Friday, 1 July 2011


"We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see."
Taoist Proverb

For the past few weeks I've been a man on an extreme decluttering mission...

So much of my worldly possessions have been given away, recycled (evil paper), freecycled, rehomed and sold (a few items).

What you see above is the culmination of my efforts and what I'm taking to with me as I emigrate :

Samsonite Backpack

Has the…
  • Macbook Pro (plus power charger)
  • iPad (plus power charger)
  • important docusments
  • 2x moleskines
  • Kodak Zi8 & mic
  • power travel adaptor
  • assorted pens
  • assorted nuts (for the journey)
  • small folder of paperwork (passport, flight times etc)
  • beanie
Suitcase (Large) The usual…
  • more paper (important immigration docs, work letters etc)
  • clothes
  • bag of leads, chargers and other tech stuff
  • hand wraps (for punching)
  • two small bags
  • toiletries
The Box (Largish)

Holding a myriad of stuff from coats to books, to flattened Mac boxes to punching pads etc etc. It will meet me in Christchurch when I arrive.

What got left behind is a filing cabinet full of papers (as the tax man wants you to keep stuff related to your business for five years), plus two medium boxes of various stuff yet to find a home (old photos, some DVD's, backup CD's from past work etc).


So there you have it.

A 100 hours of decluttering.

My mission complete and I'm double-chuffed with myself.

Obviously, the battle will be to remain a minimalist in both thought and function, not to acquire and keep things 'light'. 

My last thought as I put this blog / project to bed : if you're looking for probably the most extreme decluttering challenge ever… emigrate!

*the last calculation was that I had two weeks at home with the folks after moving out of my flat. What followed was about ten days of about 5 hours on average of going through my stuff to finally achieve the above.
**the above post was written in the air on my way to New Zealand—am now here and had some time to edit / post.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


“Every time you spend money you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
Anna Lappé

I'm knackered.

Moving home will do that to you.

The big stuff is easy (furniture, framed pictures, filing cabinet etc), it's the little stuff which when aggregated becomes a minimalists nightmare. This is stuff you didn't know you had and can't believe you bought in the first place and makes you wonder :
  • why did I have three kettles?
  • Is seven bed sets too much?
  • When did I ever need seventeen mugs?

For the next couple of weeks I'll be at my folks, sifting through every box of my life (about 20 of various shapes and sizes) with the aim to end up with two large suitcases to take to NZ plus a filing cabinet full of important stuff (financials, photos, precious other things etc).

Well that's the aim.

Sunday, 29 May 2011


“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

Freecycle rocks.

The night before I had to move out of my flat the following large items were posted :

  • Double Bed
  • Sofa Bed
  • 2x TV's
  • Massage Table
  • IKEA Table
  • DVD Player
  • Surround Sound System

They were all gone in 24 hours.

Freecycle, your minimalism friend.

*time allotted here is joining the group, posting the message, answering the many emails I got (gave up in the end) plus helping people carry all the stuff out to their cars).

Sunday, 15 May 2011


"Freedom can’t be bought, it can only be found."
Everett Bogue

Over the past few months many of my clothes and other items like bags, art supplies, books, etc have been donated to various charity shops in my area.

They have been sorted, packed and transported to the locations in question.

Tomorrow, much of my furniture will be going the same way, this time to Track 2000.

This giving stuff away thing starts to get addicting after a while. The space created by the old items is very cleansing plus there's the warm feeling in your stomach as you know you're doing good.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011


“The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.”
Kin Hubbard

When you have stuff to sort out and declutter you end up making piles.

These stacks of stuff are crucial to deciding what stays / goes / gets sold / gets donated etc.

If you're like me and have built-in wardrobes in your home you'll quickly discover how much stuff is actually have hidden away which needs to be sorted.

Again, our usual nemesis paper is proving the worst pile-creator.

Don't fear the pile...

They are your friends to sorting.

Your tools to cut through the clutter.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Why Declutter100

"Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
Albert Einstein

Six months ago the Declutter100 project started.

Three months ago my New Zealand residency application got approved.

Last month I announced it to the world.

The whole emigration decision process started over nine months ago and forms the basis of why Declutter100 exists.

Now you know.

This will replace the about page.

Friday, 1 April 2011


"You watch television to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on."
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer and Pixar, in Macworld Magazine, February 2004

Yesterday was the last day of my TV license.

I didn't renew it.

I no longer watch TV and the two sets I have will now be sold / given away as part of this decluttering adventure.

The other reasons are that I realised the only time I ever watched the idiot box is whilst I'm eating (reruns of old Scrubs and The Big Bang Theory or to catch up on the news on the BBC (and the latter is getting increasingly shit as the news reporters / readers all think that to be good at their job means grilling each guest like they are wrong then flipping it back to the counter guest and making out they are wrong—is that what reporting the news is all about???).

So goodbye TV.

Image credit

Saturday, 12 March 2011


"The more you know, the less you need."
Yvon Chouinard

When I was a kid art was destined to be my life. It was the only thing I was good at in school. I even had a place in art college until I decided to take a different path...

The intention was to go back to it one day and for that reason I hoarded art supplies. I did create some painting and stuff now and again but it was rare so it was time to unburden myself.

Two of my friends were beneficiaries of the following stuff after digging it all out :
  • Eisel
  • 12 canvases
  • Several artist pads
  • Used and unused oil paints
  • Used and unused acrylic paints
  • Many brushes and pallet knives
  • Artist sprays
  • Pens and pencils
Goodbye stuff...

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Hour#15-16 : Paper Shredding

"The more you know, the less you need."
Yvon Chouinard

It's amazing the amount of paper you can accumulate. Hidden away in drawers and folders over the years this is the stuff you think you'll need but upon review know you will never find a purpose for.

So started the two hour shredding frenzy... scuppered a few times due to the shredder overheating!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Minimalism Sucks

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Minimalism sucks because it's hard to do.

Minimalism sucks because it takes time.

Time which is hard to find at the moment between my work, play and other priorities.

I'm still committed to my original challenge and thinking of another path : dedicating an hour every other day in my diary to decluttering my life...

Wish me luck!

How do you keep on top of your decluttering efforts / minimalist lifestyle?

After taking a break over Crimbo and then having a very busy
Photo credit