I would guess that my husband and I have no use for around 80% of the things we have cluttering up our house. Neither of us has ever been particularly good at keeping a clutter-free home – my husband tends to keep everything just in case (empty boxes in particular) and I just can’t be bothered to tidy up. It’s got to the stage now that the de-cluttering job is just too enormous to even contemplate – so rather than tackle it I’ve decided to sit down and write about it.
I’ll give you a few examples, and then you can just assume that the rest of our house is exactly the same.
Here’s one to start with. This is a nice post / letters / memos holder. It is exactly the sort of thing I buy in the hope that it might help me get organised and avoid having piles of paper lying around the house. What actually happens is this – we shove unimportant things in here knowing that they will be forgotten about, and so end up keeping various ‘to do’ piles elsewhere. Like on the dining table, which should be for eating but is instead covered in letters from the eldest boy’s school.
Here is a lovely display cabinet. I hope you agree that it looks even nicer with the bag of gift bags shoved down the left hand side, and with the cardboard boxes (which the small boys now use as boats, obviously) piled up in front. On top, in case you were wondering, is an array of scooter and cycling helmets. We thought this seemed like the obvious place to keep them.
Last summer we acquired a piano. I instructed my husband that the piano was NOT to be used as a dumping ground for more stuff. Yes, we could put photos, vases and other nice things up there. No, we weren’t having more rubbish.
Here is the top of our piano almost a year later. Yes, that is a dinosaur mask you can see sitting in a crystal bowl. There too is a robot from one of my more successful attempts at crafting (apart from his broken arm).
Here is one, which we decided to use as a garage for broken toy cars. Except it isn’t really a garage because the cars never get fixed.
Now I am very aware that a bedroom should be a restful, clutter-free environment. A place to wind down and drift off into a blissful night’s sleep – perhaps something like this:
Ok maybe not quite, but you know what I mean.
But unfortunately it’s exactly the same story in my bedroom. I lay in bed surrounded by washing baskets and plastic storage boxes, which I buy with excellent intentions but quickly find I am not using at all effectively. I just had a look in one and found a couple of pieces of tinsel.
My wardrobe is so full of boxes, bags, shoes, and presents for the ongoing round of birthday parties, that there is now barely space for my clothes. It is a shameful state of affairs.
If we continue to accumulate clutter at the current rate then soon we will all have to fight our way through a sea of broken cars, empty boxes, wicker baskets and Lakeland catalogues just to get to the front door.
It is definitely time for some action. Perhaps I’ll start by buying some more boxes.