I hate this shirt. It’s baggy and shapeless. I feel like I look like a man when I wear it. There’s no way that I could easily adjust it, and if I did I’d probably still hate it.
This morning, low on clothes left in the wardrobe, I put it on, and instantly hated how I looked. Why have I kept this wretched thing for so many months? It stares disapprovingly out of the wardrobe at me, making me feel guilty because I’ve only worn it a few times.
NOT ANY MORE.
It’s new home is the bag of stuff due to go to the charity shop – and hopefully someone else will love it.
I had my hair cut short 22 months ago, and yet have been hanging onto these hair elastics, just in case. Having tried all sorts of different brands and make when I had long hair, these were my favourites. Strong enough to hold my huge mop of heavy hair, no metal clasp to pull at my hair, and long lasting. However, I don’t need them now and there’s no point in keeping them just in case I decide to change my hairstyle at some future undetermined point. If and when that day comes, I can just go out and buy some more!
Part of the Clearing the Spare Room mini-project (which included tackling the mystery bag) was figuring out what to do with the pile of journals I’ve accumulated over the years.
I had thought that I had journals dating back to my early teenage-years, but I must have had a ruthless moment as some point in the past as they are nowhere to be found. The ones I do have date back to my university days – half my life ago!
The decision over what to do with these isn’t just about whether or not we have the space for them or whether we need them – we have space, and we don’t need them in our everyday lives – but more about “What’s the point of keeping a journal?”.
When I was writing these – was it to help me process my emotions? Was it as a scrapbook for me to look back on? Was I making a record of my life for others to look back on? For me it’s the first two and definitely not the last. My deepest thoughts, emotions and anxieties are not things I want to spend my time reading, or for my friends and family to wade through once I’m gone. I do think, though, that it would be nice to have a brief record of key dates and events in my life.
So I’ve decided to go through these, summarise the key events in a bullet journal style, and then destroy the originals – maybe with a couple of exceptions, keeping journals that I used as scrapbooks.
So they are all in date order in my big box of journals along with photo albums from the same time period. I’m also using these as a reference point for key events, and sorting through the photos that can be thrown away at the same time.
Here’s my shed and my plants all packed up and ready for moving. We’ve cleared and dug over the borders (as required by the landlord), and created new flower borders where the chickens used to live.
I must admit that one of the sheds is still ram-shackle full of stuff that needs packing or preparing for moving, but I am so pleased the back garden is basically done and dusted. It’s the major T-minus-two-weeks task on my pre-move list along with:
- Redirecting our mail
- Meal-planning and placing a grocery order to be delivered the day after we move in
- Finding day-care for the dog on the days we are moving – wide open doors are not a good thing with a dog that loves to chase anything that moves (including leaves blowing in the wind)
The front garden needs a little tickle too – but we don’t have enough space in the garden waste recycling bin to fit any more grass cuttings or bits of shrubbery in, so that can wait until next weekend..
This is it!! I have tackled the mystery bag! The bag of junk, memorabilia, journals, letters, birthday cards and postcards that has been following me around for years has finally bitten the dust.
Recently, I have been on a total roll with getting stuff done. (That probably should be the topic of a future post.) For now though, suffice it to say that clearing the junk from our spare room has made it onto my project list, and this particular task has been long overdue.
I had planned to go through it all, organise the cards and other such stuff into date order, scan them and print them out to paste into a scrapbook. In the end though, that’s just another (very time-consuming) way of procrastinating about throwing this stuff away.
After a couple of hours sitting on the floor in front of the TV with the bag of stuff, two-thirds was recycled (box on the left), the mystery bag (in the middle) was empty, and I was left with:
- Medals from running events I’ve participated in
- A couple of notebooks, record books and news articles relating to childhood achievements
- Various cards and letters from my husband (which I do have a plan for – watch this space)
- A few more journals to add the big box of journals (which I also have a plan for)
Very satisfying, and a lot more minimalist in terms of both time and space than what I had originally planned. Now there’s progress..
With 3 weeks to go, packing commences. I can’t bear to start much before then or we’d spend quite a large proportion of our lives surrounded by boxes.
A month before, I make sure we have all the packaging materials we are going to need and start the early jobs:
- Ensure the moving dates are booked with all the interested parties – including the removals and cleaning companies.
- Identify what food we have in the freezer that will need eating before we move and which recipes I need to come up with to use up what we have.
- Notify the phone and broadband provider of the moving date.
- Put any final things on ebay that need selling.
Three weeks before I focus on starting to pack, and try to get some big jobs out of the way – this time we have dismantled the shed and other garden furniture.
My house move plan is a well-worn routine that we use each time we move, and it has been adapted from FLYLady’s Moving Tips. I particularly love the idea of starting with packing the things you don’t use very often and numbering the boxes. This means that at the other end you can start by unpacking the boxes with the highest numbers first. It’s so logical, but it does rely on the moving men following the instructions to stack the boxes in the new house with the numbers showing. This time, I shall be super strict about that rule!
And so it’s upon us. Our next house move is imminent. Boxes have been delivered by the removals company, and I’m about to start the task of packing up the house again. It was this activity that started me on the minimalist track in the first place, so I’m hoping that this time around, there’ll be less stuff to move.
Crunch time will be when the lorry is loaded – last time it was full to the brim. I’m hoping that this time it will only be 3/4 full – let’s see if I’ve met my target.
We have now been through the entire house on a decluttering rampage. It’s taken us 18 months (although things have slowed in the last few months as there’s been other things to do), but we have been through every room, every cupboard, every drawer and got rid of stuff.
There are a couple of things remaining.. One box of gardening stuff sitting in the garage that I had set aside to put on ebay – my ebay experience (lots of hassle for not much cash) has meant that this box now needs sorting through and the items taking to the charity shop.
A few boxes and bags of mementos (including the mystery bag) which my husband has been shunting from room to room, and now to the garage in a desperate attempt to clear enough space in our spare room for it to be usable. This pile of stuff is a project in its own right, I had plans for it, but now it looks like I am going to get ruthless. Watch this space – the closer we get to moving date, the more likely it is that I will just chuck the lot away..