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First decluttering lessons

As part of living lighter and brighter, my husband and I have recently joined a decluttering course which runs for 12 weeks a few times a year.

To be honest, I felt I knew how to tidy up - I thought my issue was simply finding the motivation to get started... However, three weeks into the course, several lightbulbs went on for me when course leader Joshua Becker mentioned some key differences between reorganising and decluttering:

  1. Reorganising provides a temporary solution - the items have to be handled again - whereas decluttering deals with the item once and for all.

  2. Simply moving things to a different place will not benefit anyone else whereas our clutter can become someone else's treasure if we let go of things permanently.

  3. When we reshuffle items, we never have to look at why we own so many items in the first place...

I decided that this time I would REMOVE items before organising them and have started the process of curating the materials I have collected for my paintings. Several bags of surplus items have already been given to a local charity shop and to a friend who is starting out in her art.

I have a long way to go - my art materials are currently spread over 2 rooms. In my attempts to keep items out of landfill, my default answer in the past has always been "yes" when I was offered paints and materials by tutors and fellow students.

However, I am already noticing that there is truth in the adage that "Less is more." By keeping less material, I am more aware of what I have got, so what I have got is more likely to be used.

ALL the miniature boxes in the picture above were initially filled with dry flower petals which are now enriching our compost.

I am particularly curious to see whether the changes in my macro environment will lead to changes in my paintings. I am aware that I can struggle to leave breathing space in my work, even though I "know" that nothing stands if every space is filled.

Nicholas Wilton illustrates the importance of differences in his first free workshop on 14th February. There is still time to sign up for his annual series of free workshops.


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