I’ve had this blog in my head for a good few weeks. I wanted to write it the first weekend of Lent when I cleansed our home of over 100 things we didn’t love, use or need. This action is part of a conscious practise to consume less and contribute towards looking after our planet.
My thought process here is if I re-gift things there’ll be more ‘stuff’ for people in Charity shops that won’t need to be produced and ‘bought’ in the typical consumerist sense and I will be FAR MORE aware of what I need to buy and it’s purpose in my life.
From Shrove Tuesday to Easter Sunday a whole lot of clearing of spaces, draws, boxes and cupboards went on in our house and although led by me, we were all involved.
How it worked – practically how to keep going for 40 days.
I didn’t think I was a hoarder but I guess in some ways most of us are? I set myself the challenge of gifting 40 things in 40 days and used the framework of each day in lent to achieve the goal. I wanted to try a longer challenge because I often just ‘have a sort out’ and it only goes surface deep eg; clothes that no longer fit the little one.
This conscious clearing action I saw more of an overhaul.
At first I told myself one thing per day for 40 days. However, I found over 40 things in the first weekend and popped them in two charity bags in the corner of our bedroom;
- Cardigans I didn’t like the fit or colour of…
- A dressing gown that’s always been that bit too heavy and always falls open…
- Costume jewellery I bought in my teens and never wore
- Bags I never used
- Shoes that weren’t ‘the ones’
- Clothes for ‘if’ I ever go away travelling again or from special weddings and birthday parties.
- A Wimbledon Memorabilia Towel that is too small to do anything with… (which I then sold on ebay and realised I’d given it to Charity (doh!)
- Soft toys and as L calls them ‘ too babyish now’ toys
- Furniture – a high sleeper we kept in the garage for when L gets bigger got gifted!
I’d planned to keep the bags there but ended up getting rid of them after a week and starting new ones. Total huge bags in total – 5!!!
I found as I went deeper into the clearing mission there were some CLEAR categories emerging…
- thought might be useful one day.
- thought other people in my family liked when actually they didn’t.
- didn’t really love but I’d bought in the sale or paid a lot of money for.
- have no idea why we have but they are just there.
And here’s how I changed my thought process to enable myself to get rid of the things and clear ALL the space…
- Charity – if I need a pac a mac again for a festival I’ll find one in a charity shop or wear a coat!
- Asked the question – Dave actually loves having a capsule wardrobe too and he was happy to part with loads of stuff he doesn’t wear. Similarly with L – he has a TONNE of toys thanks to very generous family but when I asked him he was happy to give things away to younger friends or to boys and girls who don’t have as much.
- Tuned into ‘Spark Joy‘ – the cardigan is comfy but I don’t like the colour – get rid! The dress was expensive but doesn’t suit my shape or is too short – ebay or charity!
- I’m a member of our local ‘Buy Nothing’ group and there were things I was able to gift on there that charity might not have wanted eg; age 3 bobbly tracksuit bottoms, an old hoover, a spare wifi rooter
The whole process enabled me to make space, understand the gaps and to see where we still have a lot of clearing to do. How many things did I recycle? Honestly I think over 400 – a huge amount more than the 40 I’d set out to.
So do you fancy trying it too? It’s the 1st May today so you could try 31 things in 31 days?
Things I kept were mostly clothes I love and wear all the time, artwork and trinkets from travels, journals although some got burnt in the fire.
Cleansing your home can make you feel so great about the space it leaves behind and can see you curating a home filled with stuff you love and being a more conscious consumer too – I’d really recommend it.
So is it ‘done’?
Nope not at all…
Being clear of things you don’t need is a practise for me but it’s one I’d really recommend investing your time in.
PLUS, if you’ve read my download on White Space you’ll know what an advocate I am for the blank page… however it shows up in life and clearing physical stuff just gives me more time to create!!
Right I’m off to paint my drawers white!
Let me know if you do try it out…
I’m over on instagram if you fancy a chat or leave a comment below.