It’s half term and I came up with a cunning plan.
I told the boys in advance before the holiday even began, “we are going to have a sort out! If anyone wants to buy this house we really have to clear out some of the clutter. I am not taking it with us to a new home.”
Youngest son has done quite well, admittedly he hasn’t thrown much away as yet but he has managed to sort out some of his Lego shelves, find a few missing pieces along the way and I have managed to wipe away a very thick layer of dust – yuck!
Oldest son has a large cupboard full of stuff I want him to go through – I must nag him tomorrow because he’s not even made a start yet. His half term has so far comprised of revision, going to the gym, watching tennis and writing his blog.
Meanwhile I’ve begun but not got very far, I’ve set myself quite a challenge as I have lots of rooms to go through however as I have started in the guest room where the laptop usually lives I have been distracted all too often by the lure of Twitter!!!
However I have made the momentous decision to finally chuck out ALL of my card making paraphernalia. I am going to pass some onto a friend who’s just taken it up as a hobby.
((Never ever tell anyone you have started a new hobby or a collection you will always get inundated with stuff. It’s why I have accumulated so much in the first place!))
But I am only passing on the very best and most useful stuff; it’s not fair to give her the crap as well!
It has been surprisingly liberating to throw out and let go of scraps of paper and card I will never use! The more I threw away the easier it became; I have gathered momentum and become completely ruthless!
In a lot of ways it is easy, I have no emotional attachment to the pretty scraps torn from magazines and packaging but I need to move on next to cards I have received and kept and that could be trickier.
You see I still have every single wedding acceptance card, every wedding and engagement card, all my 40th birthday cards and probably the largest pile of all – about a hundred condolence cards.
To be honest they don’t take up a huge amount of space, perhaps I could keep them all, but why? Do I really NEED them ALL?
It was my dad who has been the most helpful, “Just keep a few, the special ones.” He said to me the other night on the phone.
And I know that’s the right answer and they were the words I needed to hear. I’ve heard them before but coming from my dad, just at that moment was particularly timely.
I just can’t keep everything and I’m realising more and more that part of grieving is letting go and moving on and if I don’t let go I can’t move forward and I have felt stuck for far too long.
I want to sell the house but I need to prepare for the day I get a phone call that sets that chain of events in motion. I hate waiting for things to happen so much but I think it’s finally hit me there are lots of things I can do to get ready. Sitting around moping is no longer an option!
So we are making progress with the boys’ stuff, my things and some shared possessions but then we move on to the most challenging items of all – what do I do with Andrew’s belongings? The things he cherished and horded and collected.
Some items I disposed of quickly but others have been lingering as I decide my best course of action. In the back of your mind you always wonder at an objects worth, if I throw this out will I regret it in a few years’ time when I discover it is valuable!
Finally I got hold of someone to come and look at Andrew’s record collection (I made a bit of a mess trying to dispose of them before) his opinion is that most of them are worthless on the open market. Most are too scratched and the picture sleeves are missing, like a lot of DJs Andrew filed them away in plain cases and stuck number stickers on them to keep them filed away neatly and that devalues them.
Out of six boxes he only took a handful of vinyl away to try and sell on eBay. I might make £30 from the transaction if I am lucky.
It’s not about the money, that’s irrelevant in this instance, but I need the space in my life and I can’t hold onto these things any longer. With some regret and a deep breath I think I need to take a trip to the tip.
It’s a bold step but I need to de-clutter, get rid of objects and emotions to move on and after three and a half year I am just about ready to do that.
I know there will be comments; youngest son has started already this morning saying I shouldn’t.
I just burst into tears but I can’t hold onto all these things any longer, they weigh my down and I want to be free.
So please DON’T judge me, DON’T tell me I am foolish and NEVER tell me I am throwing away something valuable. Once these things were pure treasure but only I know their true worth now.
Of course some I will keep, “just the special ones,” as my dad would say and feeling less burdened I am more ready to begin a new adventure…