Hooray, I do believe I am getting to the end of my decluttering mission! Well maybe not the end, but I've definitely broken the back of it. Sunday was yukky and wet so I bit the bullet and decided to tackle the top of our wardrobe, the kitchen cupboard and *gulp* under the stairs. Isn't it amazing how we humans have a habit of hanging on to cartloads of stuff, 'just in case it comes in handy'? I couldn't believe the junk I found under the stairs! With a ruthless joy I transformed the area from being unable to see or reach anything to having enough space to have a party under there. All the while I was doing this, Noel was outside decluttering his tool shed and the boys were working together as a team, listing their stuff on Trade Me. By the time we had finished, we had a ute and trailer overflowing with rubbish to take to the dump. We also had a car load of stuff to take to the op shop and two more bags of clothes and shoes for Dress for Success. A productive day indeed!
Unfortunately in my haste to accomplish my mission I forgot to write everything down as I decluttered it but it would definitely have been in the hundreds. I can't believe how much easier it is to keep our house looking clean and tidy now! Under the stairs proved to contain some real finds. In my case, it was two brand new carpet offcuts, left over from when we recarpeted the house three years ago - or was it four? I was delighted to come across these as they enabled me to cross a rather expensive wish off my wishlist. For months now I have wanted a large rug for our office. It's the first room most people walk into and has polished wooden floors, which would be very nice if we didn't have dogs. I thought wooden floors would be easier to maintain than carpet. Wrong! They show every hair, every speck of dust and every pawprint, of which there are a constant trail. I thought a nice, big rug would help combat the problem and make things look a bit more presentable but almost fainted at the price of them, at an easy $200 and upwards. I didn't want one THAT badly! On unearthing the carpet offcuts I realised I finally had the problem solved for a fraction of the price! I gleefully unrolled it to find a perfect rectangle, bigger than a pool table. Rolled up inside that was another, smaller rectangle - a perfect size to place inside the door and cover up Ali's pomegranate juice stain! All I need to do is take them to a local firm to get them bound for a minimal cost!
Ali also became the proud owner of some new furnishings for his room. Under the stairs we stumbled upon a very large, mounted stag's head, which Noel proudly shot quite a few years ago now. Not being one to relish having dead animals staring at me from across the room, over the years I subtly managed to relegate Mr Stag, along with several other stuffed, feathered counterparts from pride of place in the lounge to under the stairs - and in desperation, the top of the wardrobe! I pulled them out again at the weekend and suggested that, as we hadn't had them on the wall for soooo long, we should take them to the dump. 'You're robbing me of my youth!' protested Noel, having been the hunter of most of them as a young whippersnapper. Fortunately for him, Ali saved the day. 'Woah! Can I have those for my room?' he asked excitedly. We came to a compromise and disposed of one duck and a pheasant and Master Ali now has the stag's head looking very regal in his room, accompanied by two 'flying' ducks. I hate to admit it, but they actually look really good! Much better than on my lounge wall...
There's still a bit more to do in the decluttering department. We've got one more shed to sort out, which contains everything from 50 rugby balls to as many dog bowls, a doggy 'igloo' and an old bicycle. And in truth, I know I could go through the whole house again and still get rid of a load more. Plus I STILL have to advertise the trampoline and the exercise bike on the Post Office notice board! I am really, really grateful for Decluttering Month. I have got beyond the 'oh my Gaad I can't believe how much money I've wasted' stage to the 'Woohoo! No more mistakes for me!' stage, not to mention the 'Yippee, the house looks SO much better now!' stage. Best of all, I know for sure that I will NEVER allow myself to fill our house with so much stuff ever again. We've just proved how much we don't need and how much extra work having so much clutter makes. I think we can safely say the message has sunk in!
As soon as it stops raining, I'm heading outside to declutter my pot plants too! I love pots and have them all over the place in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. Unfortunately I am absolutely hopeless at maintaining them. As I sit here, I can see the occupants of at least half of them have died and they are growing nothing but a nice crop of grass or weeds. It's taken me years of going to the garden centre several times a year to buy new plants, only for the same to happen again but I have FINALLY realised. Penny, you are rubbish with pots. Free yourself of the weeds and clutter and give them away to someone who will appreciate and care for them instead. Ahh, feels so liberating!
Aside from my wayward pots, the garden is looking absolutely glorious at the moment. A few years ago we bought some tiny, baby climbing roses for $4.00 each. We planted them all along the fenceline and now they look an absolute picture. In fact, all our budget, baby plants have now grown and established themselves nicely. The wildflowers we scattered a couple of years back have self seeded everywhere and pop up all over the place in dazzling displays of bright orange poppies and stunning blue cornflowers. The orchard is full of baby fruit, promising a wonderful harvest in the months to come. There are cherries ripening, the strawberries are not far off and Ali's raspberry bush is sporting a bumper crop. We really do live in a land of plenty! I admit to feeling extremely fortunate and content with my lot at the moment. The only problem is, like her master, Minnie the spaniel thinks that raspberries are just the best thing since sliced bread and can often be found sitting under the bush, daintily nibbling off the berries before we can get to them!