Decluttering; Therapeutic but Mournful…

I have always liked to be organised. I can’t bear clutter. I don’t function well without everything being in a designated place and making sense. It simply makes life easier and feels less chaotic; which to me therefore makes me feel calmer and more content. This can be quite interesting when married to somebody who is quite happy to just leave things lying around or shove stuff anywhere so everywhere is a combination of everything without my input! (Then I have to find items that he has ‘lost!’)

I also feed very much off my environment. Our current house needs cosmetic attention; nothing major but it’s dated and tatty. Despite being here 3 years, I still haven’t got things put away and sorted properly and there are often unfinished tasks lying around like piles of washing. This gets to me.

At work, we move between buildings and rooms a lot as we have outgrown the building (soon to be rectified!). Some of the rooms are quite dark. I also find this situation quite unsettling which is ridiculous; everything is there perfectly well to function doing the job, but it just isn’t the same as having a space with everything personally organised in a way that would optimise my efficiency.

At home, finally after weeks of ‘lost’ time where I have been off work but felt unable to do much at all, I am starting to sort things out. One of the biggest hurdles was my little study (semi-shared!). The fact this was messy was also a barrier to feeling like I could use the room properly for things like CPD/Appraisal work. I started again with furniture a few months ago but I haven’t yet managed to finish organising it; the main issue being unsorted paperwork. I have made good progress with this now although it is not finished, but it is a great relief to have got as far as I have.

I have also been getting on top of just going through everything and getting rid of things that we no longer need to keep then tidying up what is left. I actually quite enjoyed sorting about my clothes drawers; inadvertently using the ‘KonMari’ method! (Which I have previously been a little cynical about!) Not only can I now see the contents properly, there seems to be much more space! Very satisfying.

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I’ve also gone a bit label-happy! Children’s clothes, children’s activities, cooking ingredients, stationery etc…it’s all getting DYMO’d! I love it! My husband has even asked me to do some labels for his toolbox in the garage….the one thing he likes to have organised! (Maybe he’ll now do it himself as I don’t think he was terribly impressed by me referring to ‘whacking’ things when using a hammer tonight!)

The hard bit…there is one major decluttering category that I am finding really emotionally difficult. Baby things. It’s time to accept that our family is complete; everything sensible says this. Primarily, there is no way my health (physical or mental) could tolerate going through it all again or coping with more children. There are other factors too. Getting rid of big and cumbersome (mostly hideous plastic) things feels good especially as there will be more space. I also feel like I need to pass these things on to ‘close’ this era and move on more positively to a new chapter in our lives. I have my reasons around why I am finding this so hard which I may elaborate on another time if it feels right.

It’s amazing how much stuff we have accumulated and a lot of it has been used less than expected anyway. The general bits and pieces don’t feel too bad to sort through to get rid of, although I did find myself sobbing as I advertised one particular large toy; it carries a lot of lovely memories. Maybe it was the release I needed in a way; emotions have been feeling quite trapped. Sorting out the clothes is particularly hard; I’m planning on keeping some favourites and will do some sort of keepsake thing with them in due course.

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This sorting out feels really good; I haven’t felt this driven to do anything (apart from write!) for a very long time. The results are satisfying and it’s really giving me a boost. Unfortunately, I am not one to do anything by halves (part of the trouble!) and have gone rather berserk in the last few days. Now, I feel sapped of all energy. The fatigue is really driving me up the wall.

Renewed motivation, cleansing, end of an era and moving on.

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