I moved about six months ago to a cottage closer to my work.  The traffic from where I was previously could be crazy, and I was simply not prepared to have to leave for work earlier than the 6 am time slot I was leaving.  So, I found a new abode, and although I am thankful that it has been a roof over my head and I can comfortably leave home by 7 am and be at work on time, it’s not been an inspiring space.

I have befriended the gorgeous soul who resides in the other cottage and a few weeks back I mentioned to her that I had no idea why I had chosen to rent this space, as it was not well looked after and the smell of dogs faeces is often overpowering and litters the garden, to the point that I won’t dare walk on the grass barefooted.

The trash on the pavement has been there for the entire 6 months I have resided there and the landlord simply stated that he won’t clear it up, as him leaving it there is deliberate to irritate the neighbour with whom he has a strained relationship and has had a court battle, and lost.  Strangely enough, when I went to view the cottage I did not actually notice the trashy look outside.

While chatting and lamenting the state of the property and again saying “I have no idea how I came to the decision to rent this space” she replied, “I believe you came here for me, to wake me up”.  Boy, that response was so unexpected.  She went on to say that I have opened her eyes after inviting her to chat with my friend and me one Sunday morning and her telling me that as she sat there, she was so uncomfortable and felt that she had nothing to say. She went on to say that she realised that she was not living her best life in that she was spending an inordinate amount of time alone (I do that too – in fact).

We have both since found new places to rent and are moving within the next two weeks. A little further from our work offices, but not too far.

But, the point of this post was to share with you the image below (link to the site at the bottom of this page). I was clearing out some images on my pc and ran across it and I think its fairly relevant as I am wanting to have less and do more. Space to breath and stretch and be more organised, and find myself again, in some sense, and my style – I feel as though I left my style behind in Germany so many years ago and learned to ‘make do’ and choose ‘functional’ as I had a house full of children and a partner at the time whose style had to be taken into consideration as well.

My first, recent, big move in 2016 from the house in which my children all left and moved to the USA to the previous cottage, I had to get rid of so much stuff – from beds and cupboards and chairs and crockery, etc. When I moved to this cottage, I let a lot of kitchen items go again as well. This time, I’m looking at what I own and asking myself “Is this me”? “Is this my style”?

As I had the intention of moving to the USA, which is now on the back burner, I had simply ‘made do’ with what I had and overlooked the fact that the space I was coming home to did not hug me, inspire me, bring me comfort or joy – it was just the place I came to bath and sleep. Which got me considering that I’ve done myself a disservice. So, with the move to the new place, I’ve decided to accept that this is where I am and make it a space that I want to be in, a space where I express me, a space where I feel joy coming through the door, instead of dread.

I finally, after years of going backwards and forwards with ideas in my head, and not truly commiting to any, chose, ordered and paid for a headboard for my bed. Such a simple thing, but I’m so excited about.

I’ve let more things go! A little HiFI that I think was given to my children and works when it wants to. A workbench that I was using as a TV stand, simply because it served the function, but now I don’t have space for it. My sister and I have traded for it – she’ll purchase me a TV stand to replace it and she has taken it home, freeing her fold-up portable table to be once again portable.

I think we undervalue ourselves too by keeping things that are broken or not working properly. I’m so blessed and realised that I don’t need to ‘make do’ with broken things. One of the items I have a strange emotional attachment to though is a drawer set I purchased in Germany. Its really quite beat up and my one cat used to climb up it instead of jump, to get to her food and her climbing up it has left a lot of scratches in it. The drawers, however, don’t open and close properly and often hang down looking really sad. I’ve wanted to fix it for the longest time and spoke with my brother in law when he came to collect the workbench about it. Its not really worth putting major effort into it to restore it he advised, and I do agree. But part of me feels the need to at least try. So, once he’s fixed the drawers for me and the backing, I think I’ll finally sand it down and give it a paint job. Part of me needs to do this.

This weekend is the big move. I’ve found a gorgeous cottage about 6 kms from where I am now. The property is spotless. No dogs, just a kitty that came and said “Hi” when I viewed it and sauntered through the space as though it were quite home.

One of the things on my ‘wish list’ when I was looking for a new home was that there be enough cupboard space so that counter tops and such are clear. I have had this urge to have open, cleared, uncluttered spaces. The deal with myself is this – if everything can’t be packed in the cupboards at the new cottage (except of course some little ornamental items), then I need to decide what stays and what goes. It may well be time to let more things go (especially those that have been packed in bins for 3 years already) to be blessings to others.

If you made it all the way down here … thanks for indulging me and come back as I intend to post some ‘cottage tour’ pics in the next few weeks.

Links about simplifying/decluttering/home maintenance

Flylady : Flylady has an amazing method whereby your home is split into zones. You work on a zone at a time and she sets challenges and chores to do in each zone to get your home spic ‘n span.

Richly Rooted

Marie Kondo Method (awesome book by Mari The life changing Magic of Tidying up)

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