downsizing & purging for a better life

* caution : long post ahead !

I have (with my husband, then with our children) moved 8 times between 1999 & 2014. I have gotten rid of things along the way, giving them away mostly, and stupidly stocking them at my parents' or inlaws'. During our last move, back in December 2014, I decided that we really needed to get rid of more things. And that's what we did, but we still moved a whole bunch of things. (believe me) We don't have any garage so we rely on my mom's & my inlaws' for things we can't possibly stock up at home.

As many of you already know (or may remember), I lost my father back in October 2011. Hubby & I took care of emptying my parents' house in order to rent it. It happened in 2012 & was a crazy huge job (believe me, sorting 30 years of "keep everything & anything & never throwing away" stuff ...), and what mattered the most to my mom was put away elsewhere.

I've recently purchased the infamous book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up : The Japanese Art of Decluttering & Organizing", by Marie Kondo. I had seen this book in my Instagram feed, multiple times, and decided to get it & read it. To make long short, she tells you to sort all of your stuff, by category (book, clothes etc), gathering them all in one place (so that you can visualize the quantity) and you must touch each & every of them & decide to keep the ones that sparks joy, exclusively. And to get rid of all the rest (what doesn't sparks joy, that is). And then, at last, to organize it.

So ... I think she is right about gathering in one place, seeing the quantity, and keeping only what brings you joy. I haven't really applied this, and didn't gathered in one place, but I have been sorting practically all of our clothes (summer clothes still left to do), shoes, books & DVDs, and more recently my fabric stash.

After sorting our clothes, I've decided to change the way we'd been keeping them in our closets. Except pieces like my dresses, trousers (not the boys'), skirts, hubby's shirts & suits & trousers (and of course all of our jackets & coats), every piece is folded, "ranger's style" (google "ranger rolling clothes") but not completely (I don't roll, I fold), and kept in drawers, vertically, not horizontally. After I got rid of some pieces, and folded the rest, a part of our closets was now free of clothes & could be used again in a different way.

Can you imagine the task that was sorting & purging my fabrics ? It took me two days. Everything I didn't want anymore, got sorted by color, I made ziplock bags that hubby will try to sell at yard sale ("puces" in French), along with a ton of other things.

I'm clearly not done yet, quite obviously. Sorting & purging the books & DVDs was a job in itself too. Marie Kondo simply says to get rid of things (throw them away), but hell no it's not going to happen with me. I've sold many many books & DVDs to a local bookstore (thank goodness that exists) for almost 500 euros. But let me tell you it took me hours & hours (on the shop's website) of typing each and every ISBN code of all the books we wanted to sell, including the ones that they didn't buy ! It's been taking me busy for days & days.

Some things can be thrown away, such as cosmetic samples, but practically all the rest can be sold or donated to charities. I've passed a couple of books to my niece, as well as some craft material. Anything that hasn't been used or worn in a matter of years clearly means that it wasn't important to you. And if it was forgotten, it's up to you to give it another life. Because yes, I've dugged some treasures from the past. Downsizing & purging, but keeping what matters the most, that's also the point.

Why am I doing this now ? Because I think we need less. We need to own less things, to have less clutter. Material things not only clutter our spaces, they also clutter our minds. When you have too many of items in a same category (books or clothes), you will indeniably forget about parts of them. Either they will pile up, or some will hide away from you, and will not be used for years.

I don't like clutter, I do enjoy a minimalist look in a room, but it never happens. Because I have children, because I have a business that makes me make a mess, because I don't have a studio dedicated to my business, because life happens .... and so on. But the more you own, the more probable it is that clutter will show up in each & every corner of your home. We need less books, less clothes, less decoration, less toys, less gadgets, less things in general, but everything we own shall be in a good, great or excellent quality.

I'm trying to achieve a much less cluttered apartment, by purging, downsizing, reorganizing everything. An uncluttered space is more pleasant to the eye, less stressful, easier to clean & to maintain order. I've only recently understood (for real) that the real luxury is not to own many things, it is to have a clean, clear, uncluttered home, filled with few but high quality, meaningful, extremely well picked items that bring you joy.

We've also started sorting what we've been storing at my inlaws'. Speaking of my inlaws' ... they have been renting a little house for the last 40 years. I have had the incredible motivation for ... helping them do the same at their place. Am I crazy ? I don't know, probably yes. Will I thank myself for doing so, if/when something wrong/bad will happen to any of them ? The answer is super easy : undeniably !!!

So if you wonder why I haven't added anything new to the shop for the last couple of weeks, I think you now have your answer. I've been taking this whole "downsizing, purging & organizing" thing very seriously.

I hope to find time to make things very soon, but my mind & hands have been pretty full (in order to get them less cluttered soon) & still will be for a handful of weeks. It's now only a matter of balancing time for everything. (because you know what ? daily life never stops & everything else needs to get done !)

Do you know what I've done of Marie Kondo's book ? I've sold it, for half its price.