Decluttering

In 2015-2016 I lost 35 kg (80 lb), and by the time I reached my goal weight in April 2016, my whole wardrobe needed to be different.

In the process of losing weight, I had to go through all my old “skinny clothes” from my storage cupboards. I kept all the things I really liked that fit me again. It was fun going shopping for free!

I gave all the fat clothes away to charity. They might as well be doing someone else some good now, or be used for cleaning rags, rather than crowding my house.

I now have one of those trendy “capsule wardrobes” all the prats rave about. I can just grab a few things and they all go together. Not an overwhelming mishmash of sizes and styles.

Once I’d sorted my wardrobe, my organising bug spread to the rest of the house. I wasn’t an actual hoarder, but we had quite a lot of “cargo”, as Jared Diamond would put it.

Every weekend I’d been going through a bag or two of skinny clothes and giving away a bag or drawer or two of fat clothes. I went on to go through a shelf or two of books, then a shelf or two of things in the laundry, and cupboards in the kitchen.

One of the mistakes I used to make was thinking I’d spring-clean the whole house in one weekend. Never happened.

Tidying is an endless task, and just something to get used to doing a little of every day. Decluttering is just doing about an hour extra every week for a while.

One big thing I learned was communication!

I don’t think spouses realise some things are neither person’s responsibility – I was leaving stuff for Mr Z to tidy, and he was leaving stuff for me, and we were both annoyed about it!

So I just took ownership and found places to put these things away or threw out the crap. He appreciated that. Although there’s a running joke as to if I can remember where the new home for an item is.

We had to communicate and agree on the proper place for certain items (work/gardening gloves, for example).

Often nobody knows where something is “meant” to go, so it gets shunted around and gets lost or one or the other person doesn’t know where to find it.

Bit by bit, we’re getting used to things having their proper place. Always a work in progress though!

My latest realisation was this. I like to have a “no-clutter zone” on the kitchen table where we can leave the shopping bags when we come home and then put the groceries away. The “no-clutter zone” can be used for sorting laundry, wrapping presents, etc. I realised this was MY “no-clutter zone”, but Mr Z’s place to dump his work stuff, and I was getting annoyed about a few things being there a few weeks. I talked to him about it yesterday, and he said those things would only be needed a little longer, then the space would be clear again. Yay, communication! A shared space.

Mr Z has also cleared out a whole heap of his old clothes since I started all this.

I cleared out our “Outside Room of Crap” a few weeks ago, over two weekends. I also painted my bedroom at Easter!

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Oh, crap, don’t tell me I’ll become one of those annoying renovators!

One of my favourite concepts has always been Absolutely Fabulous’s Edina after renovating her kitchen, and her saying, “Surfaces, darling, surfaces!”. I’m feeling a bit fabulous myself.

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