the keep and drop principle, part one

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Recently I've been on a de-cluttering mission.

It started with clothes, cutting down so that both mine and Chris's clothes would fit in the same (double) wardrobe instead of a double and a rickety old single.

I have accomplished my task. My lovely Dad took the old wardrobe away (in pieces) yesterday. Now I have a nice little square indent on my carpet where it used to live.

Now, however, I feel I have contracted some sort of simplifying/clearing out bug. It's infected every part of me and no object in my home (aside from my husband's stuff, and that's not a problem because I'm pretty sure I've passed the clear out virus onto him) is safe from my narrow-eyed stare. Where did I get that thing? Do I really need it? No? In the charity shop bag it goes.

You will not believe the amount of stuff I've gotten rid of. Old knick-knacks that didn't actually mean anything to me anyway that I was bored of. Glass nuggets from our wedding that I would never use for anything else but felt too sentimental to throw away (seriously). On and on and on the clutter kept appearing in front of me. It was as though a veil had been dropped from my eyes and I could finally see it all.

It feels good, to get rid of all this stuff. To know that I don't need it. You see, Chris and I aren't into the minimal look. We both like our home to feel cosy and we like having little things around that have stories attached to them. So getting rid of stuff - even stuff that is really old or kind of meaningless - is a bit of a test of will for me.

It feels good to do it.

Anyway, I was reading my friend Adele's post about time management, which inspired me to think about what takes up my time. Then I stumbled across a blog called Small Notebook and read a post (I can't find the exact one now - sorry - it's under the Simplify category) about keeping and dropping. Which is basically what it says. What in my life do I need to keep? And what do I need to drop?

(Now I've cleared out my books, Chris's Stephen King collection looks disproportionately huge!)

Keep: Books. I read a lot, and I've always wanted my kids to read lots, so I think it's important to have books around the house. Keep in particular the Christian books, which I refer back to a lot. Keep, too, the stories I have read before and loved again and again, and like to share with people.

Drop: Books I have read but will never read again/books I bought because I felt I 'should' read them because they're kind of intellectual, but that deep down I know I will never read

Keep: Trinkets around the house that I love and have meaning.

Drop: Trinkets that I bought on impulse and then feel slightly regretful for but too guilty to get rid of.

Keep: This cute little heart made by my niece, Heidi, and the canvas drawing my niece Izzy drew of herself holding hands with me and Chris (the one where we all look a bit like potato people).

Drop: Every drawing/card they've ever made me. I treasure the special ones. But it was getting a bit out of hand.

Keep: The takeaway leaflets in the man drawer with the good vouchers on. And the working lightbulbs and batteries.

Drop: The phone book. The Argos book. The Ikea catalogue. Why oh why do I need these when I have, at last count, at least four devices that connect to the internet with all that information on it? Also, drop the burnt-out candles, the instructions for appliances we no longer have ... the delights of the man drawer go on and on.

Oh how good it will feel to hoist this rubbish on my unsuspecting friends and family members responsibly dispose of/give away these things.

Even if I am a bit disgusted at how much there was in the first place.

More on the keep/drop principle next time ...!

1 comment:

  1. Tomorrow I will be embarking upon the epic task of clearing out my room and all the junk I have accumulated over the years. I have been majorly procrastinating starting this venture, but reading this post has spurred me on...I'll let you know how it goes :)


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