While flicking through Facebook the other day, I came across a blog that was inviting its readers to do a 30-day Declutter, by sending out a prompt a day.
It immediately appealed to me for various reasons — unlike FlyLady, this challenge is finite and focused, and there is a possible prize at the end. ($150 vouchers from Howard’s Storage World, anyone?) I’d tried doing FlyLady a few times, but ended up annoyed either by their emails or website — which are both ironically cluttered and disorganised. The more I wander through An Organised Life, however, the more I fall in love.
I feel like I’ve been continually decluttering, especially since 2013 when we were
- packing to live in Singapore for half a year, and then
- packing my mother’s house in Singapore, and then
- unpacking when we got back from Singapore, and then
- unpacking boxes that we had shipped from my mother’s house, and then
- decluttering and packing boxes in anticipation of Atticus and an eventual house move.
What I’ve been confronted with over and over in these last 2 years is my sentimentality. I had marvelled, while packing my mother’s house, at what she had opted to keep in her tiny flat. What most people would pass over as junk, I had immediately recognised as remnants and relics of my childhood and her life. And since her death, I have been finding it especially difficult to declutter because, like her, I simply can’t bear to let go of the silliest things.
Like 20-year-old eyeshadow and perfume. Like showercaps. Like bindis that no longer stick to anything.
Like shoes that hurt. Like blouses that have shrunk since I had Atticus (ahem!).
Like notebooks filled with everyday lists and scribbles. Like old contact lenses.
Like badly chipped jars. Like clothes that no longer fit either Arddun or Atticus. Like costume jewellery that’s broken beyond repair. Like lotion for stretch marks that don’t actually work because, hello? I’m a grown woman, not a bloomin’ rubberband.
And so I find I have to revisit my piles of clutter periodically, if only to summon the fortitude to let. it. go.
Since I came into this challenge late, I needed to catch up on 10 days’ worth of prompts. This, on top of my usual housework and that small matter of keeping Atticus alive and well. But thanks to the last 2 years of that constant cycle of gathering and dispensing, I managed to do the following today.
I haven’t tackled bags yet (Day 4), or knick-knacks and ornaments (Day 5), or toys (Day 6), mostly because there’s nothing to be done there. Most of my bags are in storage, as are the family’s knick-knacks and ornaments (mostly from my mother’s house). I had also just sorted through Arddun’s toys the week before, so I’m counting that as a done deal.
Sorry this is a boring one for you. It’s mostly a means for me to pat myself on the back. I’ve never enjoyed housework and Tony is amazingly consistent with the bits he does (all our laundry, some dishwashing, the garden, the garbage, the garage.) But when it comes to sorting and sifting, it seems to be my one constant project. And I, for one, am grateful Atticus napped for 4 hours today.