Out with the old...

(source: bellefleurdelis)

I've been trying to streamline my life a little bit over the last month or so. There's been a couple of really difficult life events going on recently which has made me reassess my spending habits and my penchant for accumulating really silly things like teacups, flatware and shoes. I mean in the whole scheme of things, I'm still extremely lucky, but there are times when I feel like I need to stop reading blogs and/or blogging for a while just to have a reality check every now and then. I think it's very easy to be swayed by how flawless some people's lives seem to be. In between perfectly framed photographs of knitting and thrift store finds, apple crumbles, Parisian holidays and pretty babies, I sometimes wonder if it's just wrong to mislead readers that life is filled with nothing but good things (or for readers to be misled in their own right). I guess for some people, reading blogs is a means of escape - like watching the telly or reading a book. Who wants to constantly read sorrowful litanies by some cynical, overworked person (e.g. this blog)?

Inspired by Yumiko Sekine's Designsponge sneak peek, I've moved about 1/2 of my frivolous belongings into boxes and in the next few weeks, I'll be calling Salvation Army to pick it up from my doorstep, so if anyone wants a bunch of Crate and Barrel cappucino cups (brand new!), let me know. I think I'm going through some sort of radically mad change where I feel like I need to throw everything out and live like a hermit. I'm also getting rid of perfectly new and good items that for some reason I find to be galling now. I suspect that I was possessed at that point by the demons known as "Instant Gratification" and "Cheap Prices" but truly, I sometimes think that just blindly and blankly forking over money has been my greatest foe.

The good news is that I think I'm finally able to move closer and closer to all the Byzantine doctrine that I've been very hypocritically espousing since last year (omg, she's still on about this?!). I still have an immense amount of clutter to get rid of, and living with someone who has sentimental attachment to everything makes it harder for me to arrive at that spartan aesthetic I'm craving - although I suspect there's nothing some gentle coaxing and a large bacon sandwich can't fix.

A couple of things I'm trying to incorporate into my spring cleaning checklist:

1. Bring only what you love into your house.
2. Have a story and a reason behind everything you own.
3. If you don't use it, get rid of it. Someone else would always need it.

Those three philosophical ideas may seem generalized and unhelpful, but personally, it helps me let go of things and to consider carefully why and what I buy. There are many things I own that I like well enough but don't exactly love; many items were bought as "substitutes" for the real thing - cheaper shirts, cheaper glassware, cheaper dishes etc. Those things are mostly the ones that I've ended up loathing because deep down, there really is no substitute for the real thing.

Do you have any personal tips on getting rid of clutter and spring cleaning?