I’m decluttering. Properly. I’m writing this post after week one of what I’m calling ‘Operation Declutter’. Those of you who know the real me will know that this isn’t something I’m doing lightly. Clutter has genuinely become a real problem in my life. I realised, since I came back from my holiday the other week, that the amount of accumulated stuff in my home has now reached ridiculous levels and just really needs to be sorted out.
This isn’t an easy thing for me to do. I’ve been in my house for almost five years and somehow, this state of insanity around clutter and stuff has just crept up around me out of absolutely nowhere. I’ve been so busy working and looking after my daughter these last few years, that I somehow just haven’t noticed my sudden status as one of those women from ‘Hoarders’.
Frankly, I don’t know how I’ve not been discovered under a mountain of books, clothes and shoes, half-eaten by feral foxes.
I jest, but it was really quite bad. If you’ve been following along with my Instagram story on Operation Declutter, you’ll know I’m being serious. Four years worth of clothes and bags and shoes and just total junk that I’ve just not even looked at, piled into attic cupboards. It actually stunned me how much stuff there actually was.
One day of brutal pulling things out and bagging them up later, and I’d made a bit of a dent in it.
The hardest part was definitely trying to work through my little girl’s baby clothes. I felt so bad putting them into charity bags, as if I was somehow showing that I didn’t care about her by giving her things away. However my good friend Lauren, who thankfully helped me to get started with Operation Declutter, reassured me that actually, it was just stuff – it didn’t mean that I didn’t care about my daughter, but that I could help some other children who may not have clothes or toys of their own.
That really made me think. It also made me feel better. My daughter is now four; she doesn’t need her baby clothes. There are families and children all over the UK who haven’t got a penny, and here’s me hanging onto clothes my kid can’t even wear because I’m a sentimental idiot with unknown hoarding tendencies.
So with that in my head, I bagged up almost everything there was, and on Tuesday, it went to charity.
I’m writing this on Wednesday…and I’m about to go and tackle the attic rooms again, but I do feel a sense of strange relief to have bitten the bullet and made room for future things, instead of clinging onto the past. Clutter is part of my DNA – I may explain why in a future post, but I swore to myself that I’d never end up that way, surrounded by junk that never actually gets used.
Most importantly, I didn’t want my child to grow up in a museum of stuff, and although it has upset me to realise that had started to happen, I’m glad I’ve taken the first steps to rectify the situation.
If you’ve ever had any issues with clutter, hoarding or letting go of things, please offer me your advice in the comments below, or over on Twitter @actualwriting. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s struggled with this (at least I hope not), so any tips on getting rid of things, decluttering and reorganising your home would be much appreciated!
Writer, tweeter and illustrator. Starving artist and thrifting expert. Pen for hire and first-time author at work.