The Ultimate Decluttering

Posted September 13th, 2010 by Penny Wise

Sep 13, 2010

Eek, sorry it's been so long! Have been a little pre-occupied of late because... da da daaaaa - it looks as though we have SOLD OUR HOUSE! We're just keeping our fingers and toes crossed that it all goes unconditional as soon as possible because once it does, things will be happening very quickly. All going well, we will be in our beloved new beach house on October 15th! We're trying not to get too excited for fear of putting a jinx on things but at the same time we have to start acting as though we're moving, otherwise we'll run out of time! So Decluttering Month has come at the perfect time for us. I remember last year's Decluttering Month. We got rid of HEAPS of stuff and when I saw it was coming around again this year I honestly thought we wouldn't have much stuff left to declutter. WRONG! It's amazing how much rubbish you still manage to hang on to 'just in case'. It's only now that we have to physically shift everything to another house that it's making us think differently about how important all this stuff really is to us. This time round, we're being REALLY RUTHLESS.

The boys threw themselves into decluttering their rooms wholeheartedly. In Ali's room we managed to empty a huge chest of ten drawers and condense his entire wardrobe into a tiny closet and small chest of drawers. We filled up a huge sack for the op shop and threw out another sackful that were stained beyond rescue. However no sooner had we reduced Ali's clothes than Liam came barging in holding an armful of HIS clothes. 'Are these any good to you?' he asked Ali. Ali jumped at the chance to get his hands on some of his brother's 'cool clothes', most of which had been hardly worn before Liam grew out of them. I thought this was very sweet of Liam because he had bought almost all those clothes himself and could have made himself quite a bit of money selling them on Trade Me. But as Ali looked around his room, his face became sad. 'I feel bad because I have so many things and other people have nothing', he said. ' And now Liam has hardly any clothes and I get all these for free! It doesn't seem fair'. 'Don't feel bad Ali', said Liam. 'At least we get to help other people by doing this. I'm really enjoying decluttering. It's making me feel really good!' In the end, Ali paid Liam $20 for his clothes to ease his conscience. Not bad for a whole new wardrobe and Liam was even happier!

The four of us spent the whole weekend decluttering. There was a pile for Trade Me, a pile for the op shop and a pile for the dump. It's amazing just how little emotional attachment you have to most possessions when it really matters. I couldn't believe it when Ali finally agreed to get rid of an entire box of Dragonball Z action figures. I had been wanting them out of the house for years! Noel duly took them off to the Church op shop for them to sell at their monthly garage sale. Unfortunately nobody thought to consult Liam and he was mortified when he learned what we had done. 'MUM! Tell me you're joking! Do you know how rare some of those figures are? They could reach $80 EACH on Trade Me - and you GAVE them away?!' Oops!

I know how hard it was for Fiona to admit in this month's newsletter that Matt was right about decluttering and I hate to add to her anguish but I'm afraid I have also discovered he was right too. Less stuff equals less clutter, simple as that. The op shop now has three pairs of new shoes. One pair I wore once, another I haven't worn since we were in Australia over two years ago and the other I can't remember when I wore at all. I am now left with the three pairs of shoes I DO wear, which means I no longer need a shoe rack and once we move we will have a larger wardrobe which means Noel and I can finally be free of the ghastly chest of drawers in our bedroom which Liam 'decorated' with Twink as a toddler. I can now see under the stairs and to the backs of all my cupboards. It's great to know that when the time comes for us to pack, everything in our new home will have a purpose and not be clutter!

We've donated two big dog beds, a kennel and run and a doggy 'igloo' to our local SPCA. Now I just need to find a home for a very large trampoline - and a very small dog. You may remember three years ago we adopted Nushka, a miniature Jack Russell who was due to be put down when her master died. She has been very happy with us but unfortunately the Council has very strict rules about the number of dogs we can keep in town. Heartwrenching as it is, only the boys' two dogs will be coming with us. Nushka is a dream dog to own and so obedient but by doggy standards she is a little old lady. She is 12 years old and has never had a sick day in her life but I can't imagine finding a home for a dog of that age is going to be easy. We thought we had found a lovely home for her yesterday with an elderly chap just up the road. He loved her and would have taken her instantly - unfortunately his wife had other ideas! Still, we have a few weeks yet so here's hoping we can find a new loving home for our wee girl in that time.

Even as I look around me now I can still see plenty more items that really do not need to be coming to the new house with me; mostly harsh reminders of one Sad Sally phase or another. One really can only have so many giant candles and with a beach full of seashells I think I can let go of all the ones in my home. Even my startling collection of oil burners has gone! Most have been donated to the opshop but my favourite few are winging their way to an SS member in Germany! It was a real sign of the times when I sent a perfectly good mini system and a CD rack to the opshop. 'What are you getting rid of that for?' Noel asked in horror. 'The boys will want those!' 'Er, no', I pointed out. 'The only CD's the boys listen to are in the car. If they want to listen to music, they do it on their iPods or with their phones! They've never used this stereo; it just gets moved from room to room. Somebody else will snap it up and give it the use it deserves'. There is just one new thing we'll need to buy with our decluttering money and that's a new bed for Liam. In the eight years since we moved into our house, Liam has gone from six years old to six feet tall. He's not only outgrown all his clothes but his bed too!

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