I think I may have mentioned my seemingly endless attempts at decluttering before. Although I have resigned myself to never becoming a minimalist in the true sense of the word (I can’t help it—I really like my stuff) I have been pleased to notice that, in spite of my instinctive hoarder tendencies, I do actually seem to be making some progress.
At least the progress is noticeable to me, although perhaps not so much to anyone else. Visitors to my house may see little difference but I know for sure and certain that I now own significantly fewer books, clothes, shoes, scarves, handbags, ornaments, and (especially) kitchen paraphernalia than I did two years ago. (For someone who doesn’t cook I’ll be damned if I know where all those kitcheny doodads came from.) I have also managed to cut a decent swathe through the fandangles, doohickeys, thingamabobs, and not-sure-if-I’ll-ever-need-this-but-I’ll-keep-it-just-in-case-crap that always seem to multiply in cupboards and drawers (and the garage) the moment my back is turned.
(Before I go any further, and before I start to sound too holier-than-thou, I must admit to numerous recent acquisitions of all sorts of delicious art materials which have, to a certain extent, taken over some of the space created by earlier purges. What can I say? It’s a work in progress . . . )
Anyway, a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to have yet another clear-out (practise makes perfect) so I made myself a list (I do love my lists) of areas in the house where serious work was still needed. Making the list was as far as I got that time because it rained (which seemed like a good enough excuse to not go any further at the time) but this weekend Spring sprung again and I was filled with a sudden ‘urge to purge’. Okay—what was first on my list? The bedroom. Really? Again? How many times I have I already been through my wardrobes (yes, that is plural) cupboards, shoeboxes and drawers, culling and disposing of unwanted and unused items?
Not enough, obviously. It took only a couple of minutes before I found myself sorting through various piles of clothing and asking myself ‘Why do I still have this? I thought I had already ditched this. Why didn’t I get rid of this last time?’ (Or, even worse, ‘OMG, what was the stuff like that I threw out last time if this is what I kept?’) Sigh. This was going to take all day.
But I was determined. I dug deep. Anything I hadn’t worn in for.ev.er . . . or was too big (‘I am not growing back into that’) . . . or far too small (‘how did I think I would ever fit into that’) . . . or the dreaded ‘what on earth was I thinking’ . . . was out. No ifs, buts, or maybes. It was gone.
My girls helped me through the process of course. Mabel perched herself atop the first teetering pile of there’s-nothing-at-all-wrong-with-any-these-but-I’ll-never-wear-them-again-jumpers and supervised the proceedings. Maudie checked (and double-checked) that everything that went into the large black plastic bags was absolutely meant to be there (by dragging everything out again and looking questioningly at me—Are you sure? These shoes? But you love these shoes?) and Molly followed Maudie’s lead, also checking each bag methodically before I was allowed to tie it off—although in her case I do think she was slightly more concerned that I might inadvertently toss something out that actually belonged to her.
(I haven’t had the heart to tell them yet, but the doggie-toy-box clearout is actually one of the dot-points further down on my list . . . )
Several hours, and six large black plastic bags full to overflowing later, I was feeling pretty smug and pleased with myself. I could now ‘see the wood for the trees’, and had (bonus!) rediscovered a great pair of jeans and a fabulous pair of shoes I had completely forgotten about. (Not to mention enough black leggings and tee-shirts to start my own shop. If I even look like I am going to buy any more of those you have my permission to give me a good slap.) I hefted all the bags into the car immediately and drove to the local Op Shop and dropped them all in the donation bins before I had time to second guess any of my decisions. (Not that I have ever done that before of course.)
And then I came home and put a big black line through the first item on my list.
BEDROOM. Done. Very satisfying.
Until Monday morning when it was a wee bit cooler and I went to look for a light jacket to wear to work . . . and suddenly realised I had completely missed a whole wardrobe!! Seems I was a tad hasty in crossing off that first item. Sigh. Never mind. Like I said—definitely a work in progress . . .