On Wednesday last week, I started to tidy when it occurred to me that my bedroom furniture was all in the wrong place. I was always moving around something to put something else away. Nothing had a ‘home’ and all that stuff rendered all the useful stuff… useless. It was majorly inefficient, so I rang the boyfriend to get him to come help me move my furniture around. Surely it would only take an afternoon.

Four days, seven stuffed bin bags later, and my room is now tidy. And organised. And will remain so. I hope.

But as much as it was a cleansing exercise on many levels, it was also worrying… if I can create that much waste just tidying my room, how much am I responsible for over a week, a year, a lifetime? Granted, much of my ‘stuff’ had been given (e.g. old clothes and jewellery given to me in case I can use the parts – I love it but need to be more ruthless in terms of what I keep!), and some of it was recycleable, but even so the amount of things that I found essentially ‘good for nothing’ was pretty disgusting.

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that I try to be as eco-friendly as I can. It’s hard. I have been trying to ‘green’ my work and my life for about two and a half years now, I think, and I have learned a lot in that time – but while I might have made big changes in my work, and many small changes to my daily habits, I still have so far to go that it’s daunting.

I’ve always known it would be a hard slog, though – you’ll notice that I try to avoid saying “my work is eco-fiendly” and instead say “my work is as eco-friendly as possible”. The vast majority of others who share my ethos fit the second statement, but use the first. It just doesn’t sit well with me – it feels dishonest.

Anyway, after last week, I feel a need to live with less. I’m already a fairly disciplined shopper: I always ‘sleep on’ a potential purchase. If I still want it, I look for second-hand, sustainable or recycled alternatives (Ebay, Etsy, Gumtree etc.) and I do a mental assessment of its usefulness. Usually by the time I have gone through this process I have talked myself out of whatever-it-is anyway, and often that makes me feel as good as buying it would have! But what else can I do … ?

I usually don’t make new year’s resolutions, I always feel that if something needs to change, I won’t wait until next year. But it feels right this time. My resolution: live more, with less. ;)

How about you?

Happy New Year :)

More food for thought:

Less is More: 5 Mental Strategies for Decluttering and Using Less

The man who wakes up in a ditch… then goes to work at Sotheby’s

Less is More: 5 Mental Strategies for Decluttering and Using Less