When we moved into our house it had had some major renovation work outdoors and in the kitchen. The previous owners had done a nice job but unfortunately got divorced and the renovation work stopped. We had to extend some of the flooring, put carpets in the bedrooms and repaint most of the house. We were very pleased with the result but there was something nagging at me. The house wasn’t quite feeling as nice as I wanted. I couldn’t put my finger on it. We are empty nesters in a three bedroom house, so should not have been struggling to find places to put things, but we were. It was feeling a little cluttered.
I was over at a friend’s house having coffee and as we got chatting she told me that she had been given a book for Christmas called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I hadn’t heard of it and didn’t know that the book was a huge global hit. She lent it to me and I read it in a couple of hours. As I read it, the penny dropped. We had too much stuff. We were hanging onto things that we thought might be useful for our kids one day. But what if that day day never came? Would we hang on to that stuff forever? Our children are nowhere near getting married and settling down.
So I decided to clear out applying two main principles from the book.
1) Before deciding what to keep, you have to lay out everything that is the same, regardless of where you have been keeping it in the house
2) The same type of things have to be put back in one location
So I started with my closet and lined up all my shoes. OMG! How many pairs did I own? When I saw them all next to each other, it seemed so excessive. It made the decision easier to cart half of them off to the thrift store. I continued in this manner for everything in the house, from simple pens and pencils to books to cutlery and crockery.
Two garage sales later I have made a bit of cash, I have got rid of bags of stuff and the house feels light and airy. Everything has a place and I am not constantly reshuffling items to try and get them to fit into a space that is too small. I can honestly say I haven’t missed anything I got rid of. If you are thinking of a reno, use it as an opportunity to reassess what you own. I can highly recommend it.