Thursday, 10 October 2019

Deliberate Decluttering

I have too much 'stuff'. I need to reduce the number of possessions. But as I go through this process, I realise I must do it deliberately. Not just in the sense of "I will do this thing", but also in the sense of "a deliberate act, done consciously and intentionally". 
Many years ago, I helped a friend in London to move house. She'd already packed most of the clothes/crockery/books etc I remember being quite upset to watch her - as the removal men put large furniture in the van, she just went round each room scooping everything else which was left lying about into bin bags. Among the old magazines,empty envelopes and crisp packets, there were plates, toys, books, even children's clothes...All of it went outside for the bin men. "Oh if I didn't pack them into boxes, I don't want them" she said. There was no way I could go through and sort out decent stuff which might be useful.  
I have therefore decided my decluttering must be done thoughtfully. Last week I sorted out the following things

  1. I have way too much Le Creuset cookware. Most of it is 40 years old [wedding gifts] and there are a few newer pieces. I sorted out 4 items I'm not using, and offered them to my daughters.
  2. There was a whole stack of empty tetrapak cartons, washed and waiting, in the kitchen. Thank you to all my local friends who pointed out that the recycling area at Ferndown Tesco has a bin for these
  3. A dear friend recently died. Her husband asked me to deal with her vast wool collection. These went to the Knit'N'Natter group at the Parish Church, who are currently knitting various items for some overseas charities.
  4. I'm about to do my Summer/Winter clothes swap. I spent 5 minutes going through the wardrobe pulling out the items which had not been worn this season** and putting them into a box for the Trussell Trust Shop.
I have also joined a local facebook group called 'Waste Not, Want Not' where people can offer items free to others who might find a use for them.
**One tip I learned years ago – at the start of the season, put all hangers on the rail with the ‘open’ part of the hook facing you. As you wear and replace a garment, put the hook on the ‘conventional way [open part to the back] Then when you get to the swap over, you can immediately discover which clothes you have not worn at all


  1. It's very good to consciously declutter- I'd be distressed like you at that blaise form of decluttering that you encountered. The Le Creuset is a lovely thing to be offered and I'm glad you found a home for all the other items. By the way, WHY were you up so late and why was it a bizarre evening??? Hoping you are ok!x

  2. I am on a mission at the moment too, but I am taking a slightly different approach. It is good to come at this stuff problem from all angles and I am going through each room and trying to make it look clean, minimal and in the process doing a bit of editing and styling either by moving things to other rooms or even replacing worn out items for something newer - this instantly gives the room a lift.

  3. Deliberate Decluttering! I like that! My problem is, I tend to deliberate a bit too much! "I don't use this...oh, but...what if...maybe I could..." and then, the item stays put! :D

  4. I completely agree with you! I have done a major clear out over the past couple of years but there is still more to work my way through (some of it is stuff that I wasn't ready to let go of the first time round).
    I'm lucky in that friends & family will take items if they can use them - I work for a church that does a lot of outreach work in the downtown community so we are always collecting clothes, toiletries etc. - and we have a yearly book sale that is a popular fund raiser so that takes care of those. And I'm also lucky in that my superintendent always knows of new immigrant families and she packs up a barrel every year to send home to the Azores for family there so she happily accepts anything that I don't want.
    We have a recycling bin that is collected once a week out back and I have a shredder so that takes care of the paperwork!
    I too would be shocked if I saw someone just throwing out items that could be so useful to others.

  5. Good tip re clothes! I don't buy much anymore so at least the clutter isn't growing! Cheers from Carole's Chatter


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