The Decluttering Blog – Part Two

It’s been nearly two weeks, and time for an update. What’s in, what’s out, and what’s lying on a table waiting for a decision? Some of these questions will be answered below.

I took eight thick science fiction books by Alastair Reynolds to the charity book stall at the supermarket. I’ll never read them again, although I enjoyed them when I first bought them. As I left, I saw someone looking through them. I went to the same supermarket later in the month, and they were gone. They have a good home, or maybe someone thinks they can sell them on, either way, they’re no longer taking up space in my home, and I hope that they’ll soon be out of my head.

I’ve listed a few books on eBay and Facebook marketplace, some are mine, some were donated to the charity, all the proceeds from all the books will go to the cat charity. Since my last blog I’ve sold and posted out fourteen of my own books, most of them I’ve had for decades. I’ve also put a donated book in the recycling, it had fallen apart as I was photographing it for sale.

I sorted through a bag of oddments in my study, it was taking up floor space, and had been a dumping ground for things that ‘needed sorting’. Some of it has gone to a fellow charity volunteer for the tombola, some will go on eBay. There are a few of these ‘sorting bags’. As other hoarders will attest, these bags pile one on the other, and have to be tackled one at a time.

I’ve also put a 40th birthday card in the recycling, it was from someone I loved who is no longer with us, but she wouldn’t have wanted me to hang on to it. I compromised, I took a photograph then sent it on its way.

I also photographed my sixth form folders, and shared the images. I’ve decided that they can go too. This is a really big deal, they’re from my late teenage years, but nobody is going to want to keep them when I’m gone, and I suspect that at some point during my London years the mice got at them. I’m finding that photographing and writing about these things helps me to let go of them.

On the negative side of things, I’ve recently been given two large bags of stuff to sell for the charity, I’ve sold the largest item from the two bags, and listed more, but in terms of volume it just replaces the books that have gone. Hopefully I’ll sell it all quickly.

Gift bags aren’t ‘clutter’ are they? They’re useful, I never throw them away unless they’re really far gone. July brought a nephew’s birthday and my husband’s birthday, so we’ve gained, overall, two gift bags and a bottle bag. They’ll be gone soon. I’ve also used approximately as much packaging material as I’ve received over the last couple of weeks. I rarely throw it away. In fact, I’ve just bought some big envelopes, but I do need them for online sales. There is a space for them.

One problem with clutter is that it’s sometimes hard to find the important things, and my phone charger was AWOL for a couple of days. I found it under my knitting, which meant that I could photograph and list things online.

I made a recycling trip, and took a fair bit of sorted rubbish to the recycling centre. This doesn’t really help with the decluttering, to be honest, as I do it regularly. I will, however, claim a bag of polythene from the garage, the metal bars from my sixth form lever arch files, and a dead ink cartridge that has been lying around for years as definite wins. Anything that’s been in the house for more than a year is a win. I also went through my writing group file, and have put ten years of prompts, leaflets and miscellaneous bits of paper in the recycling bin. Maybe fifty sheets of A4? Small gains, but they are real.

Now, this is very cheeky claim – I used a face mask that I’d been gifted. I’m claiming it because usually I’d hang on to something like this, meaning to re-gift it, until it’s out of date. Honestly, every little helps, and now my face feels fantastic.

I’ve sold some of the yarn that was given to the charity. It’s all been around for less than six months, but it’s gone now. About a kilo, I reckon, in three separate lots.

This blog will only be honest if I include additions. I bought a couple of nice notebooks and some washi tape. I’m an absolute sucker for a notebook, and the washi tape is for card making once the spare room is clear enough for me to start crafting again.

My paperwork system is in a right mess, so I’ve started to tackle it. A big wodge of paper has gone in the recycling bin, and another wodge is ready for shredding. I’m going through my box of receipts and throwing away anything that’s more than two years old. My desk now looks reasonable. I mean, a clean freak wouldn’t like it, but I’m fairly sure there aren’t any biscuits hiding in the paperwork (joking …) When I was sorting out my desk, I found two of my missing pairs of tweezers (decluttering bonus!) and I also found a Level 4 Hoarding Tupperware box into which I’d stuffed things ‘out of the way’. Inside it were receipts, which have now been filed or disposed of, and to my absolute horror and embarrassment, a plastic bag that my prescription arrived in. I hadn’t put it for recycling because it had my personal details on it. I’ve destroyed the details and put it in the recycling bag. I think that was about as bad as it’s ever got. Who does that? Who stuffs random stuff in a takeaway tub, slams the lid on, and then pretends it’s not there? I’m beginning to think I’ve caught this problem just in time. Another ‘hide it away’ tub contained a four year old part used asthma inhaler. That’s gone now, and I even managed to put the tub itself in the recycling.

Finally, instead of stuffing a ripped pair of jeans under the bed until I have the time and the skill to repair them and embroider them beautifully (ha ha), I’ve given them to a friend who has a sewing machine and sewing skills, she’ll use the denim to make something nice.

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