

      Have a lovely day,

      xTania

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  13. Totally resonates with me - I hear ya!

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    1. Not you too MrHM?

      I am starting to feel so much better knowing that others have the same issues with clutter...

      xTania

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  14. i am minimalist and agree each bit of you
    best wishes for you hot preparation for Christmas

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  15. Dear Tania, this is such a challenging topic. Whilst I do not agree with Marie Kondo's method in it's entirety, she has some worthwhile ideas. I completely agree that as we grow older, we must simplify so that our children are not left with masses of stuff to purge when we become frail or infirm. Very important. But as you say, what to keep, what to purge? I'm getting better with not having masses of 'stuff' on display. That used to be how I made my home pretty. Now I have a few select items out, and have found that spending time organising my home more efficiently initially, actually frees my time up to do the things I really enjoy. I can have 'pretty' surrounding me in my craft room, and don't need it extending to every room in the house...much to my husbands relief as he IS a minimalist! I've learned to photograph things and let them go. I've learned that my Mothers or my Nannas memory is not held within objects, but in my heart, and that once I am gone, my family will just look at those things and go 'why the heck did she keep THAT?'! I've learned too, that sometimes Pinterest and blogs, encourage hoarding in the worst possible way! You're doing well. Keep up the good work and don't be deterred! Love, Mimi xxx

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    1. Some great advice, thank you Mimi xx

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  16. Great job. I love it when stuff is cleaned out.

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  17. Hi Katie, Thank you for visiting my blog and letting me know you were here.

    xTania

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I love reading your comments! Through them, I have learnt that there are some truly lovely people out there. Thank you :)