Tag Archives: decluttering

What is your reason to NOT declutter?

Every time when I write about decluttering or clearing it seems to hit a nerve with many people. I wonder why that is. I suppose one reason could be that all of them have an enormous amount of clutter. They know they SHOULD do something about it but find ALWAYS excuses not to do so.

The reason why or why not….

I notice it when I tell people that I have been clearing a lot. I see their eyes go dark, their minds racing while thinking that it is something they really ought to do as well. Maybe people need a big reason to start this clearing process. Something like a move, down sizing after kids leave, selling a house or clearing a house after someone died.

The latter is an experience I went through myself. My mum died when I was just 21 and we had to empty our family home. I can recall at the time that I was not particular motivated. My sister and I just took the things we needed and the rest went either to ‘motivated’ helpers or a skip.

There are some things that disappeared in either the skip or someone else’s house that I regret not to have claimed but I have accepted that. I don’t know the reason for my ignorance, I was after all only 21 and obviously naif.

And at the moment I am going again through this declutter process. Not just decluttering but emptying a house totally. I have about 6 weeks left and although it is looking emptier, there are still many, many things to sell, give away or dump.

Timing it right…..

The trickiest thing will be to hang on to things we need as long as possible but being able to sell them before we need to move out. It feels a bit like a puzzle game. I sell a table and replace it with another one I have. I realise I can sell that one as well as I have another one in my daughter’s room. She just moved to Melbourne and does not want that one.

My husband fears that one day he will come home and there are no chairs anymore to sit on. If the deal is brilliant it might just go like that!

Our outdoor area has gone through a major down size. See below for yourself.

From here

outdoor table, declutter

The original setting of al fresco dining in our house – the table went to a dear friend

To here

outdoor table setting

Back to the IKEA stage – did not last long, sold within 10 minutes

To here

The last stage and this one will come with us to Europe

It shows we possessed a fair few tables and chairs and I haven’t even shown all of them. Australia is an ‘outdoor’ country and there are many spots to enjoy sitting outside. I like to create little scenes everywhere and I did collect table settings accordingly. They have all gone to different homes by now.

Sense of loss and finality

To be honest I expected to experience more emotions when parting with possessions we have owned and used for years. Funnily I hardly care. One thing after the other disappears through our front door and I am totally fine with it. When people I care about or like buy our things I do feel a sense of satisfaction and warmth because I know our stuff goes to a good home.

But I don’t feel a sense of loss when it goes. The only thing that is slowly creeping upon me is a sense of finality. We have officially given notice to our real estate agent. We are really doing this move. It is really happening!

We are selling everything and we will end up with a few cubic meter of possessions that represent a life of 25 years in Australia. Some of the stuff actually came from Europe. We will leave this country with a couple of suitcases each, countless memories and a one way ticket to different horizons.

Even writing this gives me a heavy feeling in my chest. I don’t know the reason for it. I am pretty sure that I have no doubts but the whole thing does start freak me out a bit to say the least.

I will leave it to that and keep you posted….. 🙂

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reason, moving, letting go

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you rather be’ letting go’ of your stuff or taking it?

We are going to move to Europe later this year and we have decided to sell most things we own. As a matter of fact we have been letting go off stuff since Christmas. Some things have sold well and others took their time. It certainly does not run of the shelves but it is going bit by bit.

‘Letting go’ versus shipping

You may ask the reason why we want to sell our possessions. The simple answer is that it is too expensive to ship things over to Europe. Most of the items we have are either too old or easily replaceable. I know you get attached to things but as soon as you don’t see them for a while, that feeling just goes!

Off course we will take our favourites, things with a special meaning for us or for our kids. For instance we have always liked to buy local art and have accumulated a fair few paintings. We will very likely take those.

It certainly helps that we have a fully furnished house in France. We have kitted it out as a holiday rental located in a gorgeous little town called Limoux in the Languedoc region of France.

 

lounge, letting go, casa rita, limoux, holiday rental

The lounge of Casa Rita in Limoux. Simple yet very comfortable. Nothing needed!

If we would decide to take our furniture we will have to store it somewhere in Europe. In doing so we only will be creating another cost. The house in Limoux does not really need anything. Yes, maybe we could replace certain items with items we have here, but it is not essential.

At the moment we are neither immediate planning to buy another house or rent an empty house for which we would need furniture. So the idea is clear- everything has to go.

Let’s settle for ‘letting go’

It is a great feeling to ‘cleanse’ your house from the many things you have but don’t really need. Bit by bit our house is getting emptier. It almost feels like ticking off a to-do list. We have created a so-called ‘Europe Fund’ that will act as our ‘start-up’ once we are in Europe.

Before I went to France to buy a house, I had total different expectations about prices in France. When I actually started buying household items I realised that it was not hard to pick up bargains. Off course it makes a difference whether you want recycled or new stuff.

letting go, bargain, junk yard, limoux

A little reception desk that I found for 3 euro. Does that even exist in Australia?

France versus Australia

We mostly went for used and it has turned out to be fairly easy to pick up great bargains in France. People in Australia would not believe me if I told them what I have been able to buy things for. The base level for costs of living in France for most things seems a lot lower than in Australia.

letting go, finding bargains, limoux

Browsing the local junk yard in Limoux. Great bargains for next to nothing!

Many people will say that the wages in Australia are a lot higher. They are somehow higher but not to the extent to justify the prices we pay for basic items. To be honest that is one of the reasons I can get stroppy about this country Down Under.

We are very aware that we probably would not be able to ever retire in Australia. Also we sold our house 5 years ago and have been renting since. I fear that if you don’t own a house without a mortgage in Australia, it will be hard to retire. There is a state pension scheme but the promoted idea is to save up for your retirement in a system called superannuation.

In France it was possible to buy a house, a basic house, for the same money as you have to put down for a BMW here in Australia. So we bought the house, maybe you chose the car. I suggest we compare depreciation and monetisation….

So in sum, we are planning to leave Oz with a suit case each. Our youngest offspring more likely two! Add to that a small corner of a container with some treasured items that we would like to keep. When we open up the boxes in Europe, I can guarantee you that even then, we will ask ourselves why we took it.

But you have to draw the line somewhere. It is after all part of our past and maybe for the future of our kids or their kids.

Fear of letting go….

Possessions and clutter are a weird phenomenon. The hoarders amongst us find it extremely hard to let go. I sense it is more of an emotional connection than a practical one.

I am actually going to attempt to help Keith’s mum de-clutter her cupboards after I arrive in London in July. After all when you have dropped clothes 😆 size from 10/12 to 6/8 and don’t seem to be able to eat enough to gain a single gram, it is time to shed some of the size 10/12 items. Don’t you think so?

A huge advantage for us will be that we get a bit more space allocated in the chest of drawers in our bedroom. Usually it is one drawer to share so we never even bother to unpack our suitcases.

I am kind off looking forward to that   😈

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Love to you all and see you soon!

letting go, moving abroad, possessions

 

 

 

 

Too much clutter – how to go about it?

Let’s talk decluttering!

One of the sins most households are guilty off is too much ‘clutter‘. With our impending move abroad we need to declutter our house and our lives over the next 6 months. Therefore I like to have a closer look at that rather common and addictive habit.

Clutter is one of these things that just seems to slip in to our lives whether we like it or not. Someone described it as follows:

Clutter is stuff you keep in your house but that does not add value to your life

When people move into a new home, they start with organised cupboards. Before they know their cupboards are overflowing with stuff they have collected or keep because it might come in handy.

Do you know that feeling? Assessing an item you have not used for a while, but still keep because it might come in handy one day!

no clutter, decluttering, easy done

Get real! It usually does not come in handy ever. Although there are these occasions that you want to use an item within weeks after you got rid of it. Sod’s law or what!

We have moved a couple of time during the last decade and had the opportunity to shed some stuff. Still we have more than we need stored away in cupboards, cellar and garage.

We are not even hoarders compared to some. Still we have kept things that are not essential to keep. Many of them are memories, things the kids made, like to keep and so on. I actually found out that our kids are not willing to have their own ‘keepsakes’ in their rooms. But they do like us to keep it for them.

It is hard to get rid of things our kids made however we can set some boundaries to how much we keep.

Great tips to get rid off your clutter

  1. The 1 year rule – if you have not used it for a year, you won’t use it again!
  2. Allow yourself to keep a piece of art your child made. But just one and have it framed.
  3. Make three piles – one for rubbish, one for charity and one for keeping or selling
  4. If you can’t part with it, pack it in a box and put it in a cupboard. If after 1 year you can hardly remember what is in the box, it can go.
  5. Imagine what a good feeling it will be to pass something on to people who have less money and have a use for it.

There are probably many more ideas but these are some of the rules I live by.

Real life examples why ‘decluttering’ is effective

In 1998 we moved for a couple of years to UK. We put most of our household in storage but took some because we felt that we did not want to part with it. Unfortunately for us the shipment went astray and did not arrive until 6 months after we had moved to London.

We were living in a furnished house that had everything we needed. So when our lot arrived it was nothing more than extra clutter. We could hardly remember what had been shipped and we certainly did not need it. It was a horror to imagine we had to ship it back to Australia when we returned.

In 2014 we bought a house in France. We bought some of the existing furniture from the seller and I kitted it out during a visit later in the same year. It is now a fully furnished holiday rental with everything you would want or need.

casa rita, lounge, holiday house

The spacious lounge of our house Casa Rita in Limoux, France

The ironic thing is that the cupboards are empty apart of course the kitchen cupboards. We have a small ‘owners cupboard’ on the top floor. I have left some clothes there that I don’t need in Australia and it has some extra linen, china, glasses, some tools and extra cleaning articles.

That’s it. And guess what, when I spend some time in the house, I have everything I need. So what does that mean? To me it means that in general we all hoard stuff that we don’t need and very likely won’t use that often.

Why we choose for  ‘getting rid of clutter’

For all the above logic we have decided to take the absolute minimum when we emigrate to Europe. For a number of reasons – the most important being that we don’t expect to need it. Another argument is the cost of shipping to Europe. We have heard about astronomical amounts that friends have paid when they returned.

We also fear that the style and size of furniture we have in Australia may not suit houses in Europe. Australian houses are spacious and have often more than one living room and a separate dining room.

So in order to play it safe we are not going to take any furniture apart from one wrought iron outdoor setting that I had made to go with a mosaic top I designed and created. That piece is unique and cannot be replaced.

mosaic table, design, wrought iron table

One of my mosaic projects – a wrought iron table setting with a a modern mosaic design

Then we have some paintings from local artists that we don’t want to part with, a couple of original Shiraz rugs, a beautiful sculpture from Zimbabwe and a didgeridoo!

They may be some favourite books, a dish that we love but allover it is going to be minimal. I love the idea of that – to shed weight, clutter and go back to basics.

So we have started to sell our possessions and plan to have no clutter left by April. Just the things we use on a daily base. It is a great feeling and …….it brings money in the bank!

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See you next time!

easydone, blog, limoux, happy upcycling