The Decluttering Blog – Part One

It has been brought to my attention that I may be a hoarder. I’ve been allowed to live in denial of this by virtue of having an obsessively tidy husband and only two rooms in the house that I could hide my belongings in. Two years ago we decided to turn the larger of those two rooms into a guest bedroom / book room, so we hired a storage unit and started to empty the room. To be honest, nothing really got going until about six months ago, when we finished emptying the room, decorated it, and put a bed, bookshelves and a desk in there. It looked fab. Then we started to bring the boxes back from the storage unit.

At some point within the last few weeks, I’ve accepted that I have many more books than I could ever have time to re-read. I have many more books than I have room for. Some of them will have to go. It’s not just books, it’s bits and pieces that we’ve just never thrown away. It’s hard to say goodbye, it seems, so I’ll write about things as they go. It makes it easier, and may assuage the awful anxiety and the sleepless nights. You see, one day I might REALLY REALLY NEED something that I’ve let go of.

Last week was a good week. I managed to relinquish fourteen beautiful, fantastic, amazing books by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I hadn’t had them quite long enough for them to sink into the great mass of literature that insulates the house, so the emotional tug wasn’t too bad. FOURTEEN BOOKS gone at once. It would be a huge success, except for the fact that I’d bought every one of them since hiring that storage locker, so there was no real net gain on the 2021 situation. Still, fourteen books eh? I also said goodbye to a couple of 1980s Frank Herbert Dune books that I’ve been carrying around the country since forever. I think I last re-read them in the 1990s. Sixteen books gone. It’s not just me, a lot of the books are my husband’s, and he decided to relinquish a couple of fairly modern editions of Philip K Dick books. Eighteen books gone. A newly read / newly acquired but ancient and crumbling edition of Brian Stableford’s Werewolves of London has gone to be recycled. Nineteen books gone. And lastly, book wise, I took seven environment / ecology related books to a local charity. Twenty six books gone. Granted, fifteen of them had been in the house for less than two years, but it’s still progress eh?

A lot of the ‘stuff’ is actually stock for the charity craft stall that I run, and I obviously can’t get rid of that, but hopefully I can reorganise it a little better. I rounded up some bits and bobs that have been given to me recently for the charity, washed an ironed a tatty tote bag that I found and had no previous memory of, and unpacked some donated handcrafted items from a jute bag into a half full box. The jute bag and the tote bag half full of toiletries has now gone from the house. A small victory, but still …

One of the boxes to come back from the lockup was in the dining room. Insomniac me took advantage of 3 am decluttering anxiety to do some decluttering. There’s a letter and a graduate list from my Manchester Uni M.Sc, I’ll keep and file that. There are copies of my school magazine, I’ll keep them. There are ring binders from my biology and physics A levels, scribbled over and vastly nostalgic, I’ll keep them. There’s also a twelve inch deep pile of research papers and reports from my working life. They’re going. The actual box was quite tatty, so that’s going too. Oh, and there were four amazingly mucky and faded card or plastic coasters from the 1980s. That’s not me, it’s my OH. He conceded that they were ready for recycling / landfill.

If you’d like to help me, please check out my ebay page – it’s Knit One Purr One. Most of the sales go to help cats in need. At least I don’t collect cats …

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