New theme: decluttering and minimising

As part of my personal need to move on in life I realised some years ago that I had to sort out my home and relationships to sort out my life.

I have already mentally moved towards frugality, not buying  stuff. I stopped a lot of stuff coming into the house. Asking for vouchers for birthdays and Christmas etc. this has been hugely successful.

Do I want it or do I need it? That is a question I ask myself all the time. Most of the time it is a big fat NO. I have resisted the pressure from people to buy clothes. I have plenty of clothes but they fit into a single wardrobe and a few draws. I have cleared out the tatty ones in the last year. It is a shame I don’t feel the same about other stuff.

Knowing you need to do something and the actual doing of it are two different things.

Each time I made a start at decluttering I found I was just reorganising. I hoarded books, craft stuff, anything I might make useful. After watching the current range of programmes about hoarding I can see some tendencies there of my own. I know now why I hang on to stuff, especially books, apart from the fact that I am a stubborn so and so.

I believe that these things have become safety blankets for me. As soon as life gets too much I can delve into books or start a new craft. Sadly, despite the money spent over the years I realise that I have very little to show for it. I am never going to read all of those books, I am never going to do ALL of those crafts. it is time for it to go.

Another point is that I am nearing 50 years of age. I still feel like a child inside e.g worried about getting into trouble, not doing things properly. A hint of perfectionism that removes confidence. All that stuff now does the same. I have look at the mountains of stuff and can’t get started yet I know I cannot take it with me and I don’t want some poor soul to have to get rid of it after I die.

It was very difficult to do my Dad’s place when he died and I still have some of his stuff. In turn it will also go.

In exploring what to do I have discovered a myriad of blogs and websites. There is a lot out there for the would be life sorter. I like the idea of minimalism but I shouldn’t get ahead of myself just yet, just get started.

I think my methods will be a blend of many of them but I won’t be following any way rigidly. I haven’t got it in me. I am the same with diets. Each time I joined a slimming club I would start breaking the rules within a week. I can never follow a recipe without ‘adapting’ it.

To start with I have been looking at books. I have been through two lots of shelves this week pulling out the whole lot of double layered squashed in piles on 10 and am now down to 5. The books have been piled and sorted into donate, return, give to the library and book cross. All good until it comes to the next step: remove from house and do what I say I am going to do with them. I will designate Wednesday for this as the library is open until 7 pm so I have time to go after work and the charity shop is just over the way from it. I will do nothing else until the deed is done. I will be culling the books again before the year is out because some I am holding onto some knowing I don’t want them but can’t let go just yet.

Even now, just writing it down, I am having a little panicky feeling. I don’t want to do it. I still have books so what is the problem? books have been my friends since I first learnt to read. I hid from a lot of bad stuff in them, bullies, bad parenting, loneliness. I have no parents now; I have lots of friends now; I don’t want or need SO many books now. I have looked at each one and I don’t even want to read them and wonder about why I kept them.

There is now a spare bookshelf going to my MiL who has a need. Another twinge of anxiety. letting a bookshelf go is a permanent action. My MiL doesn’t look after stuff. I can’t hold on to it forever. It HAS to go.

I read from the various blogs that the fear of letting go will get better and decluttering will become easier to a point where it becomes it’s own addiction.

I think an approach of gradual change and self affirmation when I do well and forgiveness when I don’t will help me along.

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