How I am getting rid of all that junk
With the euphoria of freedom from my job came the need to clean out, tidy up, minimalize. It was a powerful wave which shows no sign of abating. I have done two rooms so far.
I started here because that is where I spend the majority of my waking hours.
1. I went through the wardrobe (this was originally a bedroom), which was chock-a-block with files, books, photographs, paraphernalia from my past activities and jobs. An accumulation of memories which brought strange twinges of sadness as I went through everything bit by bit. Newspaper and magazine clippings from my decade as a fashion designer. A box full of lessons from my 12 years as a teacher of English as a second language. Landscaping and interior design books and magazines from the 14 years of house and garden renovations of 11 properties. The past. All in the past. And if it causes twinges of sadness, that’s where it should all stay.
I can’t say that I was strong enough to throw it all out but I can say that I filled two large cartons with paper to go out with the recycle rubbish. Another carton got filled with non-paper junk of no relevance to my present life.
2. I moved on to my myriad of filing cabinets filled with my more recent years as a real estate administrator, author and food blogger. Piles of copies of my marketing work, recipes, manuscripts as thick as your arm. I kept the marketing work – that could come in handy. All my manuscripts are either published and/or backed up in several places electronically so why do I need hard copies? I don’t. Out they went. I sorted through screeds of recipes and tossed all those that don’t fit the low FODMAP diet. The paper recycle guys won’t know what has hit them when they come to pick it all up.
3. I emptied my bookcases of all my books and put back only the books I loved. I now need to dispose of piles of books I will never read because I got them in writing conference goodie bags and are just not my genre, or books I have read and will never re-read and don’t love. I have put some on the web to sell but that’s a slow road to hoe. I have given some away to anyone who visits the house, and still there are piles. Charity shops are not keen on them because they get given too many. Anyone?
The study is a work in progress. I have piles of books all over the floor and my desk is still a nightmare but several large cartons of junk have left this room. Here is a photo of it today, and I will update you as it becomes a minimalist room.
Next I moved onto the kitchen because that is the second room I spend most time in. I pulled out everything I hadn’t used in the last six months or so.
- I found a beautiful white casserole dish that I had received as a wedding present years ago. I had never used it because it was too small for more than one person.
- Another find was a big heavy pottery casserole my father gave me as a Christmas present one year. I had also never used it. Should I keep it because my father gave it to me? As a memento? Then I would have to keep every present he ever gave me and that made no sense. How many objects did I need to be able to remember him? I still can’t look at photos of him when he was well. But I think about him every single day. I don’t need the stuff to help me remember. The casserole went into the box with the wedding present.
- A brand new oven tray that doesn’t fit either of our two stoves. Was I keeping that in case our next house might have one big oven??? Hoarding at its worst. Into the box it went.
- A lovely pottery jug and sugar bowl set – never used. But I have my ‘good sets’ including silver ones that stay in a special show cupboard in the dining area, and are never used, I might add. These days everyone who visits tells you how they want their tea or coffee and you make it for them. We don’t play at ladies around a teapot any more. So out they went.
- And so forth. I went through everything and filled two large cartons that I had ready for the charity shop down the road. But then my niece came by with her two wee lasses for a toilet stop on the way home and carted them off. She will pass on to her local charity shop what she doesn’t want.
- Meanwhile, I found grotty old tea towels and tablecloths at the bottom of a drawer and, shocked, I threw them out so no one would ever see them.
I am thrilled with the end result of my kitchen. I only have what I need and all the clutter is gone. I can actually find what I want. Yippee!! I will do a photo another time for you. Adriano is in there at the moment preparing dinner and that means chaos – not a good look for a room I have de-cluttered.
I will let you know how the rest of the rooms go. I am starting on the bedroom next and that is really spooky. All those clothes.