Less is more

Around six months ago I also become aware that my chaotic approach to finances, meant I had very little idea where my money was going, and I was slowly sliding into debt. It took a great deal of courage to finally face my situation and it was worse than I imagined, but it felt liberating to be in control. It wasn’t until I was out shopping one day and I realised that I could buy something if I wanted it, without the huge stack of guilt on my shoulders about buying – it was wonderful to know that I had money to pay for it, rather than hoping.

I read Julia Camerons – Prosperous Heart,

Prosperous Heart

She was very open and honest about her journey, it made me feel that I was not the only one! that was a huge weight off my shoulders.

The book is very good, it gives workable steps so that I felt I was moving forward. She discusses the concept of getting the right payment for artistic endeavour and helps you to evaluate your spending ‘personality traits’.

One of the big revelations to me was that I could not afford the ‘bigger things’ I desired, so instead I was compensating by purchasing lots of little things, especially when it was ‘charity’ shops. Yet, if I stopped these purchases and gave myself time to consider what I really wanted, and why I wanted things, I could actually afford these ‘bigger’ things. I felt as if everything was within my reach, more importantly I began to feel blessed. I also used affirmations to enforce the belief that the universe provided for all my needs and wants.

The first month was really tight, I had overspent the month before so had to manage on a tiny budget but I was determined to do so. Instead of focussing on the ‘lack’ I began to pay attention to what I had.

I live in a fair size two bedroom flat and when I moved in I was creating a new home having been living with friends in the interim. There was a lot of space, but there were a lot of boxes it took me six months before I finally emptied the last box. In the three years I have lived here, my magpie tendencies has meant my little home has become full of ‘suff’.

lots of stuff

I spent a Sunday afternoon going through my larder, my freezer and my fridge – as I made my list I began to realise that I had a great deal of food and could manage to feed myself for quite some time without needing to do a big shop. I also realised that I was still in the habit of buying for a family even though I lived on my own.

When I began to look around my home all the stuff was making things difficult, to get a saucepan out of the cupboard I had to remove other pans, cooking pots everything in my home was like that. I began to question why I had so many pans when I only really used one or two. Since then I have been slowly, systematically, working my way through my cupboards and bookshelves – considering if I really need it. Once I realised just how valuable my space was, I began to make decisions about wether or not something deserved a limited resource.

glass and china

I had a whole glass cabinet full of so many glasses it was difficult to find the right one. I ended up taking two huge boxes to a local Charity shop. Having room to display the items that pleased me the most gave me immense satisfaction.

My bookshelves were full of books that I had read and would not likely read again, so I took those away and now I buy kindle books because they don’t take up any room.

Its a slow process, one that I do when I feel the moment strikes, I’ll do a shelf – or a cupboard and then rest. If you do too much its overwhelming.

I had three cake stands so I listed a glass cake stand on a Facebook group, offering it for free, and spoke to a fabulous lady miles away who was very much looking forward to owning one. She was arranging for it to be picked up so after finding a big enough box I realised that I could wrap it up in some fabric – I no longer wanted rather than bubble wrap. (We both enjoyed sewing!) and I also found a three tier cake stand that was also a duplicate and that also fitted in the box. It gave me a great deal of pleasure to be able to give things away, knowing that they would be valued and appreciated.

I have been reading around this subject and have found some other wonderful inspiration that has helped me enormously.

The simple Life

This is a wonderful book, Rhonda creates a warm cosiness about her lifestyle, contentment drips off the page. It made me yearn to have chickens and a veg patch. She has links in the ebook to her online community which is full of more great advice and like minded folks.

There are some very good questions that help you to re-evaluate what is important.

Well worth a read you can get it on amazonย for as little as 60p.

 

It seems that clutter is endemic according to the BBC and it is affecting our health. I think that there is more to it than merely space, its stressful when you have to unpack a cupboard to get something out, or that you cannot fit all your items in your cupboards. I believe it affects our energy flow as well, living in a cluttered space does not give us the ‘white space’ to relax in.

I would be interested to hear what you think!

In the meantime I shall create a list of things that I have given away.

ttfn x

So far:

2 boxes of glassware

1 glass cake stand

1 Three tier china cake stand

1 Vax upright hoover

A set of six willow pattern dinner plates and bowls

A potato ricer

Two carrier bags of reading books

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7 thoughts on “Less is more

  1. Hi Susie , agree with your thoughts entirely. Was sliding into debt which was why I left Chandler’s Ford to buy my smaller house here in Frimley, closer to where more work was to be found. Long story short am now earning a lot less than I used to and living within a tight budget is something I am now getting accustomed to. Still paying off the debt. I had done a major declutter to move from Chandler’s Ford and more decluttering was required to shoe horn into this house, but I have now done it. The house is comfortably equipped and furnished and most things can be found and got to reasonably easily. S x

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    • Hi Sue,
      Its nice to hear from other people who are coping with the same things. Downsizing is not always bad, what seems like a step back helps you to evaluate what is really important. It sounds as if you have found peace and contentment in your new home.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. About 10 days ago, I decided that I would be getting rid of two “things” each day and so far am on target. Just think! In a year I’ll have rid myself of at least 730 pieces of stuff (discarded, donated, yard-saled or recycled) I found it helpful to read your post and realize that I too could reduce all those glasses I will never make martinis for and all those books I will most definitely not re-read. I read a long time ago about photographing groups of items when you are decluttering so that you can refer to a photo (which takes up a lot less space!) if you find you miss the item. Perhaps listing items serves the same purpose. Thank you! PT x

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    • Hi Pippa
      Well done on your challenge, it sounds a brilliant idea! I am so glad that my post resonated with you. Photographing things sounds a great way to keep count, chart your progress and celebrate your success!

      I found when it was giving stuff away it wasn’t really the things that was the difficult part it was realising that I hadn’t had the dinner parties that required all that glass – letting go of that ‘dream’ was the hard part.

      Like

  3. I have this to do on a grand scale! My father was an (organised) hoarder and my mum doesn’t de-clutter enough…then there’s my stuff… I moved back into my parents’ house some time ago so it’s going to be left to just me (I know the irresponsible siblings won’t be bothered). I just wish I had my old stamina and ability as before. :/

    I already started on my dad’s stuff, just chipping away at it.

    Sounds like you’re doing well, Fred ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting – this was over a year ago and I have a new home!
      But it is good to remember this – revisit those lessons that have slipped by the wayside! It is a timely reminder!

      Going through your Dad’s things must be difficult, especially if you are not as fit as you used to be, but even mountains can be moved one grain at a time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, one grain at a time!

        I just hope you have a good sewing room in your new home ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I had to block my area off from the dogs as they’re little monkeys. Oscar has a thing for threads! One time he wound an entire spool round the perimeter of the room and furniture – it looked like an elaborate spider web. :/ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ• ๐Ÿพ

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