I’m going to sort out Dads house soon. This house has been in the family home since my dad was born (he bought it from his father). There is rather a lot of stuff (huge understatement). I still have my old diaries, photos and letters from my teenage years boxed up in the attic. I kept my old Athena poster, books, holiday souvenirs, teddies and Mum and Dad kept every single piece of school work I brought home as a child.
I could probably fit most of my things into the back of a van. The real challenge is my Dad’s stuff. He lived for 81 years. He did not like to throw things away. Dad kept newspaper clippings that amused or interested him “to show people” (which he often did, to be fair). He kept every bank statement from when they first started sending them out in his twenties handwritten. He loved boats (there are lots of them) and bonsais, oh and magazines and photography (there are hundreds of photos that I can’t wait to look through). The house is full of his treasures and memories.
The problem is that I do not have space for much in my house. The fact that my belongings have remained in my old bedroom for over twenty years means than I do not need them now. We can split some of the things up between the four of us children and gift some items to friends and family but how am I going to throw my sentimental things and those of my parents?
I think I am a little like Dad when it comes to keeping things. I find it very hard to throw things away. Stuff stresses me out though, it makes a mess, it fills up drawers, so that you can’t find the everyday things you need to use. I have a mental block when it comes to tidying and have decided to formulate a strategy before I go to the house. I’ve been doing some reading to help me on the way and here are my favourite tips.
James Wallman founder of Stuffocation says “I believe that if we embrace the switch from materialism to experientialism and the idea that memories live longer than things, we’ll solve the problems of Stuffocation.” James has written a book (I’m buying this) and writes a brilliant blog with lots of articles supporting the Stuffocation revolution.
The Minimalists 30 day game
I am going to start this at home today. On day one you throw one item away, day two – two things, on the third day, three things and you get the idea. I have written about the minimalists before and they are a major inspiration for me to try to get some order in my own home. Check out Josh’s apartment, it is seriously feng shui.
I am not sure with three kids that will ever happen (nor would I want it to) but its a nice goal to work towards.
Marie Kondo De clutter your life
I love this lady. She has simple rules for clearing out and my favourites are :
Rules for sorting out papers : “There is nothing more annoying than papers,” she says firmly. “After all, they will never spark joy, no matter how carefully you keep them.”
General rules : Discard everything that does not “spark joy,” after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.
I have got some good tips already. Wish me luck and I will let you know how it goes.