Kitchen Clutter

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dealing with Sentimental Clutter (Part One)

By calling this Part One, I'm already admitting that there will be more than one post about Sentimental Stuff.   It's what I have the most trouble with. 

My latest battle has been a large old grey suitcase which my parents "presented me with" a couple of months ago.   Unfortunately it contained a bucket-load of sentimental stuff (including paperwork) that they had kept for the last twenty-something years.   So it is my job to go through the stuff and keep what I want, then give them back an empty suitcase.   Easy for some..... right?

The first time I looked inside, I couldn't throw out anything.   Then a few weeks ago, I sat down with my dear hubby, and tried to go through things and decide what really had value.  One of the things that went in the recycling bin was my art collection, which was pretty much everything I'd ever painted in school.   Let's face it, I was never good at drawing or painting, so there was nothing there worth framing.

Much harder to part with was a giant red pen shaped like a daschund dog, a souvenir of Halls Gap.  My reason for wanting to keep it?  "Well..... but it's a dog!"  After much agonizing, in the end I threw it out, as it doesn't even write anymore!   But you can see how hard it is for me to get rid of any possessions.

Yesterday I sorted through the masses of greeting cards which were also stored in the suitcase.   I managed to recycle about half of them, but this is still an ongoing process.  I think I will just pick out my absolute favourites, which seems the easier way to go.  My mother advises me she has kept every single birthday card and Christmas card I have ever given her.   Now you can see where my hoarding tendencies come from!!  

Saturday, August 14, 2010

First Mission - The Bathroom Cupboards

I've just spent nearly all afternoon pulling everything out of our bathroom cupboards.   What I thought would be a simple job took me longer than I thought....  I am just not good at estimating time!   Fortunately, I managed to stick to the job (even with the "assistance" of Casper, our puppy). 

There were a lot of "no-brainer" items that have gone straight to the rubbish or recycling.  This included millions of empty bottles which my hubby likes to keep.   Also several old toothpastes I didn't like to start with.  A cake of coconut soap from Vanuatu also had to say goodbye.  (We visited Vanuatu about 13 years ago now.  The soap just didn't smell right anymore!)  I uncovered about twelve tubes of hand-cream!  Ten of those have also left the building.

What's still left?  A large box of stuff for my dear hubby to review when he returns.  I doubt most of it is going to be needed, but can't take the chance of throwing out something he might still use.   Also I have a large plastic bag full of expired medications and ointments.  I'm going to take these to the chemist to see whether they are able to properly dispose of them.

After putting everything important back in the cupboards, I treated the bathroom by sweeping the floor and wiping down the benches and taps.  The finishing touch was some glass shells which I also found during the excavations.

** Lesson Learned:   Start small, and don't underestimate the time it will take!   Always allow enough time to put everything back afterwards.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Background

OK, so let's start at the very beginning.   Let's just say I'm a perfectionist procrastinator....  or maybe it's the other way around.   I often feel extremely overwhelmed with any big project I have to tackle.   And clutter is definitely no exception.  I have tried on many occasions to "clean up", "sort out" and declutter my stuff.  I have many books on decluttering, (more on that later), and while most of them were very motivating, the majority of the time the decluttering session was abandoned and I was left with a worse mess than when I started.   It also meant yet another failure, and another dint to my self-confidence.

In this blog, you will see many "before" pictures from our home, and I will discuss what's not working in each room.   I'll also review some specific items of clutter which are causing me grief, but I can't throw them out for various reasons.   Also I plan to post the "after" photo's too, so I can feel good about my progress.

Thanks for joining me on my quest to be Clutter Free!!

Laura  :)