On Clearing Clutter

on clearing clutter

image source – buzzstream.com

Having moved 8 times between 2009 and 2013, I pretty much had a handle on my possessions. I had very little furniture for a start, plus having to pack everything up on average every 6 months meant I soon thinned down what I owned. If something was being carted from house to house and never used/looked at/hung/appreciated/read/played/insert appropriate verb here, it had to go

But I’ve now been in my own house just over a year and I’m sensing things are getting stagnant.

I mean, I’m not over-run with possessions. I’m quite minimalist by my own way (for example, I only own 2 plates, 2 saucers, 2 bowls) and I’m not a huge buyer of stuff (although I have my weaknesses  – second hand stuff; anything destined for the dump and still has some life in it; house plants; books; notepads; dinosaurs). I’m relatively non-sentimental when it comes to possessions, so I own just a handful of core possessions that mean something to me. Plus there are few things in life I enjoy more than a good clear-out session. Therapeutic doesn’t cover it.

But still…I keep things I never use in the hope I’ll use them one day (two guitars and a sewing machine for a start). If I find something I love, I’ll buy a load of them in case one gets wrecked or in case they stop making them (I have a pile of unused Paperchase eco notepads and seven pairs of black biker boots). I often shove things I don’t use into cupboards and other Godforsaken places. But out of sight isn’t always out of mind…

Too much stuff makes me feel heavy, disorganised. I end up feeling obligated to clear out a drawer or rearrange a shelf rather than get on with other more exciting things in life. I don’t like feeling that I’m ruled by possessions. I remember how light I felt when I moved into my last rented house. I had got rid of a load of stuff when I moved. I knew exactly what I owned and where every item in my house was.I could walk from room to room and smile at how free I felt, and how organised the house was. Even thinking about that feeling now, makes me smile. I want that feeling back.

So, I’m taking on a two-pronged attack. The first was a major purge at the start of this month. Two bags of clothes sent for recycling, three boxes of stuff for the charity shop, two boxes of stuff for selling, three bags for landfill plus various other random items for recycling. I may be clutter-free as a rule, but this is proof I can do better. My second plan is for every item I take into my home, two have to leave. Doesn’t have to be like-for-like but it has to be two items and not something superficial like a cardboard box or old magazine. It has to be a home item of some sort – book, CD, clothing, ornament, kitchen item, furniture, whatever.

There are other types of clutter too – mental; emotional; digital. But at the moment I’m focusing on the physical. Getting it under control makes it much easier to deal with the other stuff.

I love that light feeling, of not being burdened by stuff and I’m determined to keep things like this, so that I can focus my energies on other things.

Do you like a lot of clutter around you, or are you a minimalist?

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