I woke up feeling in the mood to make some big decluttering changes today. I felt so in control. I had the morning off work so I planned the day carefully giving me enough time to get some chores done so that I could have a block of time to clear some more space in the garage. As the rest of the family would be working, I knew that I would have limited interruptions.
In the garage
The plan today was to make room in the garage for a piece of furniture that I don’t want to keep in the conservatory anymore. I thought that until I make a decent amount of space in the garage there would be no point emptying the cabinet and moving it. That was motivation enough for me to get on with it.
I allowed myself between 1.5 and 2 hours to get this one small area cleared…
I opened each box and had a quick glance. If it was full of things I could donate, it went over to the other side of the garage with the charity bags. If I was not sure, or it was a mix of things I want/don’t want, I stacked it back up over the side I was working on.
This may not seem like good progress to anyone reading this, but it allowed me to familiarise myself with what’s actually in the many boxes.
I eventually did it! I got to the wall and measured the space and swept the floor. The piece of furniture looks like it will fit, so I will attempt to move it tomorrow.
The funny thing was that when I got back into the house, my daughter said welcome back and my husband asked if I enjoyed my walk. They apparently couldn’t find me anywhere, hence naming the garage my cluttered hideway.
My thoughts on the garage clutter now
Most of the items that I went through today were as follows:
- Old videos
- Toys that the girls haven’t played with for many years
- Clothes (including 3 long winter coats that I thought I’d given away years ago)
- Kitchen appliances and other items that I’d forgotten about and are definitely not going in the kitchen as we have enough already.
- Boxes of papers including some precious journals of mine which for some reason had become separated from the others (I brought those into the house)
- Boxes of cables and leads
- Speakers of various types
- A box of papers and text books for a writing course that I never finished
- A water filter jug and a coffee maker (and I don’t even drink coffee)
- More of the girls old drawings and craft items from nursery and early school years
… and I know that there is so much more there that I haven’t been through yet. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that I’m not going to end up keeping much of the contents of the boxes in the garage. Deep down I think I knew that, but for my own reasons I have to go through them in order to ‘process’ everything in my mind. No one can do that for me as it’s something I’ve been wanted to get the time to do for many years. Some people will be able to relate to this obsession of going through it all myself (e.g. my dad, who feels the same about his stuff) and some won’t be able to relate to it (e.g. my husband, who would prefer to just get a skip and dump it all in).
My husband may have a point; however, I just want to know what I’m putting in that skip or charity bag. Everything I’ve kept for years will eventually be thrown away, if not by me, but by someone else. I want to live a long life but there’s no point keeping all this stuff until my old age. I need to be ruthless and get rid of it, and enjoy a clutter free life now.
Whilst listening to Nagisa Tatsumi’s book The Art of Discarding this morning, she said something that stuck in my mind and I’ve been repeating it to myself all day…
“When I’m dead it will all be rubbish”
I finished the day making my homemade meat pie whilst listening to the update from the prime minister about easing the lockdown restrictions on 4th July. I think it’s too soon, so we’ll still be staying in unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out.
Now that you have separated some stuff, think about grabbing one box (just one) that you still need to look into and figure out where it goes. Once things are in boxes you can easily forget what is in them so label every box: Charity or trash. If you are keeping some items in boxes for future use then label them also, this way you don’t go back over the same stuff again and again. I am a huge fan of labeling.
Taking just one box and going through it is a very good idea, thank you. I am a huge fan of labels too but hadn’t thought about labeling the boxes in the garage. Most of them have writing on but it’s not always what’s actually in the box 😊.
I know I have boxes that have gone through multiple incarnations I have to keep crossing things out, but if it is clear then I don’t go through them again if I don’t need to.
Clear boxes is a very good idea, thank you
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