Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Clear out

On Sunday afternoon I went for a walk on Hampstead Heath. The sun was clear and still warm and the light was beautifully autumnal. Some of the trees had begun to lose their leaves and as I walked I scuffed them out of the way. Looking at my feet I did not see my own 25 year old feet in their Ugg boots, rather my 9 year old feet in their blue start-rite T-barred school shoes, scuffing through the leaves on the way to school.

My 25 year old self still has much in common with that 9 year old school girl. I am still always late, bad tempered when hungry and a terrible horder of possessions. That 9 year old lived in a small bedroom where her father had built her a ‘ships bunk’ in the wall with cupboards underneath and a ladder to reach the bunk. This gap quickly became full of possessions and then the room followed suit.

That 9 year old did eventually learn to keep things relatively tidy but she never perfected the art of de-cluttering. Take for example, the art of shoe purchasing. Most people would buy the shoes, take them out of the box and throw away or recycle the box and the carrier bag. Not me. I keep shoes in their boxes and if the bag is plastic it joins its sisters and brothers in the kitchen, if it is paper it is folded up and allowed to join the vast collection of other paper bags.

When I arrived home on Sunday afternoon having watched the Grand Prix, I realised that I could no longer function in the state I was in. We moved into the house in May yet many possessions were still in their boxes, I had not unpacked any of our pictures, ornaments, photographs or even some of our clothes. I had unpacked as I needed things rather than trying to create a new home.

I unpacked the winter clothes from their suitcase and then packed up all my summer ones. As I sorted through the clothes, despite having sorted them when I moved, I made more piles – clothes which I actually wear, clothes which I know M hates, clothes for washing, clothes that were clean and so on and filled two bags to be taken to the charity shop. I cleaned and dried all my summer shoes and packed them back into their boxes and managed to throw away a large number of boxes and bags. When I put the recycling out last night it appeared that not only had we had a massive party but that we had been on an enormous shopping trip.


Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I am a horder, too. Sigh, must also de-clutter. Must learn to be tidier. I need a support group.

Remy S. said...

OK, you've inspired me!