Do you struggle with stuff? I really really struggle with stuff. There is stuff in my bedroom, clothes that were a bargain in the sale but never fitted properly; books long read and not necessarily enjoyed but you can’t throw them out because, well, they are books; generously given toiletries that I have no idea what are for let alone what to do with the list goes on and on. Other rooms are just the same. We are lucky enough to have a utility room complete with washing machine and tumble dryer unfortunately it is also my dye shed, animal medicines and equipment store, drying room and all round excellent place for others to put stuff they don’t know what to do with! It is made worse by our being a family of 6 living in quite a small house where there truly is not space for everything to have a place. Just when I think I am conquering the mountain there is always a setback, Christmas for example. Anyone who has visited Whistlebare in the last year will know that we are addressing our lack of space by building an extension that we are very excited about – mostly. The proviso is because I fear that more space may ultimately mean more STUFF!
Clearly it is time to take things in hand, William Morris’ great quote springs to mind:
‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
We began our new resolution before Christmas by running away! We all travelled way up to the North of Scotland to spend Christmas week in an idyllic off-grid home surrounded by sea and mountains.
We took with us what we needed, mostly food, with two teenage boys and two tweenage boys it is always mostly food! There was no internet, no TV and no mobile signal, it was heavenly as there was no means by which the world could tell us all what we were missing out on.
There were presents but they were restrained and leaned heavily towards hand knits. Christmas morning was spent jumping off rocks into the sea. Christmas afternoon saw us all playing ‘Exploding Kittens’ (fear not it is a card game!) around the fire. We hiked, we knitted, we cooked, we played games and we squabbled, it was too ‘Famous Five’ for words but we had an amazing time. All without STUFF.
That brings me to the point, we all know that less is more, something that is becoming ever more true as we are swamped in consumerism and a throw away culture. Christmas has brought this home to me more than ever so I am really trying to slow down, buy less, appreciate more because that is the way I will become surrounded by the useful and the beautiful and not be drowned in STUFF!
I am going to try and share my progress in this with you all as a form of accountability. Please do join me in the comments below so that I know you are watching!