Thursday, 12 February 2015

More or less: overcoming stuffocation

A long time ago, when we first moved into our place, we made a mental list of the things we were going to do to turn it into our sort of place. We have done most of them (taken out the green carpets; strip off the textured wall paper; install new bathroom; put french doors into kitchen; install wooden floors, etc, etc). 

This week we got started on the last project of all - our bedroom. It had a giant and very useful built in wardrobe where we hid a LOT of stuff. But, it took up a lot of floor space in the room, was seriously ugly and just wasn't in the right place.

On Monday some fellas came and dismantled the wardrobe (we could have done it ourselves, but I had nightmares about the full height mirror doors breaking and cutting everyone). They also ripped up the floor, insulated underneath and put down a new floor which is level and draft free. We have moved our bed back in (cos the sofa bed is seriously uncomfy - who knew?) and now have to make a plan about decorating. We have some wallpaper lined up, and know our paint colours, so we 'just' need a bit of time to do it. 

This year's spring clean and sort out has been influenced by this project. The new wardrobe, when it is built, will be smaller than the last one. So I have been doing my best to pare back clothes and 'stuff'. There's been quite a few articles about de-cluttering and stuffocation recently, and this - plus Bea Johnson the zero waste advocate - have inspired me to think about enoughness. How many sets of sheets and pillowcases is enough? How many skirts? How many dresses?

For the sheets and pillowcases, the number appears to be 4. I decided that 4 duvet covers and 4 sets of sheets and pillowcases for our bed would be enough. Taking into account the possibility of spills/accidents, I couldn't imagine we'd ever get through 4 lots without being able to wash some. Amazingly, over 10 years of married life we have acquired quite a lot of linen. Some came from my house, some came from DH's flat, some came from his parents - when they were having a clear out - and we have bought one or two things together. Deep in my heart, I wanted to hang onto a lot of this, for future unspecified sewing/quilting projects. But I have already got quite a lot of stuff set aside for future unspecified sewing/quilting projects, so I let it go. I think there were two large bags of linen and towels that went to the charity shop that day. 

Now that the dust has settled on the empty bedroom, we'll be organising some temporary storage for our clothes. I'm planning to use the enoughness test to help me whittle down my wardrobe. I regularly sift out the odd garment here and there, but my plan is to be a bit more systematic this time. I don't think 4 will be the magic number in relation to clothes, but I wonder what is...?

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