Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Sweeping to Simplicity


I sorted through all the kitchen cupboards a couple of months ago, indeed I originally sorted them through them last year.  But I'm finding that this decluttering lark is best done in sweeps.  

The first sweep is all the stuff you don't like and is oh so easy.  Then sometime later comes the sweep of all the things that you quite like but just don't use.  Next comes another sweep gathering together all the things that you realise should perhaps have gone sooner but were being kept because of memories they hold, uses they might have, occasions when they might come in handy and sometimes because they cost you more than you would usually have spent.

The final and most rewarding sweep is when you forget to worry about any of the guilt trips, the preconceptions, the might be usefuls etc etc

This cupboard has been well and truly swept ... and is now I think in it's final look, holding things that we use regularly, or have been used very recently.  There's no excess, nothing that jars or annoys me and there is just enough of everything if we have people round, workmen for coffees etc.

Or is there an egg cup or two too many ....


The cupboard next to the Aga did look like this first thing this morning ...


 ... now this is it.


The tea towel drawer under the worktop in what I think is it's final state. 


It only gave up four pie tins (I'll never need eight!!), a charger that fits nothing we own, some waxed discs for jam making and some disposable piping bags ... we don't eat anything with piped cream on top, so why on earth have these lasted here so long?

As you can see in some areas we are getting right down to the nitty gritty, and it's a good feeling.   While waiting for the kettle to boil I choose a place to sort though in the kitchen and I still find bits and bobs to add to the car boot sale box.

As we simplify our lives a calm descends and it's very addictive.  Luckily I still have a few areas in which to feed my addiction, and a couple more months of car boot sales in this area to turn the excess into cash.


Sue xx


20 comments:

  1. I like your "sweeps." I'll try that if I need to de-clutter in the future. Thanks.

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    1. It's a good term for it isn't it. It came to me as I opened the cupboard to get a mug for a cup of coffee and I found my eyes sweeping the cupboard contents for things to jettison. Needless to say the coffee had to wait a while as I ended up sorting through the cupboard, wiping it out and putting back just what I needed ... no wonder I was thirsty half an hour later :-)

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  2. I now do regular sweeps through the kitchen. As you say - the first one or two are easy - but it does get tougher as we go along. But still, I usually manage to find a few things here and there that can go. It's still the paperwork and the sentimental things that I'm having problems with - but I find your blog so inspiring - and the van looks so calm and tidy that it keeps me going.
    Thank you

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    1. It's good to keep at it isn't it. There are so many little things that creep into our lives almost imperceptibly. I find paperwork and what 'should be' sentimental things easier these days. Once I have rejoiced in receiving birthday cards or similar and displayed them for a couple of days they are straight into the paper recycling box. Little knick knacks that once meant a great deal now just don't. I do have a single memory box though with very precious things (to me) in it. Even the box was a gift from a blog reader many years ago so the whole thing is special ... so I'm not completely heartless ;-)

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  3. One day I'm going to take a leaf out of your book, Sue. I keep telling myself that, anyway - the day will come!

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    1. You must blog about it when you do ... I insist ;-)

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    2. Oh alright, I will blog about it then (when I do it!)...seeing as you insist! LOL!

      Thank you for your support, Sue ;-)

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  4. must say your methods do have a certain attraction. I have done stage one but need to start thinking of stage two.

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    1. I find it much better done in sweeps, this currently fashionable Marie Kondo method of doing the whole house in categories, and as a one off, would be much too much for me. I do like a bit of consideration about whether something is useful and waiting a couple of months between sweeps gives you the chance to see if you do actually use things.

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  5. Good job! I so need to sort through our coffee cups and glasses. I think they multiply in the night!

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    1. That's happened to me at the van ... from having just four matching cups and one that Alan wanted I seem to have acquired a couple more mugs.

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  6. My OH has started several sweeps recently and got rid of quite a lot of stuff. However, a friend just gave us a sideboard he no longer needs so a lot of my potential charity shop donations have now migrated to this additional storage area!

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    1. Oh no!! That is lethal.

      As soon as I emptied a wall mounted bookcase that was in the spare bedroom last week, I unscrewed it from the wall and added it to the car boot stock. Having things to 'hide' things you don't use in is very dangerous ... as you have found out :-)

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  7. I paid good money for everything in my cupboards so I am reluctant to through it away. I have recently brought my grans bread knife out of a cupboard and I am using it. I only buy things I really need and I am still using my mother's baking bowl. I am not a hoarder but I will not buy anything new if can manage. Now don't get me wrong I have a motor home travel the world but I work hard for my money so do not waste.

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    1. I paid good money, and hard earned money for everything that I have too, but the possessions I bought with that money are becoming rocks around my neck and have to be jettisoned. This is why we are having an amnesty for the rest of this year, no matter what we paid for anything we own, if we no longer need, or just no longer want it, we have given ourselves permission to get rid.

      And from now on we are not shopping for anything that does not fit in with our more simple ethos. In fact we hardly shop at all at the moment ... even for food!

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  8. Fancy a trip downunder Sue I certainly could use you wisdom and help despite having many books on decluttering etc. We are downsizing and it's a stressful challenge and I wonder where has all this "stuff" come from:( xx Lovely seeing your before and after photos and you have the right mindset to let things go♥

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    1. Haha ... first to go should perhaps be the books about decluttering ;-)

      Why not set yourself the month long 1-31 Challenge. On the first of July you choose one thing to get rid of, on the 2nd two, etc etc. It starts off so easy and then you will get to the 29th/30th and 31st and it suddenly feels a whole lot harder. I did it a while ago and photographed what I sorted each day to inspire me to keep going. I should perhaps share the photos to give people some inspiration!

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  9. Many thanks Sue, I did do the 1-31 challenge last year and it was a great feeling when I finished. Haha my decluttering books are packed away. I've been sending heaps of donations to our charity locations and once we move I'm hoping to have a large garage sale. We had to declutter our home for recent open houses, at first we hated how empty it looked but now we love it, less to clean, heaps less clutter around such a lovely feeling to see less around. Our new home will be set-up completely different to our current one - "a smaller life" for sure:) A new adventure about to begin♥

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    1. That sounds absolutely wonderful. I LOVE new adventures :-)

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