The decorations are in the loft.

Go! Me!

Due to issues around lighting, loftwards, I hung a string of battery lights around my neck and went up that ladder, like the most disturbing ghost of Christmas past I have ever seen.

There was going to be a selfie. Then I caught sight of myself.

Happy 2016. Again. Go get ’em, Tiger. Just don’t bother with the selfie.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m living in chaos

My mind may be a cesspit but my filing is immaculate. If, perhaps, too extensive.

image1 (2)I give you, The Manuals File. Also the place where a the vacuum band was kept it seems.

Note that, in posting this picture, I have not cropped it to remove the dust. Lets imagine this as a way of twelve stepping. There is a problem. The dust isn’t it. But it does exist.

The Manuals File has been used but as part of my clear out, thought I’d leaf through it. I probably have some out of date info in there.

Maybe a couple of leaflets for appliances I no longer have… right?

image1Possibly. Perhaps. Could happen to the best of us. Well yes. It could and to some of us, it could be that we have over 7cms of paper.

I didn’t put it on the scales because I wondered about my “At large in the community” status.

Is weighing paper putting my sanity in the balance? My aim each day is to appear “Normal and Clean” not as a would be paper weigher.

Not to make a big song and dance about it but there were manuals in there for appliances I haven’t owned for years and in some cases didn’t even remember having owned.

image2 (1) - CopyNeed a manual for a 21 year old TV? By far the best picture I’ve ever seen but where is the TV now? I have absolutely no idea. I haven’t owned a TV for at least 7 years.

So that was one for recycling.

Need to know how to put up a light shade? image1 (1)

Step right up I may have just the thing to help you with that. It’s the assembly instructions for just that situation.

Recycle that one.

That pesky Billy bookcase causing you sleepless nights? Look no further. Sanyo “music centre”… yup got one here. Panasonic mini cd tower (how I loved it) went to the tip 6 years ago but the paperwork and receipt stayed behind. My one year old washing machine and the who knows how old one before it were both Zanussi weren’t they. So who had a Hotpoint? Enquiring minds, at large in the community, want to know.

On second thoughts, don’t tell me. I’ve got two Pure radio booklets to recycle. One of the radios died last year but belt and braces. Double knot. Safe than sorry and all those other things designed to stop me having a moment of spontaneity and keep me colouring between the lines.

Holy cow all this stuff is getting me down

It all started a week or two ago when I was idly chatting to someone in a charity shop about decluttering. An article in The Guardian was mentioned. A TedTalks. Someone on YouTube.

Now. When you are emotionally sinking, under the weight of too much stuff you could

A) reach for the trash bags and start filling them

B) ignore it all like you’ve tried to for years but if you keep doing what you always did then you keep getting what you always got… or something along those lines

OR

C) spend several happy days YouTubing your way through other people decluttering and marveling at the amount of stuff other people have and you dont and then not be able to walk easily down your hallway because of the boxes of x, y and z … and the bike.

I think you can already tell that I went for option C. There was way too much information there for it to be A or B.

I read the article http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/may/01/do-something-decluttering

I watched the TedTalks http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness

And the YouTubes… too many to mention but the name Marie Kondo kept turning up. Now, Ms. Kondo has a book about decluttering for happiness. I didn’t buy the book because of issues around clutter (would you believe it) and particularly book clutter. I did look to see if it was in my local libraries but it wasn’t and I abandoned a rather lame legged hunt for it there. But (and their was bound to be one) I gathered, after hours and hours of YouTubing, that part of her idea was a gut reaction. Does the item bring you joy?

Joy. Hmmm. I wouldn’t say joy is a regular visitor at my house. I’m right up there on loneliness. I can do a great disappointment. A make-do? I’m all over it like a rash. But joy. Not so much.

However, I decided to give it a quick ten minute go on my wardrobe. I have too many clothes but rarely the right thing to wear. I spend most of my life in up to five layers of dog walking clothes. I understand that Hugh Hefner spends most of his time in pyjamas. Had I the money, I would spend all of my time in a dressing gown and rarely leave my house. So, to get back to the wardrobe.

GetAttachment (2)I got everything that wasn’t a jacket or coat and dumped it on the bed. It made for a depressing sight. But I’d given myself ten minutes and if there is one thing about me… I do not miss a deadline.

Wow! It was a breeze. Within ten minutes I had handled every item and thrown it onto “Keep” or “Donate”.

I had a very odd reaction to two things. One a perfect pair of black trousers that fit like a dream, don’t seem to crease and the other a hoodie. The moment I touched their hangers, my arm went weak and I felt sick in my stomach. I retested them and sure enough, the same thing happened. They went straight to “Donate”.

GetAttachment (4)One item that is too young for me went back into the wardrobe because i just like the colours & two tops have been set aside for a friend who they may fit. She has shoulders. I don’t.

This, once favourite, pair of jeans were saved because I can re-use the denim. And who remembers the Gap Khaki a go go advert? Well, I still have mine. I bought them in NYC.

They were a complete snip. I loved them then & I love GetAttachment (1)them now. I don’t wear them. But if there is any joy to be had, owning those go-gos is about as near as I’ve gotten in years.

17th May 2015