Too much stuff? Liberate it (and yourself)

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful – William Morris

I can in no way be described as a minimalist. Nobody with bunting hanging in the kitchen can claim this! However, I hate clutter and I’m not a fan of holding onto lots of stuff or buying new things just for the sake of it. This brings me into conflict with Mr S sometimes who is a bit of a hoarder (he actually found some of his own stuff in the charity shop one day – I was not popular!).

I am a regular declutterer. I don’t like spaces full of so much stuff I don’t know what I own. What’s the point of having things if they aren’t used? I would rather give them away. 

So the drawers and cupboards I go to regularly are pretty ordered. However, the spaces that are out of the way are full of junk! We have three sheds in the garden that desperately need sorting out. There are items of furniture stored out there that we are unlikely to use so they need to go to the charity shop or on eBay. The DIY stuff is all over the place and needs organising. 

The more things you own, the more they own you – unknown

Another dark, disordered place is the attic. I think most of the things up there we need to keep but it could still do with a bit of rationalisation I am sure. 

Then there is the hall cupboard, full of tools, cleaning stuff, hoovers and sleeping bags. Every now and again the weight of the stuff inside pushes the door open!

So, there is work to be done and I intend to tackle the lot in the next few months. 

A good clear out is really therapeutic I find so I am actually looking forward to it (but not the spiders…).

How about you? Are you a hoarder or a declutterer? Do you have cupboards full of unidentified stuff?

5 thoughts on “Too much stuff? Liberate it (and yourself)

  1. saraband

    Like you, I dislike clutter (without being minimalist) but OH tends not to throw stuff away in case it might come in useful. Very occasionally it does – assuming it can be found! I find clutter the biggest obstacle to cleaning – not my favourite task at the best of times. However, things have improved since we downsized 5 years ago and had to make a determined effort to get rid of stuff in order to move. Now, if we’re considering buying something for the house, my first thought is “Where will we keep it?” and if nowhere obvious springs to mind we probably won’t buy it. Good luck! I agree with you that decluttering can be very therapeutic.

  2. Julia

    I’ve always thought of myself as not a hoarder, but our attic desperately needs a good clear out! In fact that’s the goal for this year!

    Saying that though, We’ve recently inherited a lot of furniture from my mother-in-law, which I’m loathe to give to charity because I have 5 kids and keep thinking of how useful it would be for them when they more out! Which is ridiculous because the eldest is only 23 and I can’t see any of them needing furniture for a place of their own for years!

    At the moment it’s still in her house, so not a problem, but when it sells we’ll need to make a decision. I just remember how grateful I was to receive a good sideboard and a sofa from my parents (who were replacing theirs at the time) when I got my first house!
    It breaks my heart to buy something we would already have had – if only there was somewhere to put it in the meantime!

    On the whole though, we don’t have much in the way of clutter. A transatlantic move nearly 5 years ago took care of that!

  3. Margaret Powling

    I have to say we’re fairly well ordered here. We have only a small loft as we live in a dormer house and so the only loft space is over our sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom are in what would be the rest of the ‘attic’ space. And so we keep only a few things in there and we know what they are, suitcases, and some pictures. However, I do have my Resources Cupboard upstairs in one of the rooms and in that I have eight large plastic storage boxes which have things which belonged to my late mother. I parted with a lot of her things – things not worth keeping went to the tip, quite nice things went to the charity shops (or rather a couple of vans were sent to collect the things, there was so much) and a lot of better things went to a fine arts auction house. What I had left I really did wish to keep, and now I can change ornaments and such like around occasionally and it has meant I’ve never had to buy such things (except things like a couple of rather nice tea services and some cut-glass tumblers and wine glasses.)
    Husband keeps the garage quite tidy and about twice a year he will de-clutter the garden shed. I have a summerhouse and that is kept tidy, too. I have cleaned out our wardrobe (wall to wall, five sections, holding all our clothes for summer and winter) today, and parted with only a couple of things are everything else is in use either in summer or winter. I need to weed by books again, it’s three years since I did that and parted with over 250 of them in that cull. I need to part with as many again, I think!
    I will never be a minimalist, but I do like some order with our possessions. And I think I can safely say I know where 99% of the things are.
    Margaret P
    http://www.margaretpowling.com

  4. Mrs G

    Having cleared out my father’s (mental health issues led to some very strange hoarding) and a few year’s later my m-I-l’s property after unexpected deaths (both only in early 60s) I really do try not to hang onto things ‘just in case’. I do have 4 children, 3 of which are boys and so I have hand-me-downs, but these are in 4 boxes (not very big – about the size of a W**kers crisps box) labelled with name and size in the loft. The only other items in the loft are large suitcases (a couple of smaller ones are kept in wardrobes), Xmas decorations and 2 boxes of sentimental type items (my school reports, pictures the children drew when young, newspaper clippings they’re in)
    Second hand items in decent condition are relatively easy to come by nowadays if I felt the need. And I know that my children would rather have something of their taste than be ‘lumbered’ (as they would see it) with something they didn’t like. So many items can deteriorate if hung onto (due to mould/ mice/ woodworm/ damp..) that I have the view it is better for someone else to enjoy them now and then if I need something similar at a later date I can find something then.
    We’re not made of money (earnings below national average) by any means – but I don’t want to hang onto something for Justin Case 😉 My home is not a storage area for things. Nor am I a minimalist by any stretch of the imagination! 🙂

    I find the Marie Kondo ‘spark joy’ principles useful – coupled with ‘if I had to move home now, would I be willing to pay for this to be packed and moved?’

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