Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Declutter Backslide

The house has been feeling very full, too full really, and as I looked around I mostly attributed it to the boy and home renovations. But looking in my stuffed cabinets and drawers over the weekend finally made me realize that I've been backsliding. Falling into old habits of stocking up during sales until I eventually end up with more than I can use in a reasonable time frame.

It started innocently enough. There were a few things I needed before heading to Alaska for a dual wedding/vacation trip: dresses for the wedding and rehearsal dinner, official hiking pants, natch (for all those hikes I don't do anywhere else but Alaska), some toiletries were looking low and heaven forbid I run out and pay Alaska prices! Plus my t-shirt collection was pretty thin, so I added four to it. I thought I needed a new parka, but the prices and lackluster selection made me decide I could live with my 16-year-old Columbia after all. Good thing, because in the end I didn't take or need it as Anchorage was experiencing record high temps this May.

Then I returned home to the middle of a total bathroom remodel (much more to come on that later!) which necessitated the purchase of some supplies, new accessories and the like.

Our last working smoke detector went on the blitz, so buying new ones became urgent. My hairdryer died. I needed body wash. Then Bath & Body Works was having a sale so of course I had to stock up on candles, body wash and plug-in air fresheners (my weaknesses).

When those latest purchases would barely fit in the cabinet at home I realized how much I had returned to old habits without even noticing and I didn't love the results. I'd be far too embarrassed to show you all the beauty products I have hidden away now! It's amazing how quickly and easily that can happen.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not at hoarder status yet. Unless you opened cabinets and drawers you'd likely never know. But I know and I really have having to move stuff to get to other stuff.

So it's back to the old ways. Time to use it or lose it, to think before I buy and to get back to the happy medium of not too much that I prefer.

How do you combat falling back into old bad habits?


  1. I don't really have any helpful advice to offer, as I am currently in a clutter backslide too. My plan is to use up the beauty products etc and try to stick to a simple routine that works!
    I've been reading minimalist/decluttering blogs to try and get inspired...

    1. Well, first I'm surprised anyone noticed this post at all since it's been so long, so thanks for that and commenting too!!

      And I'm with you on the use it up routine. Everything I bought is stuff I'll use, it's just amazing how much it crept up before I noticed. Time to get back on the program! I feel like there aren't as many minimalist/decluttering blogs as there once was, any faves to share?

    2. I've been looking at sites like this to inspire me to pare down my skincare etc routine: http://naturalminimalist.com
      I have a moisturising balm that I will be using as a cleanser too- once I have used the rest of my products up!

      My favourite site for before and afters is
      http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com as although the afters aren't necessarily that minimalist, it reminds me I don't need to spend much time on tidying/decluttering to make a difference :)

    3. I'm off to check out these links, thanks Nicola!

  2. Ha! What you need is a good carpet beetle infestation! Seriously the "stuff equation" starts to feel much different when the price for keeping things isn't just that they will occupy some space - instead you have to either be willing to clean & sanitize the thing regularly until the little buggers get successfully evicted, or you have to find a beetle-proof way to store them. Either way, having less stuff starts to become very attractive very quickly!

    And while I do suffer from "stock-up-itis" I think my real problem is that I have difficulty declaring something's useful life as over. Seriously, I was pawing through the medicine cabinet a few weeks back when I was sick, looking for some cold medicine. I found things that had expired years and years ago. The worst was a decongestant spray that was all crusted and disgusting. The expiration date was 1994!!! Oy!

    1. Please no beetle infestation!! I bet that's great motivation, but it's motivation I can live without! Seriously it's been one thing after another around here, including not being able to start my car when I left work, so something like that would send me over the edge.

      I have the useful life issue too. I keep downgrading stuff but it never leaves. Like a shirt not fit to wear in public becomes a work shirt or rag and then stay useful for another few years!


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