We did not escape the wrath of “death cleaning” or decluttering!
Our baskets of accessories got a good cull. Leads that Mum never liked went into the giveaway bag. All those muzzles that I was suppose to wear on European train journeys got chucked – never been used. Long training leads – we’ve given up on George – we either live dangerously or he just stays on the lead and pull Mum’s arm out of the socket!
Our toys got culled!!!!
A bag of the discarded toys will be going to Winston aka Churchill – because apparently he likes toys – and we have way too many!
Our coats and jumpers remained – ahhh, not what we had hoped. Mum doesn’t buy stuff she doesn’t like. She should apply that rule to herself! LOL!
May’s comment: This is an update on the decluttering. Since many of you wrote to say you have also begun and others have asked us to report back, I wanted to share the experience so far.
After I’ve managed to clear out that first cupboard – stuffed full of memories from way back when …
The process wasn’t easy. Circumstances forced me into it rather than my voluntarily finding the time to do it. Truth be told, there will never be a good time – any time would be inconvenient.
First, it was disruptive, emptying the cupboards meant filling up other parts of the flat. Complicated by joiners putting together a new cupboard and taking up space and creating dust. Even we were relegated to the kitchen.
When I could finally get to the heap of THINGS and boxes of files, there were so much old documents! Agreement contracts of old businesses, car insurance of two cars ago! And all those work permit applications for the U.S., Italy, Germany, Hong Kong – I threw out all supporting docs but kept the final pieces of paper. Why? For memory sake? I don’t know. It was just some affirmation that I did all that. Maybe with a bit more practice, they will go too. And that was what I realised. Once you start discarding, it gets easier. At the start, you hesitate, you ponder, you put some things in a “maybe” pile. Or a pile for “one more read.” But on day two, I didn’t bother with the “one more read” pile and shredded them. Relief!
Some of the content I found surprisingly brought about so much pain – they hit me in the stomach – and brought up all the negative memories. Those I did not hesitate for a nano second to shred. They went churning into the best thing I had recently bought – shredder. I don’t need that negative energy in my life. I cannot believe I had them in my cupboard for soooooo long. That was a good guide – no need to harbour negativity.
There were business presentations and two file boxes of all the brochures and marketing materials of things I had done from my last job in NYC. This surely must go since I am no longer in that industry. But there were a few that made me smile and it brought me such pride to see the work that I had done. I kept a few of them. Those will go someday but for now I am not ready to let that memory go yet – but they were just a quarter of what I had before.
The shredder was my best friend. All day, it did what I wanted it to do. Surprisingly my dogs wasn’t bothered by it. They hate the vacuum cleaner but they tolerated this machine. Four fully stuffed bin bags later, five shopping bags of other things – all that were discarded. The cupboard now fully finished, is still fun but not stuffed full of things.
I must admit that someone talked me out of throwing away all the scrapbooks. The words “Sasha would like to know more about Aunty May when he is grown up” made me hesitate. I started the process because I don’t have children to pass things to. With that comment, I hesitated. I bagged them all and took them to storage for another day – when I am out of this muddle and I have time to process that decision. For today I can get rid of all the obvious things that do not matter. Another day, I will go through the memories of photos and scrapbooks – relive them and then properly edit – to leave behind for a person to someday understand who this person was and why he meant so much to me.
The difference between discarding papers, photos, letters is very different to discarding clothes. I will leave this to another day. It’s a whole different thought process. And much easier.