Cleaning the Cupboards

Monsieur and I live in an apartment of just over 900 square feet. When we decided to live together 19 years ago, storage was very important to us. Monsieur had lived alone in a 3 bedroom townhouse with carport and my daughter and I had lived in a small townhouse. Since that time, I have acquired many clothes and  much stuff.

Each year since my retirement, I have rented  much smaller apartments in Paris and I have found the space to be adequate for myself and an assortment of visiting friends. All of my rental apartments have  included a bookcase of left or resident books, some CD's, some basic kitchen supplies and linens. With my single suitcase, I have been able to live for five months very comfortably. A few household items from Monoprix and fresh flowers served to personalize my living space. What I buy in Paris (household items) stays in Paris so the next guests benefit from my nesting instincts.
autumn nesting at home

At home, I have been cleaning cupboards as Monsieur and I do REALLY have storage but it is not well utilized. As winter is approaching, I have been dealing with clothing and household linens.  I will be travelling to warmer places in November and December (Caribbean cruise and then another Tucson casita with Monsieur), so I can't really retire my lighter clothing but I am developing an all-season wardrobe. I am reminded that one of the bloggers that I used to follow Four Seasons One Wardrobe has just returned  this week from a lengthy break. After giving birth to her first child, she has returned to blogger world. If you are looking to create a multi-purpose wardrobe, this might be a blog to consider.

I am still working with Janice Riggs' ( of The Vivienne Files)  planning sheets and I can readily select what is essential and what is not. Three pairs of grey jeans! How did that happen? Purchased last year before Paris trip. Two would have been enough. One goes to thrift. Black/grey/white long sleeve t-shirt can be worn with skirt, jeans and capris and can be washed out and dried anywhere…it's a keeper. My travel wardrobe for the next few years is taking shape.
It's getting there but there are still too many items.
The last days of summer are too precious to waste inside.

The linen closet seems to be filled with photo albums??? Do I need 3 quilts and a bedcover? We only have 1 bed! I bought some of those compression bags to store the extras but summer and winter quilts should be adequate. The extra could be washed and donated as cold weather is approaching. This kind of sorting can be quite intense so I always set a time limit. Later I'll be walking some books over to the community library. It's in our recreational complex so I could even reread my own books if I wished.

Living in an apartment is very different from living in a detached house. We have no garage, attic or basement in which to store our excess belongings. As we get older, our needs are becoming fewer and perhaps we need to reconsider some of the memorabilia that is taking up vital space.

How do you deal with storage? Have you ever paid an organizer? For me, I just have to persevere and not get sidetracked or sentimental.

I even have my daughter and my own Brownie uniforms.


  1. You are right, not so many clothes are needed on a trip. I used to take so much but now I try to be very careful. Though, last May we went to Paris and there were some clothes I did not wear. I thought the weather might be cold since we were also going to Sweden and Russia, but it was warmer in St Petersburg than in Paris! At home I need to streamline for sure – too many books, too many of everything. I admire the way you cut down on your clothes and items.

  2. When we travel, it seems that we plan for all seasons and occasions and forget that we could very easily purchase what we need. Books, china and linens take up a lot of space in our apartment. Unfortunately, I am still attached to them. Simplifying our lives means, I think, loosening some of the ties that our belongings have on us.

  3. I've been trying to pare down as well, but it's time and energy-sapping. I like your idea of setting a time limit and doing it in stages. . .Your experience travelling is both good evidence that more can be done with less and inspiration to pare down even further so that you're ready to travel easily.

    1. It certainly can be done and I've involved my daughter in the process. If there are items that are of significance to her, I will give them to her now. With clothing, I think that, for now, I have to wear what I have and continue to edit. Being retired, I can easily wear the same clothing from day to day. Add a sweater, change to boots for wet weather and I'm ready to go. Most of our music is on the computer and I'm working through the books slowly. Travel and choices are much easier if we have already dealt with the "stuff".


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