Full disclosure, be warned the next paragraph may disturb some people…are you ready? I’m a lists person, yes lists. I have them in notebooks, in my phone, on pieces of paper, I make lists for other people, I even have an app that manages lists – now that’s what I call worshipping at the temple of lists. Added to this I’m a books person, in fact I’m a shoes, handbags, stationery, clothes, wallets, candles, scarves, perfume, skincare, art, jewellery, greeting cards, paper clips, yes paper clips and home accessories person. Phew, it’s all out there!
A year ago I decided enough is enough, I want to live a simpler life with only the things I love and want, so I started clearing out, I mean how much does one person need right? I started small, with just one drawer in my bedroom. Now, I don’t know about you, for me I feel a wave of relief when I’ve cleared out, I know what’s in the drawer, I’ve got rid of the stuff I don’t need and nothing is hidden away.
This clearing out continued for a short time and then life took over, so it all came to a stand still. Then at the end of May this year I agreed a sale on my apartment.
Oops, time to kick-start the clearing out again. And here’s what happened, in this order. I thought ‘oh I remember reading an article about clearing out’ followed promptly by me frantically logging onto Amazon and searching for books about clearing out. After a bit (ok maybe an hour or two) of research I found the book that I thought could help me, one-click and it was on its way.
Around the same time I began to notice that when I thought about my upcoming move as one big move, it felt overwhelming. So overwhelming that I would literally do nothing other than ask myself the following questions:
- do I have enough time to do this?
- how many boxes do I need?
- where will I stack all the boxes once I’ve packed them?
- am I willing to pay for storage for all these things I don’t use or need?
- can I donate stuff to friends?
- could the charity shop come and collect?
- could I sell things on eBay?
- oh I love that..do I want to keep it?
- I remember when I bought that, I was in Denver, will I find something like that again?
- should I have a pizza and packing party?
You get the picture (and yes I have noticed that I’ve made a list of my questions, old habits are the best don’t you think?).
Fast forward to today, just three or so weeks before I move. Packing boxes have arrived, all clothes that I don’t love have left the building, books I don’t want anymore have been sold via Amazon and all drawers have been cleared out and only hold things I want in my life, Next on my clearing out hit list comes my office, finally followed by my kitchen cupboards.
How did I get to this point in just five weeks?
It was simple really, I began noticing when I felt like clearing out. It was just a thought to start off with, a simple thought like someone whispering in my ear ‘I fancy clearing out some stuff’. So, when the urge took me to clear out, off I went to one drawer, one side of the wardrobe, one box and just worked my way through that one thing until it was done. One little baby step at a time.
I’ve noticed that I’m on fire when I actually want to do things – when I think I should, need to, have to, I’m more like a book-match that has been lit and burns out quickly. So I’ve begun to accept that what works for me is doing things when I want to and starting with something small.
This all started with me wanting to live a simpler life and that hasn’t changed, every day I take one small step towards that, now I’m off to shred some paperwork in my office…If I’m not back soon don’t worry it could take a while. Oh and by the way, I’ve added the book on clearing out to my pile of unread books that interest me! Nx
This blog is inspired by my friend Fiona who I have known for 28 years. For as long as I can remember she has always told me I have too much stuff. Fi fi I finally hear you and slowly the stuff is leaving the building, my life and my consciousness. You are living your life in a way that inspires the rest of us, you’re out there going places, trying things and changing your life with one little baby step each day. Loving that I am sharing my journey with someone who is so open, loving, giving and a little crazy, just like me.