Everytime I look around my home, I feel like I’m going crazy. There is just so much STUFF! Since January of last year – yes 2017, not 2018 – I have been decluttering. A little bit to the charity shop, a little on eBay, some recycled. But it’s a year and a half on, and my home still looks cluttered. I hadn’t really done much about it, apart from look at it all in despair. That is until we went away for a week, with just the minimal amount of stuff. And we had the most amazing holiday, without all the ‘stuff’ we thought we’d need.
It got me thinking, this whole situation is because we hold on to things, whilst still buying new things. Like new duvet covers or clothes or crockery, without getting rid of the old ones to make space for the new ones. And it feel more urgent to me now that I am turning 40 next year – I want rid of the old and to have all new stuff for this next stage of my life.
I’m not seeing this as a midlife crisis as such. I am not dreading turning 40. I still feel and act as young as I did when I was 20. Heck, I’m not even dreading turning 50. I’m looking forward to doing new things, maybe a new career once the kids are older, being able to travel more, and reignite old hobbies.
So yes, I am looking forward to trying new things, get a bit of me back. And to do that, I want my home to be organised, and quick. No more decluttering bit by bit. I am doing a massive clearout, only keeping the things we need or anything sentimental and irreplaceable.
A big part of the problem is storage – I think the reason my home looks cluttered is because our stuff is visible on every surface. The thing is, we DO have storage – but it is these boxes that are full of the clutter. So what I have been doing is sorting out these boxes, so that we will have somewhere to put our useful stuff away.
Last week I went through my clothes and filled up charity bags of dresses that do not fit me. Clothes that I have been saving in case I will fit into them again. Nope, they are gone. Anything old and bobbly. Anything that makes me feel ugly. Gone.
Torn socks, leggings, old muslin clothes etc in the textiles recycling (Hillingdon borough do this, so I take these to my parents). I bagged up my crafting stuff and wool and paints – as I’m just not using them at this time of my life, and if I want to start again, I can buy new materials. Books we never read – to the charity shop. Old photo frames (taking the photos out and putting them in an album). Old magazines and catalogues. Broken cameras and cables. Old playdoh that has gone dry. Baby blankets. Calpol syringes (Why did I keep them, you get one every time you buy a Calpol bottle!).
I have given away mugs and crockery as we had too much. I found there was always too much washing to do at the end of the day, because we weren’t washing as we went along – it was always a case of getting another plate or cup out, and then the washing pile grew. But with less stuff, I find the washing up less overwhelming.
This all may sound very mundane, but I think it is something we all can relate too. We all want a home we are proud of – a home full of memories but with room to fill it with new memories. And I feel good that my home and my life are one step closer to that.
Howabout you – do you feel the same? Does the ‘stuff’ in your home overwhelm you, or are you good at keeping it all organised?
* Collaborative post with Sunlife