I actually started my spring cleaning years ago. We downsized when we moved into this home. Our new space was overflowing with stuff and there wasn't much storage. I justified our overflowing rooms with the thought that eventually we would add on to our tiny cottage. To sum up our story . . . the add-on didn’t happen and the economy tanked.
It took me until this last January to get really serious about our space. Here is an excerpt from a book that really helped me out:
"Be aware that most material items can be replaced, but your time can't. Your time is precious and far more important than your possessions. When you feel hesitant or guilty about letting go of possessions, think how often you waste your time buying, straightening up, and being concerned about possessions that don’t really matter in the bigger scheme of life."
From: Your Home as a Sanctuary by Josephine Collins
This book began to put into perspective what I was feeling about my home. I wasn't enjoying my home. My home was consuming up time that I needed for more important things. I was tired of fussing with my rooms (trying to make them look neat), so I took the plunge and swept through everything we owned. I kept the essentials and the things that were truly precious to us. Things I decided to save, but not display got stored. I limited myself to how much I kept. It basically consists of four pretty storage boxes.
The result, a simple look with room to breathe. Special items we love get highlighted rather than lost in a jumble of stuff.
If you're interested in Your Home as a Sanctuary, I recommend that you check it out at your local library or bookstore before you purchase it. While I loved this book, there were some ideas I didn’t identify with. Overall, I'm glad I purchased it. It gave me the push I needed to create a clear vision for my home.
The greatest reward from this whole experience was seeing home videos from years ago and comparing them to a recent home video. It was mind boggling how we lived with so much stuff. I'm just sorry it took me so long to do it.
Now, here is a book I whole heartily recommend.
This is a wonderful resource book for French Home Keeping. The photos are beautiful and the wisdom gathered in this book is inspirational! If you're an obsessed Francophile like me, this book is for you.