Looking Forward to Meeting my True Self

What would my day look like without clutter?

One of the first things I write in my planner every day under the heading of ‘What are you excited about today?’ is ‘Clearing more space’. That’s how much I want this; however, what would my day look like and what would I be excited to do if I didn’t have to clear space i.e. what am I aiming towards?

I think that this is an important question to ask myself because I have wanted a completely clean, clear and tidy house for years now but what would I do with my time if I had that? Maybe I would do more of the following… write in my journal, read, blog, spend time with the family, go for walks, go shopping (after covid!) or just spend time in silence with my thoughts.

I probably need to be focusing more on that now so that I don’t create clutter just so that I can get excited about clearing space. Does that make sense?

I’ve been listening to the Clutter Chronicles podcast for a couple of weeks now and as Mary (the recovering hoarder) is healing and able to let go of stuff, I can hear in her voice how different she is and she’s starting to detach herself from her belongings. I feel like I know her and I am proud of what she’s achieved. One of the things that she’s been talking about in the latest podcasts I’ve listened to (and I’m up to episode number fifty something now) is how to change your mindset. Once you’ve done that, everything else starts to fall into place.

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Motivated to do More Clearing

In my last post I mentioned a damp patch on my kitchen ceiling and the possibility that it could be coming from one of the two rooms above. Our plumber is going to use his camera to look through the nearest kitchen light fitting but can’t book us in until next week.

Before I knew that this was the approach he was going to take, I started clearing the study (room above) and put the sofa on its side in case he needed to check under the floorboards. We’ve also stopped using the main bathroom.

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Finding the Positives in a Negative Situation Puts You Back in Control

There never seems to be a quiet moment in this house. I finally have all the clutter concentrated in one room – the study – and can sort it at my own pace. Today I noticed a damp patch on the ceiling in the kitchen, right under the study. Why did this happen? Is someone trying to hurry me up?

My husband said “We’ll need to move everything out of the corner” pointing to the old sofa that’s wedged in the corner of the study and penned in with my boxes and other pieces of furniture. Whilst the words were sinking in, I started to blow it all out of proportion in my head, anticipating a mess in other rooms again whilst we pull up the carpet and floorboards etc.

I don’t know why I immediately thought that he meant now, but half an hour later he was asleep in the lounge and I joined another work call. I tried to put it out of my mind as I was too busy with work to think about it.

Looking at it from a positive perspective

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The Power of the Right Words at the Right Time

I was chatting to my daughter in the car this morning about how she was feeling about going back to school after almost three months of home schooling and not even leaving the house.

She said that she wasn’t worried as such, she just didn’t know how the day was going to go. She couldn’t see past the point of walking in through the school gates. She’s done this hundreds of times before, but today was going to be very different due to having to go through the process of the Covid-19 test.

Sometimes when we have no experience ourselves it’s difficult to come up with the right words. We had talked it through last night and as usual I encouraged her to think positively and imagine it all going well.

How Social media can sometimes have a positive effect

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Recycling and Sunshine Led to Some Outside Decluttering

I got up earlier today as I wanted to slow roast the pork so that we could have dinner at lunchtime. Whilst cooking on a Sunday morning, I like to potter around in the kitchen/dining room and my plan was to clear the stuff by the back door and then come up with a system to prevent it building up again.

Clutter traps around the house

The problem I have is that the back door is where everything goes when it’s on its way out, whether that’s the recycling bins or the garage. It’s too easy to dump it there and it’s become a clutter trap. I’ve written about this before and actually cleared it all and then it crept back. I must look back at my posts from last year to see if I have any tips for myself 😃.

I used to fill the utility room with the same kind of stuff; however, since having it decorated last December, I’ve managed to keep it really tidy which is progress in itself and now at least it’s only in one area instead of two. By the back door is the best place anyway as it’s staring at me and annoying me every day. It’s also easy to get out there to the recycling bins, which brings me to my next point…

Tidying up the garden

My beautiful primrose plant

After Sunday lunch, I was tempted to sit outside for five minutes as the sun was shining. It was only about six degrees centigrade but there was no breeze and the sun felt just about warm enough to be comfortable without a coat (I had a jumper on and a couple of layers underneath).

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Four Productive Hours in My Cluttered Hideaway

Boxes I emptied today ready for recycling

After my daily reflection and journaling time this morning, my plan was to get on with the clearing but I just couldn’t work out where I wanted to start. I was going to go into the garage but it was too cold so I went upstairs to continue with the study.

I popped into my daughter’s room first to see what she was doing and she was in the middle of tidying up. She seemed a bit frustrated about not having anywhere to put things which reminded me that all of my large plastic boxes of photos were still taking up half of her built in wardrobe. I started to take them out and drag them into the hallway, but realised that I had nowhere to put them at the moment.

This was when my whole mood changed and I started to feel fed up. I think she sensed this and very sensibly but firmly told me not to take them out of her wardrobe if I was only going to put them in everyone’s way in the upstairs hallway. I knew that she was right because I was thinking the same thing, so we put them back in her wardrobe.

I went to the study to start sorting out the clutter but I was no longer in the mood. I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than my garage aka “my cluttered hideaway”.

In the safety of my cluttered hideaway

I put on my coat, gloves and woolly hat and went outside to the garage. I knew that I needed to be alone; not influenced by anyone else and what they were doing. Being in my cluttered hideaway really helps me get through it all, because in there, I have so much to throw away so I can make actual progress. In the house I sometimes struggle if I’m not in the mood for making decisions.

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How Do You Know if You’re a Hoarder?

I’ve been listening to a podcast series called The Clutter Chronicles for a few days now and I’m on episode 22. It’s just an ongoing conversation with a person called Mary who calls herself a recovering hoarder. She spills her heart out to a lady called Lori Koppelman about her struggles with getting rid of stuff, all in a bid to helping others. I can’t even remember whose blog I got the link from (thank you!) but I’m finding it so interesting and refreshing to listen to as I clean the house.

It makes what I’m holding onto seem like nothing in comparison, but yet it’s helping to shift something in my mind. Mary is an American, who is a year older than me and lives with her husband in a large house with many rooms full of stuff including a basement and garage. She seems to have a lot of time to tackle her clutter and is also having therapy to get to the root of her hoarding. It’s worth listening to a couple of episodes if you struggle to get rid of things or have collections of stuff that you don’t know what to do with.

Some of what she’s talking about I can relate to in terms of why she feels that she has to go through all of her stuff herself, why she rejects help, and why she feels stuck at times. I’m not quite relating to the tendency to collect things which I’m quite happy about in a way otherwise can you imagine where that would all be? It’s made me think about how the term hoarding could be broken down into two parts:

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Clearing Clutter and Making Decisions

Saying that I’ve achieved a lot this weekend is an understatement, so it wasn’t surprising that I ran out of energy about 8.30pm this evening. Apart from cooking dinner both days and skyping my mum and dad today, I have spent most of the weekend sorting through papers and other clutter. It’s been very productive. This afternoon, I helped my husband design our wardrobes and we made a few decisions.

Moving Forward with the Wardrobes Discussion

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Measuring Decluttering Success

I know when I’ve had a good decluttering session by measuring the following:

  • How much I’ve put in the rubbish bag
  • What I’ve managed to recycle (which is usually a larger pile than the rubbish)
  • What I’ve added to the charity bag
  • What I’ve put aside to sell

Today has been a good day as I’ve spent the afternoon going through some of the study/spare room. My husband (who I won’t let help me for fear he’ll throw everything away 😀) told me this week that the entrance to the room was a fire hazard. This did upset me a little bit but when I’d stopped sulking and really thought about it, I decided that he was probably right and I really wouldn’t want to tempt fate and leave it in a mess for any longer. Death by clutter doesn’t sound like a good way for me to go 😂!

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There is a Good Reason Why we Need to Slow Down

Even when we are busier than ever, people tell us we should slow down; however, no one really explains why. We know it’s something to do with stress and we know it sounds like a good thing to do, but we think we know better. When the message does eventually sink in a little bit or we wear ourselves out, we take a quick break and then go back to our old habits. I sometimes trick my body into thinking that I’m slowing down but then I go back to rushing around again once I feel okay.

Why we should slow down

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