Lost Property


I’ve lost a thing. I looked where it should be, then I looked where it shouldn’t be, then I looked where it should be (again.) It is nowhere to be found.

This is not a rare occurrence. My house is undeniably cluttered. Why else would I be co-author of Drowning in Stuff? I’ve lived here almost thirty years and stuff has gathered around me as surely as iron filings are drawn to a magnet.

Usually I can shrug off this kind of thing. Unless the missing item is a passport & I’m flying the next day, I can live without whatever it is; it’ll resurface when I least expect it. This time was different, since I had just sold the thing on eBay. It was no longer mine, it needed posting… and it was missing. My surefire system apparently wasn’t.

After two days of going round in circles, I had run out of places to look. I had a growing sense of dread that I would soon be disappointing my eBay customer. What does anyone do these days when they’re in a fix? Go to Google!

Which is where I found out about St Anthony, patron saint of lost things, & tried out this plea:

Tony, Tony, look around.
Something’s lost and must be found!

The internet described this address as “informal,” though it struck me as downright irreverent. I gave it a go, but “Tony” hasn’t answered my plea. If I were him, I wouldn’t either.

My lost item remains lost.  Ironic really, since it’s a Japanese purse decorated with a sweet little maneki-neko (a waving cat talisman, thought to bring good luck to the owner.) Instead of bringing me luck, it seems she was waving goodbye…

lucky cat

Turn off the tap!


Today’s post will be short and sweet. The image was to be a bath overflowing, but no free-to-use image to be found. The sink full of pots doesn’t quite make the point, but is an image that resonates in my current chaotic stuffoholic world. The message is simple- to stop the bath overflowing, you need to turn off the tap. Do not get distracted by suggesting you need to pull out the plug too. Focus on solving the problem by stopping the flow of water first, then we can come to how we empty the bath if the drain is blocked. I’m sure you get my point so I won’t labour it. Of the many R’s – Reuse, Recycle etc… today is about REFUSE… just say NO!! and you’ll be a little further forward on that road to unclutterment.

Blue Monday

Grumpy Bear

Welcome to Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year (allegedly.)

Cold weather, lack of money, reduced daylight, failed New Year’s resolutions, winter sniffles, and unwanted pounds after the excesses of Christmas all accumulate to make this the very worst day of the year. But before you climb back into bed…  it isn’t actually true. This “scientifically calculated” phenomenon was invented by Sky Travel in 2005 to drum up more business in the doldrums of the year.

Whatever your financial status, weight, or state of health, there’s absolutely no need to be gloomy just because a now defunct holiday company declared it inevitable. Let’s make a positive effort today to be that bit more cheerful, helpful & positive.

Instead of Blue Monday, let’s Have a Nice Day! 




Why #fakewall .  Why not! a simple response but readers deserve more, expect more. It’s a long story but let me start in the middle and perhaps get to the beginning more swiftly. I had the perfect story for this post on letting go but when I went to look for it, it wasn’t where I thought it should be. After many unproductive attempts to find it , it seemed foolish not to learn the intended post’s lesson and just let it go.

What though then of today’s blank page staring at me.







Can you see a clean sheet rather than blank page an entirely suitable start to a year. Was tempted to leave it at that, if that had been plan A but felt cheating as Plan B.  Nothing came to mind…. I’d hit a brick wall. Voila! Now hitting the wall that was an all too suitable topic for this journey where the loss of potential  blog material is a clear indicator that we are still drowning (in stuff).

Topic selected but the modern blog is about images with words not vice versa so off a googling I went. The picture you see a suitable symbol not just of any wall but of the chic minimalist interior we don’t aspire to but occasionally desire. But there’s the rub,the wall is fake – just wallpaper to create an illusion. So easy to create clutter free space or a brick wall but are either real or imagined. Only you know what is and what it is meant to be. Enough philosophy to start the day. Next week we will return to tangible stuff . Till then let it go.


Good Intentions

Happy New Year

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. I reckon the start of a brand new year should be a time of hope and excitement. Pledging to give up things which I enjoy- or take up things I don’t- seems like a good way of setting myself up for failure. The dreary post-Christmas weeks would be made far worse by the onslaught of guilt at failing to drop bad habits or adopt good ones. With this mindset, I’ve always found it easy not to set myself unrealistic goals at the threshold of each new year.

That said, 2017 evolved into a year of examining my bad habits and searching for better ways of doing stuff. I’ve quite a list of positive changes made since the Stuffoholics started this blog last March and I’d like to build on these in the coming year. No hard and fast Resolutions- nothing I can measurably fail at by early February- but a selection of Good Intentions which I will keep in mind over the year to come…

  1. Despite some early progress, I’m still up to my ears in books. They were one of the earliest indicators that I was Drowning in Stuff and are still pretty much my decluttering nemesis. I’m declaring 2018 a year of Bookcrossing, eBaying & unbridled giving away of books. I can’t imagine I’ll get this under control in just 12 months, but I’ll give it a go.
  2. If ever I feel tempted to buy a magazine this year, I’ll think about the hundred or so still parked under the bed. I really don’t need them. All that stuff is available online. Besides, if I need something to read, I shouldn’t have any trouble finding a book!
  3. Still on the subject of paper… I’ll be sorting out all my boxes stuffed with saved articles, receipts, instruction manuals etc, and implementing a new “do I really need to keep this?” regime.
  4. A quick and (hopefully) easy idea… I plan to bake cakes for all our family birthdays this year. No more supermarket creations, wrapped in cardboard, plastic and cellophane. I can’t remember the last time I made a cake from scratch, so this could prove interesting!
  5. Last summer, Stuffoholics picked up the Litterati app (and consequently 500 pieces of litter.) We’ll definitely be sticking with this good habit in 2018. And with a whole year of litter-picking ahead of us, 1000 should be an easy-peasy target.
  6. We’ll also be organising our next community street clean. The first, back in November, brought together ten neighbours to clear eight bin bags of rubbish from our local streets. After identifying the problem, it felt good to be a part of the solution. The mince pies were good too!

Right, I’m thinking that’s enough Good Intentions for one year. If I carry on, a New Year’s Resolution might creep up on me unawares. Such as pledging to remove 2018 items from my cluttered house in the coming year. No, that would never do.

Happy New Year, everyone!