My clutter is getting me down, help!

July 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 14 Comments
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We just returned home after two months of living in a rented house and bunking with my lovely parents whilst we had the downstairs of our house renovated.  It was a mini adventure.

One of the biggest things I noticed was how liberating it was to live with the bare essentials – especially while we were in unfurnished rented accommodation.  A bit like indoor camping.  Indoor camping with wine and hot water.

The kitchen drawers contained the must have items – can opener, sharp knife, wooden spoon and a couple of forks.  A few plates, bowls and mugs, a pan and not much else.  No clutter.  No whizzy dicers and slicers and certainly not four different colanders which all achieve exactly the same thing.

Likewise, the bedroom – we lived with five pairs of pants and three pairs of socks each.  Plenty.  One hair product – amazing how many different styles mousse can facilitate – no serums, cremes, de-frizzers or fuzzers.

And the ultimate freedom – no stuff.  No piles of clothes waiting to be ironed, sent to the charity or squeezed back into – one day.  No broken toys waiting to be repaired or binned.  No unanswered bills or invites.  No unread newspapers, unpolished shoes or unloved gym backs.  Everything we had with us was needed, utilised and looked after.

Now, we’re home, and chaos has descended once more.

Yesterday my husband announced that he had taken a huge box of books to the charity shop, and a rice cooker and baby bath seat to the tip.  The tip! I felt a sharp volt of electricity shock through my body as a I processed the loss.  Then I collected myself and realised he’d actually done me a huge favour.

I was going to sell the books in batches by author or genre.  When?!

I was going to Gumtree the bath seat.  When?!

I was going to car boot the rice cooker.  Or start using it again.  When?!

It’s hard to let go of stuff, but it can start to take over your life.

You go up to bed and see the pile ‘to be sorted’ on the landing.  You visit the garage and the boxes to car boot (that didn’t sell on the previous two attempts) are there to taunt you.  You go up to the loft and all of the clothes that no longer fit tease you for being slightly rounder than you once were.

Why do we hang onto it all?!  Even if we made a few pennies from gradually flogging it over time, is it worth the little torturous jibes each time we walk past the overwhelming towers of unwanted crap?!

What would you do?  If you say bin the lot, I promise, I shall….. a bit at a time….

On a closing note, on reading the title of this post, my husband proclaimed the answer to my dilemma – ‘stop buying sh*t’.  I wonder if he has a point…. No, he doesn’t.

Image courtesy of Stock Xchng


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  1. I hear ya….

    I’m exactly the same – we were on hols recently at self catering and it was lovely, there was no clutter, the kitchen surfaces were clear and there was nothing whispering “you’ve hidden the cr%p here” from the shelf under the coffee table.

    I dont know what the answer is. I tackled one of the book shelves the other day – some on ebay, some cds / dvds on musicmagpie (although box still in study!) and others to charity (still in garage). the sorting felt wonderful and the shelf looks great, but I dont have the time to do this across the whole house.

    Maybe we should aim to throw out / charity / ebay 20 items a week… do you think this would even make a dint?

    • Maybe we need to set each other a challenge?! Lets start off gently, five things a week?! Or one a day?

      • sounds like a good plan, I’m up for that….5 things a week?

      • Let’s do it! Blog post in a week of the things we’ve got rid of?!

      • sounds good…should we try to get other people involved? “Beat the Clutter Thursdays” or something?

      • Sounds awesome – a declutter day! And #declutterday on twitter, photos of the stuff we’re saying bye to on instagram and videos?!!!! Possibilities are endless!

      • Great 🙂

        Let me sleep on the idea, I’m thinking a button etc. love the #declutterday and Instagram

        I’ve just started on the side board!

      • Ooh yes!!!
        Husband has just added a rule – we’re not allowed to accumulate any new stuff! Now this is tough!

      • Ooh that is tough…..but fair.

  2. Having just put glasses, plates, cutlery, table cloths, dressing up clothes, hats, curtains, fabric etc away after the BIG party I did start to wonder when I would feel able to part with some of our ‘stuff’…….maybe one day!

    ps It’s in your genes!

    • I know, I’m doomed! See how quickly I snaffled the jewellery you gave me?!

  3. I’m going through the same crisis right now. I am very tempted to get rid of pretty much everything in the upstairs of our house and start from nothing. i’ve been selling at least one piece of unused stuff a day on facebook/ebay/gumtree and slowly clearing stuff but the minute we have guests around I rush about clearing all the stuff from downstairs… and putting it upstairs. It took me 3 weeks to get back into the room I’m decorating because I had filled it full of stuff. Argh.

    • Want to join our #declutterday challenge?!

  4. […] posted last week about my stuff getting me down – surrounded by clothes that don’t fit, excessive amounts of baby stuff, an overload of […]

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