Today, thanks to the wisdom of The Organised Housewife, I rediscovered the joy of decluttering.
With a family of five, squashed into a house more suited to four, and an over-abundance of clutter, The Organised Housewife’s advice was just the motivator I needed to get my butt into gear.
Browsing the ’52 Things to Declutter in 52 weeks,’ I quickly spied one that took my fancy. Okay, so it was in last year’s list, but the toy box has long since identified itself as my nemesis.
I’d made up my mind – with The Organised Housewife’s helpful advice, the toy box was gonna get a damn good sorting!
Foolishly, while Bubble napped I thought I could enlist the help of Foghorn. (The Woo was at kinder today – which is just as well, as he has definitely inherited the horder- gene from both of his parents!) In his enthusiasm to ‘help’, Foghorn tipped all three toy baskets all over the living room floor.
An intense overwhelming feeling engulfed me. There were just mountains of colourful toys, half naked dolls, trains, blocks etc EVERYWHERE! Where on earth was I supposed to start?
I was half tempted to just scoop them all back up, file the job into the too-hard basket and rock in the corner quietly.
Instead, I put on the kettle, made a cup of my favourite almond tea, and grabbed a handful of plastic bags from the laundry cupboard.
You can do this, I told myself. You bloody well will do this!
I sorted the toys into groups. One bag was for all the useless odds and sods which were to go straight out to the bin. I put together a bag of little baby toys to go to a new great grandmother (a friend of Granny’s). All the rest went into bags to be taken to a community car boot sale this weekend.
I was amazed to discover that Mr Potato head has more pairs of shoes than me (which isn’t difficult really), but not one pair of ugg boots! Weird! Luckily for him, he survived the cull.
Another thing I uncovered about myself is my intense loathing of soft toys. Yes, they are cute. And they are cuddly too. But (with the obvious exception of the beloved bed-companions of my chidren) they are totally freaking useless, nobody plays with them, and they take up a ridiculous amount of space. So can I just make a suggestion, that right here and now, in the interest of the sanity of mothers worldwide, we all agree not to buy other people’s kids any more soft toys? They drive me CRAZY. What is worse, the majority of them seem to have been bought by somebody for significant occasions and I just couldn’t bring myself to bin them. I did however bag them up and hide them out of my sight (and life) in the far-reaches of the attic. Ahhhh – much better!
To my surprise (and delight) all the toys which remained, now fitted snugly into the toy baskets. No more unsightly overspill. No more stepping on a metal freaking Thomas train at three am in the dark.
Not only did I create more space in my home today, I seemed to have cleared more space in my head too. As I regained control of my surroundings, a little of the stress and anxiety ebbed away. It isn’t difficult to see how much easier it is to keep things tidy when everything has its own space.
Experience has taught me that my newly found enthusiasm for domesticity is likely to be short lived. (In all honesty, it isn’t likely to see it through to the end of the week) but for now I am pumped and ready to declutter the absolute crap out of this house tomorrow. Literally!
Car boot sale here I come.
At this rate if I just sell every item of junk for a dollar each, we will more than likely have enough for a two week family holiday in Hawaii this year. At the very least I should get back enough for a nice family day out somewhere special.
And that is well worth all of the effort!