Back in June, I talked a bit about my general approach to domestic goddess-ery, which is somewhat lacking. One of the main problems here is stuff. Have you noticed that stuff exists in it’s very own place in the space-time continuum, whereby it has the ability to expand without being subject to any of the normal laws of physics?
This often manifests itself during the house move process, where you have a big clear out, pack everything up into boxes, and when you reach your new, bigger house, the stuff fills all the available space and you end up having to go into the loft.
I have to say, my children are some of the biggest perpetrators of stuff accumulation. Once the little cherubs start at nursery, they bring home thousands of pieces of paper (generously described by the educational institute as “artwork”) daubed in paint or (worse) glitter (shudder). School heralds unprecedented levels of artwork, and worse still, ushers in the dawn of the sculpture (harder to store, the disposal of which is more easily spotted).
I’m not entirely blaming the girls of course (although the toys, did I mention the toys? And the hairclips?) – over the years the two of us have managed a lot of stuff (clothes, books, CDs, paperwork). I read a book last year about de-cluttering which made sense. I find it quite hard to part with things for various reasons (tenuous sentimental value, guilt about being wasteful, laziness in terms of actually taking the stuff to the charity shop/dump etc). However, the book pointed out that there comes a point where your stuff doesn’t give you joy, it just makes you feel stressed.
I had a couple of months off work this year between jobs, and I did quite a lot of clearing out. However, I didn’t make the inroads I’d hoped to, so my September habit is to spend 15 mins a day doing something towards making the house a nice place to live. This could be anything from blitzing the pile on the kitchen table to ripping some CDs so they can be packed away to advertising some old baby items on freecycle.
Hopefully spending the best part of two hours a week on this will help me keep on top of the daily stuff (like putting things away as I go along) but also allow some incremental improvements to the general stuff levels.