Sunday, 3 May 2015

Decluttering

OH's mother died Friday night.....not entirely unexpected as she was 88 and had been unwell for some time.  We had been due to go visit her today (she lives about an hour away).  Anyway, we went down there yesterday to meet up with some of OH's family and begin the task of organising things and start sorting out her flat.  This is going to be a mammoth task, as she was a hoarder and I don't think she'd thrown anything away for years and years.  There were mountains and mountains of paperwork - covering most of the available surfaces, even on the floor and overflowing out of drawers.  Piles of clothes and shoes everywhere.  Umpteen ornaments, bits of jewellery, numerous watches and spectacles, loads and loads of pens.  Enough drugs and inhalers to supply a pharmacy, some empty, some not even opened, some several years old....we filled several carrier bags to take back to the pharmacy.  After a few hours of work, we'd barely even made a dent.  We are both drained, physically and emotionally, today.

This has made me resolve to declutter our home.....we are nowhere near as bad as MiL, but stuff does tend to accumulate, doesn't it?  Well, it does in our home anyway.  I'm beginning tomorrow by sorting out my clothes.....there's a pile of them on my bedroom chair, which don't fit in the wardrobe (we downsized last year from a huge 4-door wardrobe to a 2-door one, getting rid of a lot of clothes in the process.....somehow they've mounted up again!).  The wardrobe in the spare room has also been used over the past few months as a repository for clothes we don't wear often, meaning there's nowhere for guests to hang their clothes!  So I've given myself a kick up the backside and told myself to cull everything that doesn't fit/has got a huge tear in/big oil stain on the front/we just don't like.  It may take me a while.....

Thank you for all the comments on my previous post about crocheting for someone else for payment.....you've all confirmed what I felt, that it would take away my enjoyment, put me under pressure, and the cost involved is just too much.

11 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about your M in law, even if it was expected.
    We had to help clear my dads house in 2008, he hadn't got rid of anything since my mum died in 1999. We found kettles with the plugs cut off and a whole cupboard full of those little medicine cups. Luckily he had got his finances and most paperwork sorted with the help of my sister who lived next door. A lot of stuff went in a skip which was sad but the only thing to do.

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  2. Not an easy task going through a loved ones belongings, it does make you take a look at your own stuff, very sorry to hear of your loss,

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  3. Sorry to hear your news Sue, I think we are all guilty of hoarding to some levels, I go through phases of sort outs, but it builds up again....don't know how ! :)

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  4. It's a sad time for both of you, it does make you think. I do love a good sort out, very rewarding once done.

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  5. I downsized my stuff when I moved here but it has started to accumulate again. I have sent 2 bags of clothes to the CS along with books and DVD,s. Some china has gone and more will be joining it. I do not want to drown under a sea of possessions, besides every time I get shot of something it feels as though a weight has been lifted. .

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  6. Sorry to hear of your loss. My Mom died a year ago and we had to clear her 2 story, 4 bedroom home in a week. I was advised by someone who does this for a living to take this approach. Walk through the space as a group and identify quickly the things each person knows they want. Label them or put them in a spot designated for that person's things. Work in teams of 2 if possible and attack one room at a time and finish that room before moving on. Hold each item once. Decide if someone is going to keep it (put it in their pile), sell it, donate it or trash it. If you can't decide quickly put it in the staging area for later decision making. Fill bags for donations and trash and as soon as they are full remove them. Take breaks to replenish your spirits. Look through all pockets, open everything, give books a flutter - you don't know what you will find in odd places. Interestingly when we revisited the undecided pile each morning it was easy to make decisions. All we postponed dealing with were family photos which my brother is storing. Hope these suggestions help you or someone else.

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  7. I don't envy you that task. Mind you, I don't envy my daughter when I go!

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  8. Sorry to hear about your mother in law. I can relate to the drugs stash - had the same thing at my Mums house - the chemist was horrified!! I know what you mean though about it making you look afresh at your own stuff!! I'm building up to a declutter :)

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  9. Condolences to you both. I had the opposite to this as my dad was a real minimalist. Everything was in order and he lived a very frugal life as he did not believe in wants verses needs. I have found myself living in a small space and have had to get rid of most of my clutter. I now find that I could not live in a large space and it is amazing what you actually need to survive. Not a lot really. I think back in horror at the money we wasted, the only way I can justify it is to think that it is now helping the charity shops bring some income in. Luckily having a father like that stopped me getting into any debt and we have always saved up for purchases and paid our way in life. It is very sobering when you have to empty the home of someone you loved and makes you re- evaluate things.

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  10. so sorry to hear of your loss.

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