Thursday, 25 July 2019

For anyone overwhelmed by clutter

Most people who read here have been on the trail of minimising and simplifying for a long time, but I expect some of you struggle with a lot of stuff to deal with.

Today I found two posts I think are really good about tackling overwhelming piles of junk and clutter.

The first comes from Courtney Carver at Be More With Less and is about alternating slow small incremental change in the direction of simplicity and peace with short sharp bursts of intensive de-cluttering.

The second, from the visually very cluttered blog of Tracey Lynn, is about incorporating places and systems for the items in our home — reminds me of the Japanese composite word danshari (dan-sha-ri, meaning refuse-dispose-separate).

I think the methods recommended in both those posts look promisingly do-able. Good luck! Calm and harmony to your home! May your living space reflect the peace and order of heaven.


Bean said...

Good morning :)
I am so into this!!! I have now pretty much de-cluttered the entire house, including the attic and basement, and it FEELS AMAZING. Each room in our home seems larger, each area is tidy and calming without all of the clutter. I know where everything is and I don't believe we have ever lived in such an organized and tidy way, and it has made life so easy. When there is no clutter the home always looks tidy. When it is time to clean, that is all there is to do, simply clean, no having to pick up and put away tons of things.
We have freed ourselves of many, many items and we have not missed one of them. And, I find myself able to let go of more items, it is just so liberating.
I believe it is through you that I started learning about minimalism and de-cluttering, so THANK YOU my FRIEND, we love our new de-cluttered life :)


Pen Wilcock said...

Hurrah! Go, Bean! You've done so well. x

kat said...

Some very wise words there, though I was rather amused by Fumio Sasaki living somewhere that houses his 150 "positions" and by Tracey Lynn "widdling" things down (tip 3)!! I suspect mistranslation for the first and USA English for the second. I do keep clearing out bits and bobs, but there never seems to be enough time to take the trend to the next level - possibly because there's too much to deal with, but also because I'm catching up with various other priorities. Must just keep nibbling away at small bits of the elephant!

I got a new handbag too - not as economically as you, but from TK Maxx, and I love it - enough pockets to keep things better organised and nice leather that holds it's shape - very important xx

Rebecca said...

I did it! 100 items out of the house.

Pen Wilcock said...

kat — I think that widdling was an auto-correct. I bet she wrote "wittling" instead of "whittling", and it helpfully altered it for her.
In your case, I think you have the extra nuance of your actual occupation these days requiring many bits and pieces. It's the same with Hebe and Alice — because they are both artists and musicians, there are numerous items that belong to what they do. All your textile things are important, because you never know when you will need which piece, there has to be a variety and a whole spectrum. I like the Danshari principle (refuse-dispose-separate). The separate part will be important for you, as with Hebe and Alice. This is where *personal* minimalism helps. Because I have almost nothing now, we've been able to free up out entire attic room as an extra studio space. All the music stuff is up there, the spinning stuff too, the printer things, and soon the bookbinding bits will be going up there. Once the items are spatially separated into defined categories, it becomes much easier to identify anything extraneous.

Rebecca — Woot! Woot! Go you! That's a massive achievement! Ha! How satisfying.

Julie B. said...

I always love to read about how people declutter their lives. Thank you for introducing me to these two -- I'll go back and read more deeply.

Anonymous said...

I really need to declutter. My sewing stuff is the hardest. I know I will use it all eventually, especially during retirement when funds are limited to buy fabric. I like to make quilts to keep and give away. It's such a mess though it is paralysing. And I can't find any websites on decluttering sewing stuff! Ah well, first world problems I guess. I love your books; I have read the Hawk and the Dove series many times. Also the one about the Methodist minister. They are a refuge in a storm. Also the one about the trolls. Thank you for writing them. Snd I love your blog. I read very few blogs now, but yours us one I always read. It grounds me.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Julie B — I love reading about it too! Like opening the windows to let the breeze blow through. x

Hi Unknown person! — I'm so glad you've enjoyed my stories! I love the thought of them being your refuge in a storm — that's exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to achieve. About de-cluttering sewing stuff, I think the same principles apply as to general de-cluttering: Danshari, "Refuse, dispose, separate". Let things subside. Carry on making the quilts without increasing the stocks. Sort what remains into categories. Box and label. That sort of thing. An alternative is to get rid of one thing every day. Even if it is only an empty cotton reel. Good luck!

Suzan said...

Pen I have been wondering how you have coped with the severe heat that has been around. I hope you are cooler now.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh — how thoughtful of you! We are actually very lucky. We live just up the hill from the sea, so we are far enough inland to have mature trees around us (rather than just seaside buildings bouncing heat), plus lots of our own trees cooling the air, but we also get the sea breeze here on the top of the hill. Our house is Victorian, with spacious rooms and high ceilings, north-south facing, so the back rooms are always sunny and warm and the front rooms are always cool. It has been belting hot outside, but broken intermittently by storms that have filled the water butts with rain so we have been able to water the veggies. We've been just fine. Thank you so much for thinking of us. xx