A couple of weeks ago I signed up to take part in an online course aimed at clearing up and clearing out the clutter before the rush of the holiday season.
It was long overdue. My toes curl up to think just how long overdue it was.
Still. Got there in the end.
It has turned in to a bit of a jump start. There are many little corners that still require attention, and a few places that I’ve frankly turned a blind eye to through the week-long course. There are simply not enough hours in the day to clear, clean, and home educate two energetic kids. Especially when their dad is away for work the same week.
In the end, energy was limited and the week finished with me coming down with a nasty cold. But I put out two full rubbish bins each of the two weeks as testament to some gritty determination to ditch the unused, unloved and no longer functional. Where possible I handed things on to the local Women’s Refuge, the rest hit the bin.
In the process I convinced Miss Oh Waily to let me photograph and then throw out a number of her art works. The most precious and beautiful being filed away in a folio for posterity. It works for her and it certainly works for me.
At the end of the week, the garage was pristine as opposed to the site of some natural disaster. It only requires the excess boxes to be disposed of and it will be completely cleared out. The kitchen took on a new lease of life as the last remaining hangers-on of unused and unwanted items were dutifully turfed in the rubbish and, thanks to the daily efforts of Mr Oh Waily, has begun each and every day since in a tidy and welcoming state.
The biggest change has been the master bedroom. It had been a dumping ground for a huge number of homeless, storage-less, items. As the largest non-public room, it became designated the last refuge of the hopelessly lost but definitely, maybe needed.
Luckily for me the two new chest of drawers we ordered a month or so ago arrived just as I was about to start the course. They made a huge impact immediately and a number of scruffy storage issues were solved in one fell swoop. In the process they opened up the existing storage areas to more use and hey presto! an almost sanctuary-like bedroom appeared out of the piles of *stuff*.
There are a few, very minor, items left to be dealt with but the change is enormous. And the feeling that the room now has is quite different. I don’t walk in and cringe now. I notice those last few things that need doing. They stand out. And they will be gone, in due course.
One of the surprising changes that came with tidying up and clearing out the extraneous items in the bedroom was a shift in my relationship with my bedside pile. I have always had a thing about there being a pile, literally, of books beside my bed. I can’t remember when this began, and I’ve always thought it was just a case of my inability to choose one book and stick with it. I like to multi-task or is that multi-read?
Anyway. After clearing out all of the other items I looked at my book pile and I thought to myself, “whoa, that’s really book clutter!”
Yes. I did have that awful thought. My beloved books. Clutter?
“No, it’s not possible,” I argued. ”I love books. The more, the merrier.”
And then I stopped and thought how hard it has been this year, trying to read a book to completion and I began to wonder if my beloved pile of books wasn’t just sitting there as enticement. Perhaps they were acting like mental clutter. ”Nooooooo!”
So with that dreadful thought in my head, the books were re-shelved on our lovely IKEA bookshelf in the hallway, just a step outside the bedroom door. The bedside pile is now one book high and I am going to try to keep it that way for a while to see if my sudden insight is accurate.
I’ll let you know how that one turns out.