Archive | 10:16

An Utter Declutter

31 Aug
Garden shed

Image via Wikipedia

 

We have a lot of stuff; we’ve always had a lot of stuff.  It didn’t matter in South Africa when the Hub had a warehouse attached to his office: we stored everything there and our home looked lovely; it’s not so great now that we live in a three-bed council house.  Part of the problem is that we hang on to things we might need later on, like every plug from every defunct appliance we’ve ever owned – bearing in mind that it is a legal requirement that every appliance sold in this country must come with an integrated plug, it’s like letting your older children leave home but keeping their feet in case the next one you give birth to needs spare tootsies.  Okay, that’s ridiculous; but so is hanging on to twenty-five years’ worth of electric waste.

Having built and filled our garden shed twelve years ago, the stars finally conjoined yesterday to give us sunshine, everybody home with nothing to do, and me in a we can do this if we only gird our loins and get on with it mood.  I needed to empty the shed (not the one pictured, but a good facsimile) so that I have somewhere to store the clutter from the kitchen (it must be emptied before they give me a new one).  The clutter in the kitchen came from the hall when I painted it.  The clutter in the hall came from the lounge when I painted it.  The clutter in the lounge came from my inability to tie the Hub to his chair and never let him shop.  I didn’t have the heart to put the clutter back in the lounge because I was able to see every wall for the first time since Spud was born.  I have been shuffling utter crap from room to room for months, and yesterday I decided it must STOP.

 
 

 

 

 

Tilly couldn't understand where the mess was coming from...

 

 

My family hate when that happens because it means work for them, and they weren’t wrong.  We sat the Hub in a comfy chair on the back step so that he could supervise the chucking-out and tell us what he really needed to keep: spare parts for his never-used scooter (we’re building our own ark here in Stockport) could stay because they will come in handy in 2027 when it is forecast we will finally have a dry summer and the scooter will need de-rusting; but three huge electric typewriters and seventeen pieces of mouldy mdf were defintely out.  A box full of baby toys might have stayed if the boys were ready to make me a grandmother, but I didn’t want to encourage them so they went on the skip pile.  An old tent we got from Freecycle last year was finally opened up to see if it was of any use.  It was: I now have waterproof bicycle and braai covers, albeit bright purple, and three groundsheets.  I couldn’t prise a Linguaphone box of 78s from the Hub’s crying arms, but I did manage to sneak out a couple of motorbike forks and carpet offcuts from a carpet we no longer have, when he was stroking the vinyl and saying Ciao, bella to himself.

We finished up with several piles:

  • for the council skip (coming next week)
  • recycling (how many fly-blown cardboard boxes do we really need?)
  • Freegling (the beauty of decluttering on a public holiday is that people are free to collect straightaway)
  • charity (the van happened to be coming this morning)
  • to sell (to pay for my broken nails)
  • might come in handy at some point if the Hub can hide them from me

We moved the stuff in the house that we really wanted to keep into the shed, where it will no doubt stay for another twelve years until we get our next sunny day.  The kitchen isn’t quite cleared but it’s getting there.  The hall isn’t quite cleared but it’s getting there.  The lounge – well, you get the idea.  I’m doing my best and if it sometimes feels as if I’m holding back an avalanche with sheer will and a roll of bin bags, at least it gives me something to blog about.

I Googled ‘declutter’ and I came across some excellent tips; I will give you the best ones and the sites they came from:

http://zenhabits.net/15-great-decluttering-tips/

  • Declutter for 15 minutes every day. It’s amazing how much you can get through if you just do it in small increments like this.
  • Whenever you’re boiling the kettle for tea, tidy up the kitchen. If the kitchen is tidy, tidy up the next room – it’s only 3 minutes but it keeps you on top of everything (helps if you have an Englishman’s obsession with Tea as well!)
  • The One-Year Box. Take all your items that you unsure about getting rid of (e.g. “I might need this someday…”), put them in a box, seal it and date it for 1 year in the future. When the date comes, and you still didn’t need to open it to get anything, donate the box WITHOUT OPENING IT. You probably won’t even remember what there was in the box.

 http://zenhabits.net/18-five-minute-decluttering-tips-to-start-conquering-your-mess/

  • Create a “maybe” box. Sometimes when you’re going through a pile of stuff, you know exactly what to keep (the stuff you love and use) and what to trash or donate. But then there’s the stuff you don’t use, but think you might want it or need it someday. You can’t bear to get rid of that stuff! So create a “maybe” box, and put this stuff there. Then store the box somewhere hidden, out of the way. Put a note on your calendar six months from now to look in the box. Then pull it out, six months later, and see if it’s anything you really needed. Usually, you can just dump the whole box, because you never needed that stuff.
  • Pull everything out of a drawer. Just take the drawer out and empty it on a table. Then sort the drawer into three piles: 1) stuff that really should go in the drawer; 2) stuff that belongs elsewhere; 3) stuff to get rid of. Clean the drawer out nice, then put the stuff in the first pile back neatly and orderly. Deal with the other piles immediately!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1211647/How–declutter-home.html

  • BE BRAVE  Most people find it hard to throw away stuff, but you can’t attach sentimental value to everything you own.  When your house is cluttered, nothing looks good. So, as you go through your possessions, ask yourself which of them you actually love or use. If not, why not?  Maybe it’s a wedding present you secretly hate, a dress that doesn’t suit you. Let it go.
  • MAKE A MESS  To clear up your home, you have to turn it into a proverbial bombsite first.  The best de-cluttering method is to pull every single item from your shelves, drawers and cupboards and lay it all out so you can see exactly what everything is.  This tactic works well for clearing out your wardrobe; as well as gathering rags to chuck, you’ll ‘re-find’ clothes you’d forgotten about.

http://www.myhouseandgarden.com/declutter.htm

  • This is my favourite: Start today  Procrastination is the major obstacle to decluttering.  So start now.

 

 

 

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