Decluttering Elegantly: How To Be Like The Victorians

Decluttering Elegantly: How To Be Like The Victorians

In an era of excess, the Victorians were masters of elegance, valuing not just opulent furnishings but also the art of organization and decluttering. Their approach holds valuable lessons for us today.

The Victorian Way of Decluttering

Picture ornate furnishings and lavish decor – the Victorian era was a celebration of abundance. Yet, amidst their grandeur, the Victorians believed in the importance of organization. They utilized display cabinets, minimalistic designs, and careful curation to maintain elegance without overwhelming clutter.

Lessons from Purging Parties

One unique practice that stands out are purging parties. These gatherings were not just social events but also served as opportunities to declutter. Friends would come together to exchange or share items they no longer needed. These occasions weren’t solely about cleaning house; they were about fostering community and contributing to charitable causes through surplus donations.

A tiered-plate of colorful cupcakes is in the foreground and blurred cakes are in the background

Why Embrace the Victorian Approach?

In today’s world of accumulating possessions, the Victorian mindset offers invaluable wisdom:

Mindful Curation: Select items that hold significance or bring genuine joy rather than neglecting to pay attention to how much you have.

Social Connection: Purging parties promote communal involvement and sharing, enriching relationships beyond material possessions.

Charitable Giving: Decluttering becomes a purposeful act when it benefits others through donations to those in need. [Pro tip: one of the most helpful organizing ‘mantras’ I share with people is, “If it’s not blessing you, it should be blessing someone else.”]

Embracing Victorian Principles in Modern Decluttering

Curate with Purpose: Select items that truly resonate with you. Focus on quality over quantity.

Host Purging Parties: Gather friends for a decluttering spree, exchanging items and contributing to charity together.

A group of 4 modern women in Victorian clothes enjoying tea at a party

How to Host Your Own Purging Party

1. Invite Friends: Gather a group of friends who share the decluttering goal. Church friends and community groups are a great place to start.

2. Set a Theme: Choose a specific category (clothes, books, décor, kitchenware, etc.) for each party to keep it focused. It’s OK to be creative a choose a couple categories, if you prefer.

3. Serve refreshments and play music: It’s a party, after all!

4. Exchange and Donate: Let everyone at the party take what they think they can use. Make arrangements for several people to box up everything left at the end of the party and take it to a thrift store, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, or another organization you would like to support.

Declutter Like a Victorian

In a world where clutter often overwhelms, adopting the Victorian approach to decluttering can bring a sense of purpose, connection, and elegance to our lives. Embrace mindful curation, host purging parties, and contribute to the community through charitable giving. By doing so, we not only declutter our spaces but also enrich our lives and the lives of those around us.

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