Monday, 25 January 2010
Busy, busy weekend, and apart from a couple of little trips out, once to the library to stock up on craft books and once to do some grocery shopping, I spent the whole weekend at home.
There's nothing more satisfying than tidying out a room, forget cleaning it for the moment, just going through items, working out if I need them. If I don't, are they good enough for a charity shop, or should I recycle them? Is there something else I can make out of this. The Blue Peter spirit: What can I make out of this? Could someone else make good use of this?
We have lots of reasons for holding on to things when they have past their usefulness. Maybe we were brought up not to waste, and if feels wrong to throw things out. Maybe we're keeping something until it becomes useful - until some clothing fits, or until we time to pursue that hobby we haven't looked at for years. Am I really going to take up windsurfing again, when I barely find time to myself these days to sit quietly for 10 minutes with a coffee and not have someone shout "MUM!". And if I do find time, and I go windsurfing, will I want to use my 10 years out of date kit, or will I just spend a few pounds extra hiring something up to date? The latter I expect.
Books are especially difficult to throw out, especially academic books reminding us of things we studied at school or college, but being honest with myself, am I really going to go back and look at an old maths textbook from 10 years ago? With books I find that I try to justify keeping them, saying that they will be useful for my daughters. And some of them are, have been useful, and will be useful - but these are the classics - Brave New World, Day of the Triffids and other much loved and read and re-read again books. Let's face it, my daughter is not going to pick up some trashy novel in 10 years and have the same taste in books, and she's not going to be interested in a 20 year old diet book. I've recently taken a couple of hundred books out, and given them to charity. They were contemporary paperbacks and books of the moment, which will be saleable in the charity shop I gave them to, but I would never have re-read and they wouldn't have been read by anyone in my family. They were just taking up space in my already too small home.
I think that the main reason, if I'm honest, that I find it difficult to throw things out, is that it reminds me of how much money I wasted on the item. how much I didn't need it in the first place, and how indiscriminate I have been with purchases in the past. Did I really need that toy for my daughter that cost £40 and was like others she had, and didn't particularly play with? So, it is not fair now for me to clutter up her bedroom with it, when she didn't really want it in the first place, and will not play with it now 5 years later.
decluttering my house helps me not to spend money, since it makes me a bit sick to realise how much money I've wasted in the past, and reminds me not to spend on similar items in the future. It is also fairly tiring, and if you're at home decluttering, you can't be out shopping, lol.
And the main thing really, the best part, is that decluttering just feels so good. Not only does your house look bigger, cleaner, even if you haven't cleaned, but you get to feel good about giving, probably in a lot of cases, fairly valuable things to charity, in the hope that someone, somewhere can make use of it, and the charity can raise some money for a good cause.