It would be hard to even have a tiny little presence on the blogosphere and not be aware of the plethora of themed blog posting programmes around. The most common seems to be the A to Z. The idea is that you blog each day about a subject (about which presumably you know a little) beginning with A and then B and then C and so on.
For the most part I’m not a great fan of these because they have a terrible tendency to generate blogs about obscure and relatively uninteresting topics in which neither the writer nor the reader have a great interest.
However, it occurred to me that our decluttering journey has plateaued a little. We have been through every room and every outbuilding. To be honest, I think we need to go through them all again, and no doubt we will in a couple of months. But we need a challenge to keep us on board.
Having said that we have gone from this,
And that doesn’t even include the now empty and immaculate outbuildings 🙂
I hate to follow a trend, I like to be contrary. So I thought I would take the A to Z challenge and turn it on it’s head. I aim to declutter at least one item a day (and hopefully considerably more) starting with an item beginning with Z and 26 days later an item beginning with A. I don’t know if I even own anything that begins with Z, but I will have to find it and let it go.
Fear not, gentle reader. I will not post every day for the next 26 days on my progress. I will give you an update every now and then, and FB friends will be subjected to a daily post. In the meantime I have just packed up a van in the pouring rain to take stuff to the auctioneer. By the time the van was full the rain stopped and my lunch was yet another burnt offering to the Aga god. Only we about one more van load to go and then we are really down to the small fry.
Now to find something beginning with Z.
Back inside again today. Which shows piss poor planning as it is a lovely day and perfect for clearing out the outbuildings; which we opted to do in the cold and rain.
Having taken another carload of books to Amina we had a look at the heaving bookcases in the Gin Gan and started all over again. While I sorted through hundreds of books the Boss started packing up the lots for auction. It was a relief when Mel from the British Heart Foundation rang to arrange to come and pick up his second load. For that means that by Tuesday evening this pile will have gone.
And so will this one.
My father is a bibliophile with a particular interest in wine and racing. Consquently I have a huge collection of books going back to the early fifties, many first editions. My job this weekend is to go through the book pile and decide which are worth going to auction and which are probably not. This was one job I didn’t know how I would cope with. But it was easier than I thought. He gave them to me when he moved permanently to the States, he knows I will not read the full set of the Compleat Imbiber for example. But somebody else will enjoy it as much as he did and it is worth quite a lot of money. The real eye opener was a cookery book “Lady Maclean’s Cook Book” Mine is a pristine first edition. It has been put carefully to one side.
I think we are coming towards the end of the tunnel. It has taken six months to get where we are now and there is still a lot more we can do. But right now I am enjoying the space, the feeling of freedom and the great sense of relief to see so much clutter go out of our doors.
Will I ever go back to my old ways? I think not. I have noticed that as I move around the house I am instinctively picking things and putting them in the charity pile. Thus went a pair of glass candlesticks, some towels, a selection of scarves and a pair of boots without even thinking. Shopping holds little appeal unless it is something I really need or really want. The former is now discussed and depending on severity of need bought now or put on the rolling shopping list. The latter is put on my birthday list. Come my birthday I am fairly sure that I won’t want half the things on there.
Finally, when you remove the clutter from your house and spend hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month packing it up and sending it away you get a pretty good sense of where you went wrong. Things that you bought because you “thought they might be useful”, but never were. Books you bought because they were beautiful but weren’t interesting enough for you to read or use. Clothes that you bought because they were fantastic quality, a bargain, but you never really loved. Knick Knacks collected from junk shops over the years. Oh, and those infernal storage boxes that you kept having to buy to store all of the above 🙂
Now doesn’t that look good?
Nice and simple.
How the mighty are fallen. Operation Purge 2013 went remarkably well. The house has taken on a new lease of life, I am loving my considerably more modest wardrobe and even the Christmas decorations were cut by half and rehomed this year.
But, and there is always a “but”. Not all is quite as it seems. First I have purged more books but haven’t got around to taking them up to Gateshead.
Then there is the “stuff that must go to auction”. There is also the “stuff for charity that has been collected since Christmas” and finally there is the “stuff in the outbuildings”. The latter is the most scary.
Regular nagging by the Singers (who are keen for us to tidy up and move to somewhere that is within a day’s walking distance to a bus stop) was starting to get on my nerves. Hadn’t they noticed quite how much had been done already, didn’t they notice that I did have other jobs other than chief clutter cutter? However, they were right.
So today we:
- Booked a visit from the auction house;
- Booked a skip for the stuff that just can’t go anywhere else;
- Sorted auction and charity to either side of the Gin Gan;
The current charity pile
- Dismantled the broken ping pong table (and no it’s not repairable we have tried several times) and collected all the garden rubbish for a bonfire;
- Emptied COMPLETELY two outbuildings;
- Put a whole load of stuff of Freegle.
It is only 3.00pm, we didn’t start until 11.00 and we stopped for lunch. We are not whirling dervishes, and we had regular tea breaks. See it doesn’t have to take all day, look how much we achieved in just half a day. Granted we had a head start in that for the most part we were just sorting stuff that had already been designated in the out pile, but we had put it off for so long because it seemed too much to face. And it wasn’t
What have you been putting off?