I've been sorting through my digital photo collection - over 7000 photos! I noticed in a few photos that the house looked less cluttered three years ago than it does now, despite having devoted a lot of time over the last three years to decluttering. Some days I feel defeated by the mess and clutter, and the appearance of no progress doesn't help.
I have a few theories:
a) we have more furniture. A piano and a 8 seat dining table will make a room look a lot fuller than just a 6 seat dining table.
b) we have more toys. I thought we had too many toys when Big Boy was a toddler, but we have twice as many now.
c) we have less stuff stored in cupboards and bedrooms, because I've sorted a lot of that stuff.
d) it is only in the last year or so that I have been consciously buying less, and only in the last six months that I have started to get the hang of buying less. Really, as much as has been coming back into the house as has been leaving the house.
But it has given me a little more motivation to:
a) continue buying less
b) try and be a little tidier. I'm not a tidy person to start with, let alone with three other people in the house who don't tidy up after themselves either (yes, one of those is a grown up). I need to declutter and tidy together in order to not keep feeling defeated by the clutter and mess.
c) continue to get rid of stuff that I don't need.
d) be patient. The clutter didn't get here overnight, no will it disappear overnight, especially not with two children who need a lot of my attention.