We started writing this blog over two years ago, to record and encourage our clutter-clearing efforts. We knew it would never be easy, but did we ever imagine we’d still be Drowning in Stuff all this time later? Carrying two bags of outgoing stuff, I recently bumped into a neighbour who remarked “oh, you’re still doing that?” Little did she know how much that still needed doing!
I wouldn’t regard myself as a hoarder, but I’m finding it ridiculously hard to de-clutter my home. I also realise that any minimalist would view me in the same light as people who’ve saved all the Sunday supplements since 1973, just in case that interesting article comes in handy. Why is it so hard to get rid of this stuff? I’m starting to think it’s about letting go…
This little chap used to belong to my daughter. As you can see, he’s quite cute, but he was never a family favourite. I’m currently selling stuff on eBay to raise money to go on a wildlife holiday with my now grown-up daughter, so it seemed apt to add him to my listings. As I took the photos, I discovered this tag:
Suddenly, I felt that bit more attached to the little fella. My daughter had given him a name. How could I possibly give away Zappy Batty? Before he was just a sweet soft toy, now he was practically one of the family! Somehow, I continued the listing and eventually sold Zappy. As I tenderly wrapped & popped him in a jiffy bag, my heart ached a little. My small daughter had named this bat and I was cruelly evicting him from our home.
Give a bat a name and it becomes twice as hard to give away!
This made me realise I have attached emotional importance to so much of the stuff which fills my house… things which my children would chuck in the bin without a second thought, I preserve and cherish. Souvenirs of their childhood.
And it goes way beyond that. I also hang on to stuff which I might refer back to (but don’t) and things that might prove useful (but won’t.) I guess that’s why it’s easier to let someone else clear stuff away- they simply don’t have the same personal attachment to your things.
That’s why I’ve found it so hard over the years. I’ve invested a lot of energy in not getting rid of this stuff, in rearranging it, storing it, trying to manage it… when all I needed to do is step back and look at it from a different perspective. Did I really want to keep Zappy Batty? No, I didn’t even like him that much. What I want is a wildlife holiday with my daughter, creating new memories. I’m now £4.20 closer to that goal, and hopefully a little closer to getting rid of a whole lot more stuff which I really don’t love or need. Here’s hoping.
PS: Talking to my daughter on the phone I told her how sad I’d felt, giving away her childhood friend. She laughed and said she hadn’t even chosen the name for her bat. It had been the toy manufacturer’s choice; there were thousands of Zappy Battys!
Anyone want to buy two bats?