I have a tidy, mostly clutter free home but I have a few projects I am determined to tackle over the summer.
The first is photos. We have taken more photos in our six years of marriage than my parents have during almost 40 years of marriage. I need to organise them and separate the wheat from the chaff.
I’ve been slowly replacing my beloved paperback Chalet School reprints with original hardbacks. I’m going to sort through the duplicates properly and see what I can sell and donate.
I still have a couple of spots where junk accumulates. These need to go. I’m going to have one small spot where dumping is allowed and that is it.
Cleaning the shower drain. Begone, horrible gunky muck.
More decluttering. More tidying. More organisation.
Burgers for lunch and an evening out to look forward to.
Having no odd socks whatsoever.
Shredding papers that need to go.
For the first time in a long time I bought new clothes yesterday. I didn’t stick to my zero waste principles but I’ve given myself a pass because I’ve sent six items off to recycling and charity. I have many empty hangers and my wardrobe looks sparse. I’m wearing a new top right now and it sparks a lot of joy. I had been in a frump slump for some time, wearing the same things over and over, many of which were quite old and a little dated. I’ve decided on buying some more new things, things which I have spent time trying on and which I love, and which are a little more expensive than usual. It’s nice to wear something that’s up to date, and I think Marjorie would approve.
Since that post, I have worked on my physique, I have weeded out what I don’t like and I have stuck to my resolve in terms of buying. I have four pairs of flat shoes, two of which are a little uncomfortable and run down, and two of which are extremely comfortable and run down. I’m planning on getting rid of all of them as soon as I find one pair that’s comfortable and stylish.
I think Marjorie gave us some of advice Marie Kondo is currently spreading around the world back in the 1930s. She tells us clutter is at outdated as modesty and that no one can live with musty heirlooms without becoming a bit musty herself. She advised that perhaps you didn’t need to spend a lot of money to improve your living quarters and that the best thing to do before opening your wallet was to clear out the clutter, give away the junk you don’t like and scrub the place clean. One of her cases like a ‘clean, scrubbed look’, a look to which I am becoming increasingly partial.
Our rooms are all painted the same colour and all our floors are wooden, which I love because they get dusty, you can see the dust and you can get rid of it. I tidied my bookshelves last night and the reorganisation resulted in more books going off to places new, discarding a few that were past any more rereads and more of a clean, scrubbed look overall. Marjorie cautioned us to keep our homes places to which we’d want to return, lest we succumb to having to decide Will I Or Won’t I, a problem which she says every woman has to settle for herself.
She’d agree with a lot of the current craze for minimalism and keeping only the things you love and which spark joy, even if she probably never considered that idea. She’d probably be more brusque and less sympathetic about why you’d want to keep something that looks like junk, but I think a ‘clean, scrubbed look’ is something many can relate to wanting.
High on my to-list for the next couple of weeks thanks to a lighter than usual work schedule was even more decluttering and organising. I know I should have been done with all of this by now but various life events have meant that some things are still stored ‘just in case’. Today I consolidated some of the stuff, most of it is going off to the charity shop, some is in the WTF pile and will be tossed unceremoniously into the clothes recycling bank tomorrow and whatever was left has been squeezed into one and a bit storage bags.
I’ve rearranged some wardrobe space, found stuff I really shouldn’t have forgotten about that needed a new spot or to be discarded, dusted the shelves and felt a little better. Tomorrow I’ll offer some of the useful to others but not to me right now things to others who might be interested and I’ll enjoy knowing they’ll be headed off to be used instead of stored.
I continue to cling onto some things that are neither beautiful or useful despite my own thoughts which are very much shared by others. I know at heart I am a natural hoarder, I love stuff and now I don’t have to pare down because our space is so much larger. I guess the more minimalist side of myself is winning a bit though because even since I started writing this post I’ve made up my mind that some of the ‘maybe’ things can go.
Even though we moved house a year ago, I only relaxed into it in November for myriad reasons. Now there’s corners and nooks and crannies I love. I love our wooden floors and the proportions of our living room. I love having a separate dining room so that on the nights we cook and eat together and listen to opera on the radio we don’t have to look at the cooking messes. I love the light we have in every room and that even on a gloomy day the house looks and feels light. I love that we got rid of most of our extraneous stuff before we moved and have gotten rid of even more since the move. Now I’m feeling settled in the house I can even learn to love the bits I don’t like so much.
…is a line from Echoes, by Maeve Binchy. It is definitely a line that’s been playing in my head head lately, as I continue my decluttering and living more lightly process. Discarding and learning to love and live with what I truly like is a luxury, I know, in a world where myriad problems affect countless people in war torn areas and other less stable parts of the planet. I appreciate that I have the time and headspace to mull over things like this.