I’m the kind of person who loves peace and quiet, stillness, and also having a well organised space around me. Clutter makes me stressed and unable to relax. Sadly, I’ve almost always lived with clutter and have always dreamed of clear spaces – sometimes I’ve managed to have them but mostly not. Surprisingly, we have less clean spaces in our large house now than we’ve had before, probably because our lives have been more complicated and work has been more demanding while we’ve lived here, so things have just piled up.
My husband and myself are semi hoarders. We have lots of interests and we met when we were both 30, which meant that we both had 10 years of adult life to put together in a house. Add to that the fact that we both worked full time and didn’t really have the time to do any drastical clearing or planning how to organise our stuff in their own perfect areas. Also, we were nostalgic about stuff, not ready to give up certain things at the time.
I’ve had the wish to declutter for years, but it’s never happened. Now I’ve been suffering from stress and burnout at different levels for some time, and have come to a conclusion: it’s at least partially because of the clutter. I’ve worked as a nurse since 2004, and with a demanding job where you meet people in crisis and solve problems all day in an understaffed environment, when you come home you need peace and quiet, also for the eye. I need a place to relieve stress. I need my home to have clean spaces that let my soul relax for a bit. I haven’t had that more than sometimes, so I haven’t been able to relax in my free time either.
Now I work less in the hospital, and also work with website design/setup/maintenance, but this setup isn’t great – I’m involved in too many different things at the same time, and I definitely still need an environment where I can relax when I don’t work.
Sometimes I nearly panic over the clutter, and want to give away every single thing and just live in an empty room with nothing, because of the stress that all the clutter gives me. (Yes, this is extremely drastical. Of course we will keep musical instruments, camera stuff and computers!)
Now we have an interesting project for the future (more details in next post) and we’re both totally on the same train when it comes to decluttering. We’ve given away lots of stuff to charity, still have lots of stuff to give away, and will only keep what really means something for us and adds value to our lives.
My husband hasn’t seemed to suffer from the clutter, but now when we have renovated our dining area and have kept it very clean, he expressed “coming in here is like putting on the noise reducing headset”. That was a very interesting statement, and now this is the goal for the rest of our home too.
This is our dining area right now:
Still some random things here and there and that lamp cable that isn’t put back in its place, but this is just after the renovation of this room, and we’re packing down stuff and need somewhere to store it while we fix up the other part of the living room. At this stage we haven’t decorated the area as it’s supposed to be. Still. it looks so, so much better than it used to!
I love the idea of minimalism, and I read lots of articles about people who feel so much better after decluttering, and how they are now able to relax and enjoy life more, as well as focus and be more productive.
Minimalism means different things for different people. It be can to consume less and live in a smaller house, live simpler, have max 100 belongings, or similar things. I don’t necessarily want or need to live in a small space (probably not because of our many interests and that we want to have a guest room for visitors), but I definitely wish to find ways to spend less and own less stuff. My number one goal is getting rid of unnecessary things, having clean spaces at home, only keep what really adds value to my life, only buy what truly will adds value to my life, and definitely not keep things that don’t have their own organised place in my home.
Right now the “project decluttering” is quite overwhelming, but it will be so good for us in the long run.
Finally, let’s have a laugh over some extreme exaggeration (I do like his living room though!!) :D: