Confession time – I am quite a cluttered person.
Over the years, my tendency to live in a cluttered world compared to the Big Green Gummi Bear’s tendency to neatness have led to a few heated exchanges.
Simple fact – I like my things around me to create my comfort zone. I’m possibly borderline at hoarding certain things too, if I’m being honest. I like to keep things that I have an emotional attachment to but even I have to acknowledge that every now and then a cull of the clutter is required.
Usually there’s a catalyst to this and this time round it’s been no different. We decided to overhaul the bedroom (new flooring, new bed etc- cue expedition to Ikea)
The Big Green Gummi Bear said that the free-standing triple wardrobe had to go to create more space in the room and decreed that I needed to make space in the fitted wardrobe for his belongings…GULP!!!
That wardrobe hasn’t been properly cleared out in over ten years (hangs head in shame).
Hanging space was dealt with relatively painlessly. Most of my summer clothes and some of my other outfits have been packed into suitcases and, for me, I was ruthless in what I added to the charity bag. (OK, I confess, I kept the dress I’ve had since I was 16 but I love it and it still fits.)
Two or three bags made their way to the charity shop.
Part one of the mission was accomplished and the Big Green Gummi Bear moved his clothes into “my” wardrobe.
Part two involved tackling the “stuff” stashed at the bottom of the wardrobe and the treasure that were weighing down the top shelf. (There’s a huge amount of space in this TARDIS of a wardobe)
In the midst of this wardrobe mission, I was given a side assignment. I had to clear out three chests of drawers (well about six drawers across the three sets.)
All this upheaval was sending my stress levels soaring!
I felt like I was being hauled out of my comfort zone by the hair!
“Get a grip, girl!”
Over a few evenings, I dealt with the drawers. It was a trip down memory lane as I found countless old photos, theatre programmes, handmade cards from the kids, letters from my penfriends dating back years (yes, folk used to put pen to paper and write actual letters to each other). I had no choice but to be ruthless and, much as it almost killed me, I had to bin several black bags worth of memories. The photos I kept…and most of the theatre programmes…and the occasional handmade card from the kids.
Now to the wardrobe……I was dreading that task!
I had a few days holiday from work pre-arranged for this week so I decided to tackle the bottom of the wardrobe on Monday and the top shelf on Tuesday.
Trying to keep my anxiety at binning things in check, I split the stuff into bundles-
Donate to charity
Progress was hampered by the willing assistance of Girl Child’s kitten, Stinky. He felt the need to explore every bag and every box and every corner of the wardrobe at least a dozen times!
The bottom of the wardrobe generated four black bags of rubbish (See, I was being strict with myself, Big Green Gummi Bear), two more bags for charity and a huge pile of personal papers to be destroyed. (Over ten years’ worth of bills and bank statements!)
How to safely dispose of them? Still trying to work that out! It’s too big a job for our aging shredder. I tried burning some but that proved unsuccessful….hmm…more thought required on that conundrum.
Next morning, I got the stepladders out to tackle the top shelf. Stinky parked himself under the ladders to supervise. In fairness, the top shelf wasn’t too bad…..well, bad enough but not awful!
One of the hardest things to part with lay up there.
Don’t laugh, please. I’m about to get a bit sentimental here.
There was a large black holdall full of old baby/toddler clothes. It was a mix of Boy Child’s and Girl Child’s outfits, although largely hers. As I lifted them out to fold them up and put them into the charity bag, I could see them in each of the outfits. (Bear in mind he’s now almost 19 and she’s 16) I could smell the freshly bathed baby smell as I gave Boy Child’s tiny Tigger sleepsuit a final hug. Girl Child’s little denim dresses reminded me of her as a toddler, always busy at something. Her burgundy velvet tunic top and leggings that brought out the blue in her eyes….oh I could go on … I won’t. You get the picture, right? It seemed like only yesterday that I was dressing them in those clothes. Precious memories. I was an emotional wreck by the time the holdall was empty.
It generated another two bags for the charity shop.
After a couple of hours, I was done.
A trip to the dump (sorry, recycling centre) took care of the five black bags of rubbish.
A trip into town to see my friend at the charity shop took care of the four bulky bags destined for there. (Huge thanks to the lovely lady who was passing and helped me to get the shop door open as I heaved the bags into the shop.)
So the bedroom and the wardrobe have been de-cluttered. It looks good. (Ok, there’s three small boxes of books and photos still to be put away in the loft sitting in a corner)
I think, slowly, my “roots” are uncurling and beginning to settle back into my comfort zone. Stress levels are gradually returning to normal.
I’ve made a deal with myself not to be so “cluttered” going forward. Will I manage to stick to it? Time will tell…..