Late last year, I was browsing the shelves of our local library when I came across a book by Mary Lambert called Living with Less:How to downsize to 100 personal possessions. Although the thought of cutting down my worldly goods and chattels to a hundred items seemed somewhat brutal, something about the idea of 'less' appealed to me and I duly borrowed the copy. This spring we will have been living in our current house for 15 years and the fact that it is quite large means that we have amassed an awful lot of stuff over that time. So over the Christmas holidays and beyond we have come up with a plan. Firstly, we are going to sort through the clutter, the things that build up during the course of everyday life and are not necessarily of any use to us. So the filing cabinet, the jam jar store and the food cupboards are in for an overhaul, as are the stash of seed packets and the stack of old magazines. Then there are the things that we no longer have a use for, from clothes that no longer fit or we don't need to old mobile phones and other redundant gadgets and their associated paraphernalia. I'm sure we're not the only home that seems to have a drawer full of chargers, leads,etc. But the part of this process that we are most excited about is the third stage. Anything that is left after stages one and two has to earn its place in our home. It cannot languish unused and forgotten about at the back of a cupboard. So we are really look forward to getting to know these things again and to putting them to their intended use or even finding new uses for them. Rather than craving new possessions that we cannot afford, 2014 is going to be our year for making the most of what we have. I've put this in bold because its going to be our motto for this year, our rallying call to those who would join us in our challenge for a simpler, less stressful way of life. By way of charting our progress, I'm aiming to write shorter but more frequent blog posts. So whilst we will probably never get down to the one hundred personal posessions of the book title, it has inspired us to set the ball rolling . . .