Monday, 24 January 2011

A case in point

Things are going well on the decluttering front. For some unknown reason ruthlessness is coming naturally at the moment, so I might as well channel it into something productive and soothing! My basic criteria for keeping things are that I use it at least once a year; and that it enriches my life with its beauty or utility. It is amazing how many things I have been holding on to that fulfill neither of these criteria.

A case in point is my sewing tin. I have always had a good life mentality, wanting to create for myself as many of the things that I need to live - which is a good thing that leads to rich and interesting experiences. Some experiments are destined never to get of the ground however.  One such pie in the sky aspiration is that I would one day learn to use a sewing machine and make beautiful garments and furnishings. One day it might happen, but certainly not in the next few years. So the cupboard of scrap fabric, sewing paraphernalia and embellishments which have sat gathering dust for several years (when other people could have been making good use of them) are now packed and ready to go to the charity shop.  Previously my large sewing tin was stuffed with tens of different colours of thread, fastenings,  buttons, beads and other pretty, sparkly trinkets. This is just some of them:

All very pretty, and all unused. So now for my new sewing box, a quarter of the size of the old one:

Much less sparkly, but also only containing items that have actually been used regularly. Any sewing I do is usually repairs or hand sewn small projects; and this kit, plus scissors and a tape measure, is perfect for those tasks.

I have found that decluttering areas on a whim is making the job a lot easier than when I try to work methodically, which is usual decluttering advice. The sewing box just happened to catch my eye, so I spent a few minutes working on that; and it was satisfying to have achieved something in such a short space of time. A similar 'grazing' attitude has yielded 2 carrier bags full of old paperwork, 4 carriers of clothing, a box of kitchen items and bric-a-brac;  and a black sackful of broken goods, packaging and (way) out of date pantry goods; and I haven't run out of steam yet.


  1. woo hoo well done! some people say 'do a little at a time'; i find that one day i get the motivation out of nowhere and do loads. hard to work up the motivation for 10 minutes every day!
    this week i have cleaned out the kitchen cupboard, chucked some old stuff away, utilised your baskets! how we;re going to cope with a kitchen full of cupboards i dont know! ive never had more than one!
    today i have been to the glass bins and chucked so many glass bottles etc away, realising i cannot keep and transport all our cache of beer bottle to a new house! (if you want any we still have plenty more. im trying to keep all the clear ones.)
    also got rid of some books dvds cd and clothes in the recyling bins. gave away some art stuff and some computer stuff on Freecycle, the man who took some of it gave me a bottle of wine ! yay. ventured into the garden today and got alittle tidying done. found out again how foul rotting veg matter smells!still a lot to do in the garden. also made some yummy pear and choc chip cookies. all in all pretty good going! ill probably do nothing next week! i have Friday off if you wanna catch up


  2. I'm a declutter on a whim girl too - I'll never start if I think about the scale of the problem...

    Funnily, I "started small" on my sewing box last week too - I didn't clear it out as much as you but I did get rid of the giant tangle of threads in the middle of it and tiny random scraps of fabric from long, long, long ago projects. Next up, my wardobe -- I suspect that'll be a much bigger job!

  3. Lucy - wow that's good progress. I am working Friday AM, so will be free to share cookies in the evening : )

    Louisa - your tangled threads are testament to the fact that you have actually used some of them, my nice tidy reels have just sat there for years! The wardrobe is ongoing. i have to aqcuire a few items of clothing before getting rid of the ill fitting things I have been making do with.