I have been away from this blog for a week. Partly it’s due to Real Life TM being busy and frantic, and partly it’s because when I got two days where I was stuck at home and reliant on low-cost fun with DD, I ended up doing more decluttering. I’ve been working on this for over a year, and now it’s a bigger job than I had thought, thanks to having to clear out stuff from DH’s study.
Friends scoffed at my slowness, thinking that I wasn’t sufficiently ruthless. I disagree – I am trying to avoid sending confidential or work items into general waste, for starters, and DH didn’t shred anything. He kept it instead.
Here is a little list of what I found in the bottom half of a moving box that had been in DH’s study since 2003. I have not embellished or exaggerated this list.
- 73 comics
- 1 blue plastic scourer, 25% shredded
- 1 jar of Vicks Vaporub, 1 teaspoon left inside
- 1 red flyswatter, never used
- 2 disassembled cardboard boxes
- 3 odd socks, black
- 1 woman’s sock, brown (so that’s where the missing one went!)
- 4 postcards
- 1 sympathy card, dated 2005
- 1 packet of photos
- 29 travel pamphlets
- 7 maps
- 14 plastic bags (now being used to contain sorted out mess and most of these are residing in the trash pack now)
- 4 AA batteries
- 2 old calendars
- 1 nasal spray, empty
- proofs of an article
- 7 copies of said article
- 4 bank statements from our joint account
- 6 gas and electricity statements
- 3 telephone statements
- 1 rates notice
And that’s not counting the manila folders, ring binders, working documents and more.
I find the sorting out of paper to be sort of therapeutic. I can see (sometimes) that I’ve made a dent in the piles, and I can see the full garbage and recycling bins. I also have a bag of papers to be shredded as soon as possible.
Yesterday I went through DH’s wardrobe and had 6 garbage bags of good quality, clean clothes to give to the local church charity shop. These items included brand new shoes and T-shirts. Anything that was wearing out, ragged around the collar or hem, etc. was put on the pile of “Warm items for the cats’ beds”. My rule of thumb: if it isn’t good enough to offer one of my friends, then it isn’t good enough to take to a charity shop.
The clothes stuff all put me in a bad mood and not able to deal well with DD’s cheekiness and rudeness in the afternoon. I should have done the clothes sorting in the evening after she went to bed. The papers usually don’t have that effect on me; possibly the exasperation at the enormity of the task overpowers any sadness.