The New Year is a time when we traditionally make resolutions and these may involve the home whether it is a small activity such as redecorating a room or a major change such as moving house. In previous blogs I’ve talked about decluttering and a recent move away from minimalism but this blog is about the concept of “editing”.
I am currently in the process of moving house myself, and even though I’ve moved several times in the past the experience has been illuminating. I am not a naturally tidy person and I tend to go for the homely rather than minimalist look in my homes. However, I have to admit that I do seem to acquired a lot of “stuff” – some of it still unpacked from previous moves which has lingered in the garage! So I have unpacked all the boxes and evaluated everything. Some items have been quite easy to decide on others have been more difficult, either because of the circumstances in which I have acquired them or the identity of the giver. I am also one of those people who tends to hang on to things “just in case” which has forced me to be quite firm with myself. The result has been various items sold online (that could be the subject of another blog on its own), some donated to charity and others retained.
At the weekend I came across an article about a new book called An Edited Life by blogger Anna Newton. According to the article, the book applies to all areas of life but what I found most interesting was how it applies to the home and it seemed to very much resonate with my experience. The starting point is the idea that organising your physical space is the stepping stone to the other areas of your life. I’ve long subscribed to the idea that organising/ decluttering/ tidying, however you describe it helps reduce stress and makes it easier to get on with the other things you want or need to do. What appeals to me about Newton’s concept is that it seems to be a happy medium between minimalism on the one hand and a space that is overly full on the other. According to Newton ” It’s not about stripping everything back. It’s about making small changes, tweaks in habits, editing of routines, decluttering of space, so you have more time to be productive and happy”
I haven’t read the book yet although I intend to, but it seems that Newton’s approach to editing your belongings is similar to the William Morris quote ” have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful“. My interpretation of the quote is this – as you edit the contents of your home ask yourself do you love it? does it has a purpose – and perhaps “will I use it?” Tip – if you haven’t used it in the last 12 months you probably aren’t going to. If you come across something that you love then get it out and find a place for it so that you can enjoy it. With my editing I adopted a compromise approach to things I hadn’t unpacked – some items I got rid of others I decide to keep either because yes I loved them or for purely sentimental reasons.
I have certainly appreciated having a tidy home, it does make you feel calmer, and going forward I intend to make some changes. One habit I have been trying to adopt is dealing with things as they happen instead of putting them on one side. For example, when an item of mail arrives open it and do whatever my be needed. If you can’t do that immediately schedule time in the diary to do it. Put things away when you have used them. Having streamlined the contents of my home somewhat I hope to keep on top of it in the future. I am also going to try to avoid replenishing the horde in the future, being a bit more ruthless at asking myself “do I really need it” although there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat.
If you need help with selling your home, editing your home or planning a revamp of your home call 07745 876182 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I cover Cheshire and the North West