Tuesday 15 August 2017

Reclaiming our house - the big summer clear out!

Hubs and I have been together for over 13 years, married for almost seven, with a four year old about to go to school. Add to that the fact we like collecting things, used to own over 700 DVD's (still have many of them, just without the boxes) and I'm sentimental thing who finds it hard to throw things away, and we have accumulated A LOT of stuff.

When we overhauled our lounge last year, we had a skip for all the rubble and the old fireplace, so we took the opportunity to get rid of quite a few things while we were at it. I don't know how it happens, but you do just seem to gather so many things over the years. Like it quietly multiplies at night, while you are sleeping.

Even with paperless bills for the most part, we seem to have paperwork coming out of our ears and with the weather being like it is, the summer / winter clothes rotation doesn't always work so we have a spare room full of laundry to be sorted and spare bedding for when the weather gets cooler or warmer again. There's even a floor fan in there, just in case it may be needed again this year (if we're lucky!).

There's been some missed rubbish collections in Birmingham so I recently became acquainted with our local refuse and recycling centre and when I saw how close it was and how easy it is to get rid of unwanted items, I wanted to roll up my sleeves and sort out our house once and for all.

We've tackled some big jobs but there were pockets of 'stuff' that needed sorting so I've been going room by room to look through it all. The choices were: keep out, keep but in the loft, donate or throw away. We only have so much space and we have enjoyed opening up the space we have of late with some organising here and re-configuring there. I wanted to make sure all areas of our house have a less cluttered feel and we have made a real difference.

We even tackled the loft - the place where everything eventually goes to live! We've been putting things into it for almost 11 years so I decided the time had come to take stock and either keep, donate or throw away whatever we would find. We reduced the loft contents by at least a third and I visited the dump with three car loads of broken technology, old clothes (to be donated) and nic naks from the past decade.

Having a big clear out like this makes you feel three things; nostalgic, as everything reminds you of a certain time in your life, guilty, because you just gather so many things and it seems so wasteful when you don't need them anymore, and relief, because when you have sorted through everything, you know what you have and have gained some control back.

There's one room left and we have a sofa bed and laundry hamper at least to take away, but that can wait until next weekend as I'm pretty tired from all the tidying...!

We do like our things and will never lead a minimalist lifestyle, but I feel so much better knowing that we have regained some order and reclaimed our house a little. Now, to keep it that way!


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