Over the last year I have found there are many things we can live without but still live comfortably and not missing these things at all. In fact I feel we live in more luxuriously now we have decluttered everything than we did before we started this process .The house seems to have grown in space, rather than it feeling like we have out grown our home. There is less stress in the house because there is less stuff to have to worry about putting away, finding space for or even tripping over. We can open the french doors and let the inside out and the outside in.
It’s amazing how stuff makes us feel claustrophobic, drags us down un-yet we still feel the need to hug ourselves with more and more stuff. I remember when I started clearing car boot loads of stuff out our house my hubby saying “But you never know when we might need it.” The fact is a year down the line we never needed it in the first place we were just brainwashed into thinking we did by big commercial companies that tell us every second of the day that in order to live / survive in we need all this stuff. But this is a complete lie they are just telling us these things because they want us to buy more to feed their fat wallets.
I must admit though at the very beginning when I took the plunge I did question what will people think of me not following the crowd and making these changes to our family home when there are another 4 people living in our house and how will those other 4 fee about the change? Am I just being selfish and doing all this just for me? The end result people think no less of me because I have less stuff, clutter, and more space. They admire the fact I have gone ahead and done it and ask me questions, so I am proud I went with my gut feeling. My family, although thought I was barmy at the time love living in more space, having the space to run around and enjoy each family activity. So again I am proud I followed my gut because if I had not we would of had to move from the family home we love to a bigger one just to fill with more stuff and so the cycle would of continued.
- Bedding – After spending years with goodness knows how many different types of bedding crapped into our bedding cupboard, I came to the conclusion why do you need so many sheets and duvet covers for only 4 beds? So I reduced our bedding down to three 6 single sheets and duvet covers as well as 2 double sheets and 2 king size duvet covers because that all I need for 3 single beds and 1 double bed. Then while one set of bedding is in the wash we have a fresh set of bedding to put on your bed.
- Hangers – After reducing all our clothes down to the minimum that we need, I was left with lots of spare plastic coat hangers. I don’t need spare coat hangers taking up space in our wardrobe let alone plastic ones. So I bundled them all up together and off to the charity shop they went. Then a local shop was closing down and were selling off their wooden coat hangers in all different sizes, so I replaced all our coat hangers with wooden ones. We do have a couple of spare coat hangers and by a couple, I am taking about 2 per a wardrobe.
- Towels – Towels in my house were my biggest bugbear. Why do people have to use a new towel every time they have shower? If you are that dirty when you get out the shower then surely they have not washed properly? Any way enough was enough so I reduced our towels down to 5 bath towels and 2 hand towels. Which is plenty enough towels for 5 people.
- Toiletries – I have never been a big toiletry collector with lots of different creams, toners and other magical potions. But we use to have a large collection of shampoos, shower gels etc… in our bathroom taking up so much space. Now we don’t use shampoo, conditioner or shower gel (not because of space but for the fact we don’t want to use chemicals to wash with) and instead we use Dr Bronner castile soap bar to wash our hair with and our bodies. For skin care I use raw coconut oil to moisertries the childrens and my self.
- Vases – I love cut flowers in my house but I don’t need to keep a kitchen cupboard full of vases that don’t all get used at the same time or even get rarely used. I just need one vase and if I do need any more than a glass jam jar or a glass milk bottle will do the job just as good.
- Utensils – I went into a house the other day any they must of had nearly every utensil you could think off. I asked them how often they use them and what they are all for. But it turned out in the conversation, they only actually used 5 of them regularly and the others they hardly used or had never used. In my kitchen I reduced all our utensils down to 2 large spoons (one with drainage holes and one without), potato masher, spatula, hand whisk, tin opener and one wooden spoon. After all they do everything I need in my kitchen I don’t need anything else.
- Crockery – We use to have lots of plates, bowls, serving dishes but they were just taking up lots of kitchen cupboard space that we don’t have a lot of. So I reduced the amount down to 7 plates (large and small) and 7 bowls (after all a cereal bowl can be used as a pudding bowl) which is plenty for a family of 5 and spare if we have any visitors. As for serving dishes we don’t need any as I dish our meals up straight on to plates (which also saves washing up)
- Baking – I love baking but I don’t need lots of measuring jugs (1 will do) measuring spoons / cups (1 set is enough) and tins I only need 2 cake tins and i muffin tin. The rest I donated to charity so someone else can enjoy backing to.
- Kitchen Gadgets – I use to own lots of kitchen gadgets that were meant to make my life in the kitchen easier but all they did was take up space on my kitchen unit or cupboards. The only gadgets I kept where the bread maker, scales, microwave (so hubby can reheat his meal when he comes home from work at 2am) and a small hand blender. I am whip up some stunning meals with just these gadgets and I don’t miss any of the ones I removed from our house.
- Ironing – I very rarely iron, I do own an iron but no ironing board. If I need to iron I put a towel down on the kitchen unit and iron the odd bits that I need to do. (Usually these odd bits are hubbies shirt for either a funeral or a wedding.)
- Magazines & Books – Books and magazines take up a massive amount of space to store. I stopped buying magazines a long time ago but as for books I do still buy the odd hard copy (not very often) but it has to be a book I can take notes from and write all over a bit like a textbook. All non fiction books or magazines I read online through my kindle, which means they take up less space in our house and no need for bookshelves to cutter up much needed floor space. (I have one shelf on our livingroom wall for books,)
- Office / Home supplies – In our house we run a office for Mommy Emu and a office for hubbies taxi, I say office its a desk in the corner of our kitchen / dining room. All our paperwork is on line in clouds so we no longer need to store paperwork and the paperwork we do need to store fits nicely in to one folder in my desk draw. I have 2 notebooks one for each office and anything else we need to keep notes of lives in Evernote so its always easy to hand. Working from home and running a home office does not need to take up massive of space in our homes by moving 90% of it online allows you to use the space you did use as an office into a family room everyone can enjoy.
- Furniture – Floor space can be a really hard thing to claim back in homes, in ours we have reduced our furniture down to the minimum that we need to live comfortable. In each of the bedrooms we have a bed, wardrobe and a set of draws. The living room has a corner sofa, TV unit (with TV), coffee table, wooden unit (for the childrens craft projects) and a glass unit (for hubbies vintage car collection) In our kitchen / dining room, we have the normal kitchen units, fridge freezer, washing machine and tumble dryer. Then in the dining room part we have a table with 4 chairs (the table can be pulled out to make bigger) and my desk with another dining room chair. We honestly don’t need any more furniture and my reducing the amount of furniture we now have increased the floor space, giving us the feeling the house is bigger than it actually is.
- Toys – I have not reduced my children down to the most smallest amount of toys that they are missing out but what I have done and do all the time is move toys on that they have either grown out off them or have not played with them for the last 6 months. I either pass these toys on to friends with younger children, sell on or donate to our local charity shop. I have also organised their toys, using storage boxes that fit under their beds so they are easy to get to and importantly easy to put away before they go to bed. Both the girls have a bedside table which they use for any of their special little bits that they want to keep safe. For Jemima this is her jewellery and my little pony hair brushes or ribbons. Eleanor on the other hand keeps her special toy cars and her drawings. By making these changes they now have more floor space to enjoy playing with their toys and making up imaginary worlds.
What items do you think you could live without in your house?
Is there anything you have decluttered from your house recently that you have not missed at all or wish you had not moved on to a new home?