own less stuff

Happy New Year. I had a hectic lead up to Christmas, sewing like crazy for two big craft fairs for amypanda, and then gave myself a good long few weeks off to enjoy my family and rest up. I’ve reached the point now where I’m itching to sew again, and have even had some new ideas (which had become few and far between when I was so busy), so I look forward to putting needle to felt in the next week or two.

I always fail at new year’s resolutions, but I do find it a really useful time to reflect on my life and to try to focus on what I want, what I could change to be happier, and what my aims are for the year ahead. Last year was a fairly busy one; we got married, Rose turned two, Dan got a promotion so his work has become increasingly stressful, and I had a busy final few months of the year craft-wise too. My main aim is to plan out my time better, but realistically we’ll just have to trundle along until September when Rose’s free nursery place kick’s in and I can properly plan when to sew, and if I want to devote more or less time to that.

I have come up with one main, sort of vague, resolution. To own less stuff. I like that this encompasses two things which I’ve been hoping to do for a while; declutter old stuff, and buy less new stuff. We’re modest consumers at worst; especially since moving to a small town we really don’t “go shopping” often for anything other than groceries, but over time I’ve built up an awful lot of “stuff” which I struggle to make myself get rid of. The motivations behind wanting to consume less are mostly environmental, but also fuelled by a desire to be surrounded by less clutter in the knowledge that cupboards full of junk, even when out of sight, are stressful, and having less stuff will make us feel happier.

So, in the hope that it’ll make me think harder about every purchase, I’m going to attempt a one-in-one-out system for all purchases other than food and you know, toilet roll and stuff. Every time I buy something new I’ll have to get rid of something old either to charity, a friend, or recycle in some other way other than landfill.

I have begun to de-clutter. The first two bin bags I’ve taken to charity were ridiculously easy to part with because they’re things (almost all clothes) which I’ve tried to sell at car boot sales, so I was ready to part with them at least 6 months ago, I just hadn’t got around to actually parting with them. So they barely count. I switched on the radio this morning and women’s hour were discussing this very subject, which spurred me on to tackle Rose’s wardrobe and fill another bin bag with some of her old clothes I’d been sort of hanging on to for Ebay, but would really never get around to listing as they’d not be worth the effort. I’m starting to build some momentum and it feels great! I’m not going to count any of these things in my one-in-one-out rule though, as it was all just old stuff which needed to go and would feel like cheating.

The year has begun with a flurry of purchases as my dad gave us some money for Christmas to spend on what we needed. We needed a few practical things for the house so I went wild in the Sainsbury’s sale.

2 x towels

2 x pillows

1 x kettle

1 x shower curtain

And I’ve also bought 3 paperback books from charity shops. And this list will grow when I spend the vouchers I was kindly given for Christmas for clothes shops, so I’m going to have to get plotting things to give away.

As an initial attempt to give something away I posted a photo of some books we don’t need on facebook, and as a result I’m posting one to a friend this week.

So the score stands at 9 new items coming in, 1 old item going out.

I really hope I stick with this as I feel really good about it. I love the trend towards simple living on lots of blogs / instagram / pinterest at the moment, hopefully it’ll prove to be inspiring.

x

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