The fine line between order and chaos…

The front room currently looks like a furniture store with three sofas in it, including one on its side waiting for the charity collection van. It feels cluttered and makes me uncomfortable. Despite my efforts to minimise stuff and declutter I still feel we have too many possessions generally and will continue to streamline. Having an extra sofa feels like the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

I feel sure that many people have far more than we do. I wonder how they cope – maybe they have more space? Although I think the more space you have, the more likely you are to fill it with stuff!

It is another good reason to keep up my no spend February. I don’t need anything else!!

I continue to be as frugal as I can possibly be. Before I buy anything I make sure I ask myself some essential questions: Do I actually need it? Do I really want it? Can I afford it? Could I get it secondhand? Could I find it cheaper elsewhere?  Unless it is something essential I give myself some breathing space. If it can wait a couple of days the chances are I won’t bother 😄.

In my experience, impulse buys are rarely wise buys. So I will try to avoid them?

How about you? Are you a minimalist or awash with clutter? Do you give into those impulse buys and regret them later?

15 thoughts on “The fine line between order and chaos…

  1. Not a very original comment on my part but I suppose everyone’s different! Some people find it comforting to be surrounded by their possessions, perhaps making them feel they have done well in life to be able to afford so much stuff: or maybe things have some sentimental meaning for them. Do you read Angela Almond’s Tracing Rainbows blog? Your comments fit well with her observations in today’s post based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
    My guilty spends at the moment are on walking boots which are beginning to clutter up the utility. I do a lot of walking/I have funny feet! I’m finding it really difficult to get comfortable boots. I thought I had solved the problem by buying cheap but comfy boots but they just aren’t lasting 5 minutes so have had to think again. I need to do someting with the expensive pairs i have that are little worn. Once you have worn them outdoors, you understandably can’t take them back. I think seeing them reminds me of how much I have ‘wasted’ on them and I feel oppressed (a bit strong!) by them. I feel an ebay declutter coming on!
    Vicki in a very wet East Yorkshire!

    • VickiEY … your spend on boots is but nothing, tee-hee, compared with what I spent last year on a dress for our son’s wedding, only to find that while the part to the waist looked splendid, real red-carpet gorgeous, from the waist down it looked hideous and gave me, already of generous proportions, a backside like a bus, and a double-decker at that. I then bought a navy blue lace dress, and then decided that it was too-dark a navy for a wedding and bought it in maroon, well I don’t think they call it that not, but it’s not aubergine, more a dark ox-blood colour. So I shelled out on two dresses I didn’t need and then a third one which I wore (and it looked lovely, I might add.) Now, a local charity shop will receive the first, an expensive Phase Eight dress, and I will wear the navy one … sometime!
      I also have ‘funny’ feet, so can appreciate your problem. My feet look perfectly normal, really neat, no bunions, no nasty crossed toes, whatever, but I have arthritis and so I can’t bear it if there is any pressure anywhere, and most shoes seem to have the heel or the instep in the ‘wrong’ position, and expensive shoes are usually too tight, regardless of the make or price, and a well-known company who advertise that they have very comfortable shoes … well, they are usually too wide and slop. I hope you find some good walking boots before too long.
      Margaret P

      • Haha Margaret, I can so readily identify with your dress story! How many times have I bought something for an event and then chosen something else! I too spent a small fortune on my outfit for my son’s wedding but I had a decent income then. For my daughter’s recent wedding there was no way I could do that and I spent one sixth of the cost, but, do you know what, I felt great because what I did buy really suited me.

        • I was fortunate insofar as I had a £50 gift voucher which went towards the Phase Eight dress, but sadly, when I looked at myself in the mirror, side-view (something a little tub like me should never do!) I thought, “No way can I wear this!” It’s a lovely dress, lace top and sleeves, corded silk from the waist down, exquisite on someone who is a size 10 or 12, but not me size 16 (or 18 depending on the make and the cut.) But sad that my £50 was ‘wasted’. But someone will love it when it goes to the charity shop. It still has the label on it but I couldn’t return it as I had it shortened a little as I am only 5ft 2in, and it was just a tad too long.
          Margaret P

      • Thank you! I have now bought some Berghaus ones which were reduced and am wearing them around the house to try and make sure they are OK as the assistant said I could take them back ic only worn indoors. It’s the best test I can give them but doesn’t really match wearing them over different types of terrain. Vicki

  2. Before we moved here around 16 months ago, because we had an unexpected delay in the proceedings, we lived with four plates, cups, bowls, 4 sets of cutlery, only a couple of oven to table dishes and basic pan and frying pan. It just went to show that even in the kitchen there is room for de-cluttering. I tell every body about a book I heard about on Chris Evans’ show called Stuffocation.
    It is fantastic and the main premise is living life through experiences and not by collecting stuff, but there is lots of other interesting things in it, too. I am an avid taker of stuff to the charity shop. I could probably get rid of a few other things but for now I think we are doing ok. Boys’ toy cupboards next as they are getting older and do not play with so many.

    • I love the idea of living through experience rather than stuff and several years ago I asked my children to buy only experiences or consumables (skin care, perfume etc) as birthday and Christmas presents. The experiences have included spa days, afternoon tea, meals out, theatre tickets etc.

  3. It’s funny you and Ang at Tracing Rainbows have said much the same on the same day – must be the time of year!
    I’m very good at clearing out and then sometimes regret getting rid of something that I need later. I’m also good at not impulse buying but then regret as I can’t find whatever it was ever again!
    I must find a happy medium somewhere 🙂

    • I have occasionally done that Sue, but so infrequently I will carry on with the declutter!

  4. I can’t bear clutter! There’s a fine line between a cosy homely home & a cluttered one!! I need to sort out my wardrobe, far too many things in there that I don’t wear – it’s a good way to give to charity too – having a bit of a declutter.

  5. I can’t bear clutter, but there is a difference between clutter and things you use all the time and which have places to ‘live’ when not in use. I can’t bear piles of old newspapers, catalogues, and so forth, but I love my magazines and keep them neatly stored away, also my books of which I have a few thousand. I also have ornaments and pictures and photos around the house, but we are not swamped by them. I would be bored witless if we only had one set of plates/cups/whatever for the table. I love to change things around and so have what I call my Resources Cupboard upstairs in which I store things when they are not in use. It’s lovely to delve into it and bring something out for a fresh ‘look’ occasionally. Of course, much depends on how much spare you have and surfaces on which to display things. But don’t throw away the lovely baby items – photos, mementoes, china, books – with the bathwater – old newspapers (unless they commemorate something special, in which case you might like to refer to them in years to come; I still have ours of the 1969 moon landing) and catalogues and general household detritus. But I would say that, wouldn’t I, as an antiques writer!
    Margaret P

  6. I guess I am somewhere in between. Whilst my rooms are not exactly minimalistic, they are tidy and not cluttered. I like a ‘clean lines’ appearance But my cupboards ans drawers tell another story! I am slowly reducing possessions though….especially as I can’t afford to spend on more! I do have a few sentimental items which I won’t part with but they’d fill no more than a small hand-luggage sized bag.

  7. I am a hoarder who has gradually progressed towards minimalism over the last 8 years. That’s how long it has taken me LOL I have set a goal this week of filling a large box with stuff for the women’s shelter because it looks like there’s still too many items around this house. I haven’t had as many impulse buys of late and I will not probably have any during 2017 because of a little challenge I’m doing that involves spending as little as possible …. but impulse buys are always regretful for me these days and the stuff ends up going back to the store 🙂

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