Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My year of less is more: how 'zoning' can result in some empty spaces

Our de-cluttered dining space
I am (still) reading Peter's Walsh book on de-cluttering 'It's all too much'.  It's worth a read by the way - even if you're pretty good at de-cluttering it has helped me think more carefully about what I'm doing with my stuff.

Last week I was inspired by his idea of creating 'zones' for your possessions.  That you allocate specific areas for specific tasks.  So you work out what each part of your house is used for, and then stick to that.  I was particularly inspired by his chapter on the master bedroom.  He's big on keeping the master bedroom for sleeping and clothes and nothing else.  Not the unsorted washing.  Not the kid's toys.  Not the junk that doesn't fit anywhere else.  He reckons that by separating out sections of our space that we will be able to sleep and relax better.

While I was reading this I was sitting on my bed.  I had a look around at my room.  I don't have a study so I could see my laptop and my uni notes.  I could see the gift box, the wrapping paper, card box.  A half-finished knitting project.  Clothes that needed to go to a clothing bin.  Some sewing paraphernalia.
The empty space I created in our bedroom

I realised that all these things were not bedroom related items.  My room was just a place to dump them.  Once I thought about it, I realised that all these items could go with their like-minded friends in other places.  I have most of my sewing/craft in one cupboard.  But for some reason it spreads.  So there was some fabric and sewing gear in the kitchen sideboard and some in my bedroom.  Zoning has really changed my thinking.

It also means that if I've decided that I only have space for two bookshelves, then if I can't fit all my books on them, they shouldn't spread out into other non-book zones of the house.  I just need to keep reducing the amount of books I have.  I actually think the zone principle helps keep a small space manageable.
Two bookshelves used to be here near our front door
So I now have empty spaces in my house.  It is feeling a lot less busy and cluttered.  I have got rid of two bookshelves and a sideboard in the last week.  While it reduces the amount of furniture, it has also forced me to just be more disciplined about putting things away in their homes rather than just shoving it into the nearest cupboard or onto a shelf.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Hi Jenny?
What did you do with the furniture?. We have some that we also need to get rid of. Trying to join freecycle but also looking for any other options.
Emily