A decluttering win and fail, and some inspiration

This month my decluttering efforts had both a win and a fail and gained some inspiration.

I had to spend a night in Sydney so I asked my very kind aunt if I could bunk down at her place.

I say ‘bunk down’ but it was a lot more like ‘stay in a luxury hotel’. Her house is not only perfectly clean, neat and tidy, it’s also tasteful, spacious and beautifully decluttered. But it’s not a showpiece that belongs in a magazine. It’s a real home for real people, created with real thought behind it.

I was struck again by just how peaceful and relaxing it is to be in a space that has been carefully laid out and decorated, without a bunch of someone’s junk in every corner.

Inspired by my aunt’s house I came home with energy to rearrange furniture and redo the lounge room and we all ended up at Spotlight looking for new cushions. This was where I had my fail.

The two year old saw a bright red ‘Elmo’ doona cover, fell in love and brought it to me with a smile that only cute two year olds can get away with. I read the price tag, saw it was on sale and thought, “Well, if she likes it so much I’ll buy it.”

Unfortunately I forgot about buyer’s regret. When we got home I looked at the beautiful pink handmade quilt already on her bed compared to this glaring red, mass-produced piece of advertising and thought, “I just can’t put that in her room,” so I stuffed it in the cupboard in shame.

One day I’ll take it out and donate it to the op shop. And I’ll learn from my mistakes. Next time I’ll just take her item to the cashier, pretend to pay for it and then wait until she forgets all about it!

That was the fail. My win follows on from last month in which I bewailed the state of my craft cupboard. Again, the inspiration to clean it out came from seeing my aunt’s organised house.

“You can do it!” I told myself, after about three weeks of prevarication, so I waited until the two year old was napping and then pulled out boxes and bins of stuff I’ve been keeping for waaaay too long.

A few bags of fabric and a couple of unfinished projects went into the ‘donate’ pile, and there were two whole bags of rubbish to put in the bin. And, happily, it was all over much more quickly than I expected, so I took the time to use one “I’ll use that someday” piece of fabric to recarpet my two year old’s dollshouse, and sew another one into an apron to replace the piece of rag I’ve been wearing for a year now.

The moral of this tale?  If you’re looking for inspiration, stay overnight with people with decluttered houses. And never, ever, ever buy bright red Elmo doona covers*.



*unless of course you actually like them...