Friday, 3 April 2009

De-cluttering the Betty Way

I confess – I’m a hoarder. I hoard clothes, bits of paper, books, magazines, old letters – stuff. I just can’t throw stuff away. I can’t help it. I hoard for all sorts of reasons:

Murphy’s Law. As soon as I throw something out I will have a burning need for it the following week.

I’m resourceful. Those old bits of wire and string will come in handy one day, I know they will. And you can never have too many mismatched buttons.

I’m sentimental. The macaroni collage that one of the kids made in preschool is precious, even though all the macaroni has fallen off. As for all those receipts for motorcycle riding lessons – well, they’re part of the chronicle of my life. To chuck them out would be like chucking out part of myself.

This weekend though, all that is going to change. It has to. The clutter levels at Chez Betty have reached critical mass and are about to start chipping away at what’s left of my mind.

When Boomerang Boy moved home he brought a lot of stuff with him. To fit him and all his stuff in the spare room meant moving a lot of other stuff around. The study is now the study-cum-spare room-cum-junk room. Only thing is, I can’t fit everything into it, so it’s oozed into the rest of the house.

I can’t open my wardrobe door unless I move the chair that’s supposed to be in the study but doesn’t fit in there because it’s full of other crap. The vacuum cleaner is sitting in front of the other wardrobe door. My room looks like a tip.
Such mess is a recipe for depression. It’s so out of control that my eyelid starts twitching as soon as I walk into the house.

I’ve tried decluttering before. To make sure I don’t throw out anything truly valuable, I go through the mess carefully, piece by piece. That way doesn’t work. Last time I ended up throwing out a glass marble, a bent paperclip and two biros.

This time I will be ruthless. I will not even LOOK at what I’m throwing out. Whoosh! I will sweep things into garbage bags without so much as a second thought. I will chuck, discard, fling, dispose of and toss out clutter with gay abandon.

That will sort Boomerang Boy’s stuff. Heh heh.


Brenda said...

I don't remember where I came across these rules for dealing with clutter, possibly a magazine, but I thought them important enough to write down. I found the index card with the Rules for Clutter scrawled across it while de-cluttering my own office last week. Here are The Rules:

1. Don't organize clutter.
2. Set a date by which you will use it, or get rid of it. Write the date on a Post It, and stick it to the item.
3. Toss 10 things. (This works great for junk drawers.)
4. Pass the buck. Give it back to whom it belongs. Give it to charity. Put it in a box marked "free" and set it on a street corner.
5. Get help. Organize a work party. (Boomerang Boy kinda owes you. Put him to work!)

Sue said...

Tee hee, thanks for those! The only one that resonates with me, though, is the "toss 10 things" one. The others seem to imply a level of organisation of which I am totally incapable ;-) If I were organised enough to put post-it notes with "use by" dates on things, I probably wouldn't be hoarding them in the first place...

BB has taken a couple of loads to the tip, but in a haphazard and ad hoc way - he did the typical 'boy' thing and walked right past some rather large bits of clutterage without even realising. That's what I get for leaving it to him while I'm out of the house...

Dein Koenig said...

Good Luck