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My Year of Less Stuff

Hello Dear Reader,

This is it, this is the year I declutter the whole house from top to bottom. I have so much "stuff" in every draw, cupboard and basket that I simply don't use or even look at. Does that sound familiar to any one else? If it does, why don't you take the de cluttering journey with me, it will be very slow, a little bit at a time. I will be really looking at every square inch of my home and doing a thorough deep cleanse of all the clothes, jewellery, shoes, bags, towels, sheets, quilts, pillows, CD's, DVD's, glassware, cutlery, plates serving platters, kitchen accessories, curios and just general "stuff" that either doesn't fit into my current life or doesn't even belong to me.

I have inherited a lot of things from my husbands Grandmother that really needs sorting out and given away, I am not at all attached to any of these items, so I am a bit curious as to why I have felt the need to hold on to them. There is also a lot of stuff belonging to my adult children and I will be asking for their permission before any item is given away or re-homed.

I have tried in the past to sell a few items on Gumtree, and it wasn't worth the trouble, so I am donating it to the many charity shops we have in out little city. I will be brutally honest with myself and ask the hard questions, like, do I have a particular memory that is connected to this item? Is that the reason I am keeping it? Will I ever use this item again? Why can't I let it go? What is holding me back?

I will be taking photos of the items as they leave my home and updating this page when I do. At the end of the year I am hoping to have a less cluttered home, filled only with items I truly love. Below is a list that I will use as a guide throughout the year. I am hoping that the more I do, the better I will be at it.

1. A swim suit I bought and never wore, it is now to small for me. White satin gloves bought for a fancy dress, I will never wear them again. An "Instant Sailor" set (hat and collar) bought for another fancy dress, I will never wear it again. A paris map and phrase book bought over 11 years ago when I went with my Mother in law to Paris, I will not be needing these again. A "buckle" for a sarong, never used. A scented soy candle, I dislike the scent and will not use it. A bamboo fan and hanky I received from a wedding, I have never used them and am unlikely to use them in the future. Some slimming "hold me in" pants that I never wore as they were too uncomfortable. A red scarf that I never wore. Some worn out pyjama pants that I thought I would get around to making a pattern off, never have and probably never will. A lovely but now hole-y black top

2. A witty card with a phrase that was popular years ago

3. An ALDI brand coffee pod holder, it was given to us, but I don't like the look of it.
A set of Christmas icing sugar stencils that don't work as well as they should

4. A blue and white jewellery box that belonged to my husbands Grandmother, the inside is really rough and it has taken the "pearl coating" off my pretend pearls. Two watches that I will never wear again. A wooden bracelet that I liked once upon a time.
A ceramic nail file that feels awful when you use it. Two dodgy bag locks that are just so flimsy. A broach I saved from a cheap jumper thinking I may wear it, never have, never will. A black tassel saved from a dress, again, thinking I may wear it, never have, never will.

5. A rolling pin I have had forever, it is starting to split so needs to go. A pair of cheap crocs that I always think I will use in the garden, but I never do. 2 X Christmas Crackers that were left over from Christmas Day. A few items that were in Christmas Crackers (cheap rubbish). A small, cheap and useless tape dispenser. A set of miniature recipe books that were a freebie with the Courier Mail newspaper, I have never used them.

6. A glass bowl with a large chip on the edge. A container that I had a very perfumed body scrub in, it now has a lingering odour that I can't get rid of. A spoon that I used for the scrub, as the scrub was based on salt, the spoon has corroded

7. A book on essential oils that I used to use. Warm wax that I thought I would use, but was too chicken. A shower scrubby that I haven't used and never will. A plastic pump bottle that I had decanted all the trial size conditioners into, I now no longer use conditioner on my hair. A box with some skincare samples in that I thought I would use one day, never have, never will. An old electric hair trimmer that we bought when lovely hubby had multiple brain operations. We bought it to try and even his hair up while he was in hospital. It hasn't been used since.

8. An ice-cream maker that I bought thinking I would use it, never have, never will. 2 x essential oils that have never been used. A fridge bottle holder that came with the fridge, we have never used it. A large novelty cup. And a plastic fork still in its wrapper

9. Some knitted scarfs and a beanie that belonged to my daughter, she no longer wants them. 4 x shoes I never wear

10. 5 x Dresses I either have never worn or never will again. 2 x tops that have seen better days. 1 x warm zip up jacket that has also seen better days. A tunic top that makes me look fat. A sarong that I will never wear. A pair of work shorts that are too faded to wear.

11. A set of high heel point replacements (I would have to own a pair of high heeled shoes to use them) A set of collector magazines of Princess Diana. A travel folder that I will never use again. A luggage strap. 2 x small travel wallets that hold anything, they are a bit useless. 2 x passport carriers that have gone mouldy.

12. 4 x bags I never use and another useless small wallet??Whats with all the small travel wallets?

13. 2 x Masquerade masks left over from a party we went to donkeys years ago. 3 x empty jewellery boxes. 2 x artificial flowers??

14. 4 x cleaning cloths that have seen better days.

15. Learning Resources and Competencies for two certificates (Cert III Assistant in Nursing and Cert IV in Allied Health Assistance) I completed in 2006 and 2009. I past both with flying colours and have the certificates. I don't know why I felt the need to hang on to all this paper work!

16. Some craft gear left over from when I used to scrapbook. Everything now is digital and I haven't scrapbooked for years. I still have all the cutters and mats and I still have albums to complete. Life just got busy and they were never finished. Maybe one day I will have the time

17. 2 ring binders I will never use again

18. Some plastic containers that I no longer love

19. Some kitchen gear I have bought over the years and haven't used

20. Some odd glasses and a plastic top to my thermos that has never been used

21. Kitchen stuff I don't like/haven't used in ages

22. Glass ware, cut glass trays and bowls and some antique-look Chinese/Asian items (These were bought by my late Father in law in a cheap shop in Gympie)

23. A glass chicken cooker and a noodle bowl set

24. 12 x Cooking books that I never look at

25. 11 x Cook Books and magazines I never look at

26. 2 x Table cloths I don't like. A Gingerbread house kit I have never used. 2 x platters I have never liked. Patty pans that make the cupcakes smell funny when you cook in them. Freezer bags I don't use

27. 2 x books that belonged to lovely hubbys grandmother. A blue velvet pouch. Display pins. A cardboard boarder for a frame long since gone

28. Old Diaries, tarnished silver trinkets and a fan belonging to the same Grandmother as above

29. Disposable cups, plates and serviettes that no longer suit my values

30. Bits and pieces from kitchen draws and glass cabinet. I don't know why I held onto that glass lid, it doesn't go with anything

31. More kitchen stuff that I don't use or love

32. A high visibility vest, I only used it a couple of times, while riding in the early evening, after I almost got hit by a car, I stopped riding when the sun went down. A pair of bike short that no longer fit and a pair of gloves past their prime

33. A white shirt I no longer love

34. Some footwear that are past their prime or are uncomfortable

35. Some glassware that we no longer use

36. An old camera that is no longer used, some books on Feng Shui, a couple of flower lays

37. Some more clothes I no longer wear

38. Kitchen ware ect. I no longer have a use for

39. Some plastic wine glasses, a small container, plastic hooks and a buddhist Statue that belonged to my son, he no longer wanted it

40. An old glass punch set, a crystal trinket box, a glass jug, a Christmas mug and a couple of old pewter beer steins (I don't even remember how we got them)

41. Hangers anyone? Way too many coat hangers, why oh why was I holding onto them? I will never know

42. Some bags from a vacuum we don't even have anymore?? And a Aldi brand stab blender that is not very strong. 

43. Lovely Hubby had a good clean out of his clothes and we donated two big piles of clothing

44. An ugly coat hanger, 2 glasses cases, a cable for something unknown, an unwanted mounting board, and an excellent book I have read and now I am passing it on for someone else to enjoy

45. 3 x Little glass jars of collected shells

46. A red jacket I have never liked, firstly it is not my colour and secondly it is too short for my body 

47. A collection of kitchen ware that hasn't been used in forever

48. 2 dresses I haven't worn for years and years and years and...

49. Some large jars that I have had for many years and never, ever used, time for them to go to someone who will use them

50. Some runners that are very uncomfortable, a book on Chinese Proverbs that belonged to lovely hubby's Grandmother and some measuring spoons, I broke the "tablespoon" measure and have replaced the set.

51. Stuff I no longer need/use from the bottom draw in the kitchen

52. A basket that I no longer use, some kids scissors, a budget book that I don't use (I use a spreadsheet on the computer) a few pens and a white board marker, a D shackle, a tiny torch, another lense cleaner, a ceramic container, and an old odd glass

53. Some more bottles, these normally hold my homemade laundry liquid but I have decided to just use 2 of the tall ones and store the rest of the laundry liquid in bigger jars.

54. Some items from the second draw down in the kitchen, how many funnels, sieves and serving spoons do I need?

55. 2 x drink bottles that I have never used, another large jar that I just don't need, 3 x clothes drier balls, they are supposed to help to de-fluff your clothes and dry them quicker in the clothes drier, I just don't use the drier enough to warrant keeping them.

56. 2 x t-shirts and shorts that have seen better days and 2 x ties to dresses I don't use

57. 5 x large tablecloths that I have never used

In total I have moved 540 items from my home (there is actually more but I counted all the coat hangers as 1) It has been good to remove unwanted items from my home and looking back over the photo of items that I have given away, I don't miss a thing, I don't regret giving one item away! So I would say that is a good start to decluttering my home, I enjoyed it so much, I am going to continue on next year. I have started a new page called "My Second Year of Less Stuff" (I know brilliant, hey!) and it will go live as soon as I have decluttered or removed an item from my home. Look out for it soon.


  1. WOW. You must feel so light on your feet now, after clearing all these items out of your life.

  2. This has been very inspiring! My partner and I consolidated houses about 7 years ago and then my father-in-law passed away six years ago (live on a farm and his home is 1/4 mile up the road) and we ended up with half of his stuff and then a friends decided to split up - one of them to hit the road in an RV and the other to a small apartment and somehow we ended up with an amazing amount of stuff! duplicates/triplicate/quadruplicate and what ever is next of so many things - kitchen ware, tools, hardware, canning jars, and just plain 'old stuff'. Since we live on a farm there is always 'some place' to put things - sheds, barns, garages, basements. And it is really pulling us down! So we're set to start purging. I like your idea of taking a year to do it and to 'catalog' it so one can see progress. The one good thing is that we are now going into semi-retirement and buying a travel trailer so we've been set for almost everything we need to furnish it! Including tools and a generator for off grid. I've followed you off and on through The Prudent Homemaker and so now have finally put your blog in my favorites. We may be a half a world away but it seems like there is a shift going on all over the world to reassess our needs and wants. Thanks you! BTW - my name is Mary and I live in S. Colorado/US.