Thursday, July 15, 2010

And so it begins...

I'm in the mood for a rest. I think I have a big decluttering episode coming up and I want to be in top shape for it. You know how you can feel it coming on? When Stephanie at C'est Si Bon was madly decluttering I loved reading the posts and revelations, but I knew it wasn't my time yet. Now it's my time.

I want to start with my wardrobe as it's really been bothering me. In a comment in my last post I said I was waiting until I was skinnier to do this, but really, that day may never come. I might decide to be the weight I am and eat as healthy as I can and do my yoga and walking to tone up.

Because of 'waiting until I'm skinnier', I feel like things are on hold. And if I have decided not to diet, the decluttering will never commence. I have decluttered my wardrobe and drawers before, but 'stuff' creeps back in, and then there is the clothing I have kept, undecided about. So I'm back to square one.

I have a suitcase under the guest bed with out of season clothing and 'undecideds'. My goal is to have all my clothing, for every day of the year in my main wardrobe and drawers. So that suitcase will be empty and possibly even donated. We have more suitcases than we need. A few special occasion pieces and jackets I will keep in another wardrobe.

Where I live definitely has four seasons, but they are not as pronounced as other places. We don't get snow, and it doesn't get ridiculously hot. I live in a temperate sub-tropical climate, so I can really wear most of my clothing year-round. So having every piece of clothing I own will be useful, as I layer lighter pieces when it's colder.

I can only declutter my own clothing. My husband has some clothes he never wears but doesn't want to get rid of. Perhaps I will inspire him with my actions. But really, the bulk of it is mine.

I also want to declutter my makeup and be honest with myself and decide what makeup types (cream blush) and colours (green or blue eyeshadow) I don't wear. Anything that I will definitely use will be staying, I can't be quite as ruthless as Stephanie who decluttered all but one lipstick and all but one fragrance but I can be inspired by her to pare down.

I am getting down in fragrance numbers and it will be a happy day when I do only have a few to choose from, not a dozen. I love having a couple of fragrance choices, but it becomes stressful to muse 'I should wear this one, it's older' because they don't last forever. Do you think my ideal French girl Sabine thinks that thought as she spritzes herself with No. 5?

Other personal care items I will group like together. I visited three different skincare factory shops when my mum was here. I bought items I need (a body brush), items we use every night (candles), and items I use every day (honey-vanilla soaps and lovely scented body lotions). I will be storing the soap and body lotions with my other soaps and body lotions.

Yes, I know it sounds like I have a few, and I have. I don't mind so much though, as they are used up. It's things that don't get used up that stress me out (I have to decide what to do with them, where to store them...). My Nana used to ask for consumable gifts as she said she had enough 'stuff', and I have been too. I'm hoping to discourage knick-knacks and ornaments.

I always enjoy going 'shopping' in my bathroom cupboard when I have used the last of something. And because I buy them here and there on special I've never paid full-price (and they are nicer quality than supermarket ones).

The trick is to only buy things you will use (the lavender talcum powder I bought on a previous factory shop trip is still languishing) and keep an eye on your 'stock levels'.

I must admit, my soap levels are quite high now, but (I know I sound like I'm trying to justify myself here!) while I love using soap, I don't love supermarket soap which strips your skin. So if I can purchase soap made with good ingredients (and that smells divine) for not much more than supermarket prices by buying irregularly and in bulk, I will.

Part of my decluttering will involve tidying and organising also, which I am really looking forward to. I have been throwing things in any old place lately.

Sabine would never do this. Her Paris apartment is breezy, sparse, feminine, fragrant, carefully edited, welcoming, calm and a true haven to come home to.


  1. sounds like you have a great strategy! you will feel so much more relaxed and confident once you pared down in the clothes/beauty/etc departments to less, better quality items. I cannot believe how much STUFF I used to have!!

  2. I love decluttering! It's so discouraging to find oneself needing to, but so satisfying to get it done. I cleaned out my home office closet three weeks ago, and am so happy every time I open the doors to get something out.

    We've been in major declutter mode for about two months, actually, since finding out the date of the neighborhood garage sale -- which is this Saturday, at long last.

    We are also hard-core on the "dollar diet," permanently, so I think that this decluttering may actually "stick" because we aren't buying new stuff AT ALL.

    Looking forward to hearing about your progress.


  3. Oh, I really look forward to reading about this. A disclaimer, I'm down to one fragrance No 5, but I have three versions of it, I'm sneaky and count it as one. Also, I never did pare down to just one lipstick. I thought about it and decided to keep about 7 of them. I may get rid of a couple more.

    Don't be surprised if this brings up some funny emotions as you let go of things, but it's worth it and you will feel so neat and organized after it's over. Good luck!

  4. Decluttering is something that I desperately need to do. I tried to do my closet a few months ago but I did exactly the same thing as you and put all the unsure items in the spare bedroom closet. I also kept a box of clothes that are too small for me. I mean really, if I ever successfully lose this weight I'll need those smaller clothes!!

    I also have tons of little bottles of lotions and potions that I should sort through. I can probably get rid of some of them because I don't like fruity scents, I'd rather smell like a bouquet than a fruit basket.

    Good luck with your decluttering and I look forward to reading about it.

  5. R, isn't it amazing. You can declutter and declutter and know you used to have more, but still you have too much. I'm really excited about becoming more streamlined.

    M, going back to look at a decluttered space is so satisfying. You have to keep opening the cupboard doors and taking another peek!

    I'm envious of your neighbourhood garage sale. A deadline is a great motivator and you can make some money back too.

    Stephanie, I don't feel so intimidated now - one lipstick and one fragrance was a really hard act to follow! Funny about your 3-in-1 Chanel.

    Yes, I already have 'stuff in my head' and that's why I haven't decluttered more. I feel wasteful getting rid of good things (even when donating) and wonder if I'll need it one day. Silly I know.

    Jackie, what I do with all those little lotions is tip them one at a time into an empty lotion bottle and shake to mix them together.

    You could probably use the fruity ones too - the fragrance mixes together into a new one. Or donate those ones.

    I have even emptied in mini conditioners from hotels that I know I'm not going to use and the body lotion still works fine!

    Mini shampoos and shower gels that I know I'm not going to use get mixed in with liquid handwash (it's an opaque pump container).

    I get nice full bottles of body lotion and hand wash and it feels so good tipping all the empties into the recycling bin.

  6. hi fiona,

    i find that clothes decluttering is the hardest. i've read articles about women who homes were destroyed in fires and they were grateful that of course they were alive but also that they got to start fresh with their wardrobe. the truth is, we can all do that w/o losing our homes but we never do. it sounds liberating to me. i wonder what stops me from doing that? right now hanging in my closet are 3 summer skirts that i never wear. why is it that i keep them? good post fiona.


  7. Looking forward to the outcome of your decluttering! I love posts like this too. :)

  8. Jackie, you're welcome! I should add, I only use the shampoo and conditioner as handwash and body lotion since I started using salon haircare a few months ago. Before that I would add the little bottles to my supermarket shampoo and conditioners.

    Janet, yes clothing is the hardest. Some items I never wear, yet when I go to declutter them I start saying to myself 'but it's so nice, I should wear it' (or I hear my mother's voice in my head saying that!), and put it back in the wardrobe. These pieces aren't escaping this time. I know exactly what you mean about a fire!

    J, thanks! You know I'll be reading back through your blog for tips.

  9. I want to start with my wardrobe as it's really been bothering me. In a comment in my last post I said I was waiting until I was skinnier to do this, but really, that day may never come. I might decide to be the weight I am and eat as healthy as I can and do my yoga and walking to tone up.

    LOL! Oh my word! You are so my kindred spirit from a parallel hemisphere. Love it!! (and not just this comment or post--love it all!)


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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