De-Cluttering

You’ve seen the programmes, read the books, de-clutter your life, it’s so refreshing, you’ll become a new person, you’ll feel so much better.  Easier said than done.  I come from a family of hoarders and so does my husband.  Things that are kept because “they might come in useful”, objects we can “turn into something else” or “repair.

When we moved to our present house we did so after the death of my father-in-law.  We kept a fair amount of “stuff” when we cleared his bungalow out and kept it in storage until we could integrate it into our new home.  Then there was all the “stuff” from our old home in Worthing.  Books upon books, magazines – my husband has every “Car” magazine up to about 10 years ago.  Knick knacks, pictures, clothes, handbags, shoes …. the list is endless, and did I mention photographs and albums!

When we moved into our new home, we were grateful for the extra furniture, the house was a lot bigger and could accommodate almost everything.  We have 3 lofts.  All are filled with “stuff”.  The loft over the office is filled with everything to do with my husband’s video business.  We have thousands of video tapes.  We got rid of 5 boxes (large) of video tapes this weekend.  The loft over the bathroom is filled with boxes of books.   When we had the bathroom refurbished we emptied the loft, weeded the books and replaced treasured volumes in six archive boxes and are charity shopping the rest, although I have set aside a trolley full for work.

The other loft is full of … well I have no idea.  Stuff, yeah, that stuff.  We will get round to sorting that out.

Then when my Mum died just over 2 years ago we inherited more stuff.  A gut reaction I think when someone dies is to keep everything.  I have actually been able to start to sift through everything and part with some of her things that I don’t actually need or want, but did desperately need to cling to when she died.  I’m sure it’s part of the grieving process.  The same with Rowland, there are things we have parted with this weekend that he kept when his Dad died, but now has been able to let go.

It’s a cathartic process.  We look at the objects and we no longer have the emotional attachment to them, but remember them fondly and can let them go to a new home.  All except, that is, for my father’s chair.  I’ve known this chair almost my whole life, and that’s a long time.

My father worked as a Plant Engineer in Benton and Stone in Aston, Birmingham.  (It later became Enots based in Lichfield but is now Norgren IMI, and probably named something else now too).  The carpenters in the factory made him an office chair.  It’s solid wood with a shaped seat.  It is extremely comfortable and large.  Every Saturday morning Dad would visit the factory to check the machines, visit workshops, walk through the plating departments checking the bottles of acid were sealed.  And every Saturday morning (well mostly) I went with him, at the earliest I would have been about 6 or 7 yrs old.  I was parked in his office with his drawing utensils, a pad and sitting in his office chair waiting for him.  No chaperone, no nanny, I was Mr Green’s daughter and occasionally someone would check I was ok until Dad finished his round.  As I got older I went on the rounds too, but I always looked forward to sitting in his chair.

When the factory moved from Aston to Lichfield, the chair came to live with us and when I moved out to my own flat, Dad gifted his chair to me.  It has been through several house moves with me and is in need of some major repair work now.

How on earth do I part with that? Simple answer, I don’t.  De-cluttering your life is a fresh start, but you need the past to remember who you are.

My Dad, me and Pim, the staffie 🙂

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2 thoughts on “De-Cluttering

  1. That’s the way I do things, I hang on to stuff and then one day I look at it and think “why did I keep that?!” and then it can go. But that chair is not clutter, it’s an heirloom. I do sometimes worry about these tv shows that things might vanish that they later bitterly regret.
    I’m working through the boxes of books that were put in the conservatory when we moved in. Every time I look through them I find a few more that can go 🙂

  2. Polyxena

    Where’s a photo of the chair?!! Decluttering is vert cathartic. I am just not very good at it because I like stuff too:) nonetheless I am doing some over Easter.

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