Stuff, Stuff, Stuff & Nonsense

We’ve all got stuff. Big stuff, little stuff, every day stuff, every now and then stuff and stuff we’ve forgotten we own. So. Much. Stuff. Today I decided to wrangle the stuff, stuff, stuff and nonsense in my bathroom. 

The first thing I discovered was that the shelves in my bathroom cabinet have an almost limitless depth and a Tardis like capacity for holding bags, tubs and containers filled with stuff. 

And dust. Cough. 

Duly mortified by the state of my cupboard, I wheeled this Tardis-Extension-Unit into my bedroom and proceeded to disgorge the contents on to my bed. It wasn’t pretty. 


Necklaces that I haven’t worn in years, which I remember jamming into a plastic bag maybe six months ago and then instantly forgetting; binned. Why didn’t I just throw them out then? I’m a mystery. 

Earrings that weren’t even fashionable when I bought them 10 or 15 years ago; binned. Sweet relief. 

Tubes of mystery beauty products I’ve never used; binned. 

Ear syringe supplies; binned.  

Lipsticks from boldest red to a ghastly hue called “Heather Shimmer”; binned. 

On and on it went. 

As I sorted, I began to feel embarrassed. 

Why did I have ALL. THIS. STUFF? Drawer after drawer of USELESS CRAP all neatly jammed into my exceedingly small ensuite. 

A completely forgotten hair straightener, which I think I used three or four times. Binned. 

Every mini hotel bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, plus all the combs, sewing kits, shaving kits, and soaps that I ever got within 4 feet of, binned. 

I think I found about half a dozen mini tubes of toothpaste. I kept those, they’re handy! 

Old nail brush, out it went. 

Old hairbrush, gone to the great salon in the sky. 

Loofahs, manky nail files, dental floss I bought before we’d ever heard the name Barack Obsma… all tossed in the trash. 

One bag. Two bags. Three bags. 

Then I started on the tub of almost empty, almost full, almost gave me a migraine, almost endless varieties of shampoos and conditioners I’d squirrelled away under the bathroom vanity. Down the sink and then rinsed out, out they went, bottle after bottle. 

Four bags. Five bags. Six. 

That feeling again. Embarrassed. A bit ashamed of myself for not realising how much stuff I’d accumulated, quietly, stealthily. 

I often roll my eyes at the hoarding habits of some of my nearest and dearest. Don’t worry, I’m not going to out any of you! Today I thought to myself, I’m cut from the same cloth. Ahem. This is awkward.

Eventually, my Tardis-Extension-Unit stood empty, dusty and defeated. I may take it apart altogether or give it a good wash then use it to hold art supplies, but it will never go back in my ensuite! 


Three empty drawers and all that remains from the contents of my TEU. I have had the woven basket under the cotton buds for years and years. I love it, but I don’t need it. It hasn’t gone in the bin, yet. 


Just one of the bags I filled, knotted tightly and toted out to the rubbish bin today. I don’t wear make-up more than a few times a year, yet I still had all this STUFF, taking up valuable real estate in my small house. That leaves me scratching my head. 

All that remains, of the make-up at least. It’s more than I need. 


Things have such a hold on us, don’t they? 

Some things are precious, tied to special memories or people we love. Some things tied to such memories are still plastic crap that we imbue with value they’ll never have. You’d think the difference would be clear, wouldn’t you? 

As I went through those drawers today, I picked through a silver bag of pretty pink boxes. I scooped those boxes up during my first stay at a four star hotel. I’ve done that three times now and I’m not even 50. Talk about well travelled! 

That hotel stay was an indulgent treat to myself many Christmas Eves ago. I don’t need that sewing kit to remember it, or to recall the view of the city and the river shimmering at night, or the cocktails I drank with a girlfriend in the dimly lit, glamorous bar. As they say in the classics, I’ll always have Melbourne. 

Logically, I know I don’t need things to hold memories, but that silver bag of pink boxes, adorned in fancy cursive script with the hotel name have languished in a drawer for many, many Christmases. Not anymore. 

I want less in my life. I truly do. 

Less excess, less stuff and a lot less nonsense. 

Less time spent organising belongings that don’t serve any purpose. 

Less discarded lipsticks and long forgotten earrings. 

Less books I’m no longer interested in.

Less almost discarded stuff. I seem to be quite good at phase one of decluttering. 

{Note to self: make sure the bags of clothes that recently moved from hangers to bags under my bed actually leave the premises sometime soon!}

Less shoes. 

Less stuff without value. 

I want less. 

And I want more in my life. 

More breathing space. More ease, more physical space in the limited space that I have. 

More room for simply being, for making art, for welcoming friends, and for my sweet young nieces and nephews to spread out when they visit. 

More kitchen bench space so I can cook more good food with less sodium. 

More of what matters. 

I want more. 


Maybe the trick is being less attached to, and more mindful about, the stuff and the nonsense of life. 

I know this for sure, I won’t be on my deathbed wishing that I still owned a lipstick called Heather Shimmer or a plastic comb from a fancy hotel. 

I’ll never be a streamlined, monochrome, does-anybody-actually-live-here minimalist, but I’d like to get closer to that end of the spectrum than I am right now. 

Are you a master of de-cluttering? Teach me your ways. 

What’s your theory about the sewing kits and shampoos? I’d love to know. 


Annette x 




16 thoughts on “Stuff, Stuff, Stuff & Nonsense

  1. Great post Annette. Isn’t it cathartic, getting rid of stuff? I’m not minimalist by any stretch, but I do follow The Minimalists podcast. I just love their philosophy, though in truth I could never be, nor want to be as radical them. But I do agree stuff, and the attachment to it just gets in the way of what’s important. Enjoy your catharsis 😀.


  2. What is it with the bathroom? Many a times I have cleaned mine out and bam it’s full again within months.

    I use the same makeup everyday, yet I buy things I don’t need or use, don’t do “hair” yet I have so much hair stuff.. Why why why?

    Thanks for the friendly reminder that I need to revisit this room yet again. (last time I filled up a washing basket of stuff).


  3. I find I accumulate “bathroom stuff” and cosmetics because I buy something and the find I don’t like it (they are never the same once you get them into normal light), or it doesn’t behave the way it has been promised or the shampoo makes my head itchy or my hair limp, or the creams aren’t good for my skin….
    And then I feel guilty throwing them out because I’ve spent money on them and I hate being wasteful.
    Sigh. It’s silly because I’m never going to use them again anyway.
    As for the sewing kit, we were away recently and a button came loose from Jim’s shirt…. no sewing kit to be found 😦 😉


    • It is silly, but not uncommon – they’ve already got your money, so ditch those duds!!
      And my hoarded sewing kit would be no good to me if I lost a button while I was away, it was stuffed in a drawer at home.


  4. I love this post Annette because this is totally my thing. Have you read Clear your clutter by Karen Kingston? If not then hot foot it off down to the library, they will probably have it. That book changed my life in so many ways. I really believe the clutter that we have around us can totally mess with your life and that getting rid of it can totally change your life. I AM A BELIEVER!
    Stuff weighs us down, interferes with creativity, health, emotions and all of the things. Im also not someone who lives minimalist, I have lots of things but I agree with that bloke… who was it??? hmmmm ‘ Only have things that are beautiful or useful… but he said it in a much better way. I can’t think right now but anyway I love this post and I think clearing your clutter brings the very best of rewards. One of the best things I ever did was to give away all of the things in my house in England and land in NZ with just a suitcase. Liberation.


    • Thanks for the book recommendation Edie, I’ll look that up, stat!

      It’s a funny thing because we all know that we can get by with less, yet the stuff seems to creep in little by little… I want to be more mindful about it as I definitely feel freer and lighter when those bags hit the bin. Onwards!


  5. I love a pitch! I went through my wardrobe not long back – 24 pairs of tights. Why? 10 pairs of leggings for yoga. Why? So good to chuck them out. Handbags I hadn’t used in years. And, yes, necklaces in snap lock bags shoved in amongst the leggings. Got rid of lots of them and installed a row of hooks courtesy of IKEA on the wall in my wardrobe to hang the remaining ones on. Now I can see what I have! i felt cleansed after the clear out. More order and less clutter. Now to be a little more discerning about purchases!


    • It’s such a good feeling isn’t it Carolyn? I want to get more on top of a few areas in my house – I know there are still things lurking in cupboards.


  6. I’m totally with you. I come from a long line of hoarders – my Mum was a terrible hoarder and after she died I ended up with so much of her hoarded stuff, because well, the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! But I’m totally committed to slow living, which means a simple home free of crap that none of us need. Im dropping back my work commitments to spend some time with my youngest before she starts school; one of the first things I’m tackling is the streamlining of our possessions. Lots to think about in the post, so the timing is perfect for me. Xx


    • They are great goals Collette, slowing down, intentionally paring back, and spending more time with your little one.

      It’s a process to get to less.

      It won’t happen in one go and that’s okay.

      I attack different areas at different times, and then revisit them. Right now there are clothes under my bed that I’ve known I needed to let go of for several years. Slowly, slowly, it falls away.

      My store room is still heaving with shit I don’t want or need, yet there’s less in there than there was a year ago. I may actually need help with that space. Maybe we should we get a clear out collective happening??

      I’m glad I wrote about throwing out lipsticks. We never know what will help someone else do we?


  7. The thing about minimalism is not only about a house without stuff. We all have different stuff needs. I think removing stuff creates a little space physically and emotionally and then there’s a little room for another shift. Like using your storage for art supplies, prioritising art over buying toiletries. More time for art, less time cleaning said minimalist bathroom.

    I think the really important thing about decluttering though is not recluttering. Otherwise it seems a sad for the planet. Inevitably when we decluttering there is a lot that gets donated and a lot that gets binned. That was a big, sometimes sickening lesson for me.

    Love the space in your linen press too, great idea to donate to the dogs home.


  8. I love a good throw out, especially the bathroom cupboard kind. I am down to basic makeup – foundation, powder compact, blusher, one blush brush, one eyeshadow palette, a few lippies and mascara. I was big on buying different colour eyeshadows, the $50 ones then realised that I only wear one shade of ballet pink so I tossed the lot!
    I always bag my clothes up when I do my wardrobe but I keep the bag for a few months in case I have throw out regret – you know that old tee shirt might come in handy!

    Cheers – Joolz xx


    • There’s a bag of clothes in my back room for just this reason! Once the season really changes, I’ll go through it and I suspect I’ll only rescue one or two things.


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