Today is National Declutter Day. You probably weren't aware of that but that's because it only applies in Ireland and has only been going for a year since someone, trying to sell something, made it up in 2012.
There is something so seductive about the idea of decluttering and then living a clean, wholesome life in Amish like surroundings. In realisty I am in danger of being swamped by a tide of unwashed clothes, old bits of newspaper (even though no-one buys newspapers anymore ), dirty coffee cups, camera leads, knitting needles, receipts and leaflets from the organic vegetable delivery service and that's only on the sofa. (I'm exaggerating, there are no dirty clothes on the sofa only one jumper.)
I usually begin to declutter by arsing about on the internet reading blogs and helpful tips about how to go about it. Several hours later when it is too late to start anything I might move a couple of books around or empty the ironing basket onto the bed and then promptly cram it all back in again before going to make a cup of tea and/or read more blogs about changing your life.
But...but it is National Declutter Day and it's also September which is my mind is still the start of the year with all its promise of a fresh start and the prospect of knuckling down and making something of one's self and not ending up in the Waveney Laundry which, according to my father, was what happened to girls who didn't work at school.
I have also decided to keep a list with the aim of getting rid of a significant amount of crap. I will keep a note of everything I dispose of and what I've done with it and why I have got rid of it. I do like the idea of recording stuff like this. If I go about it the right way I might even be eligible for an Arts Council grant.
I have started already. This week I have disposed of 23 items. (Obviously I'm not including everyday rubbish in this - I'm not completely obsessive!).
The most difficult thing I did was open the suitcase which has been sitting on top of the wardrobe for around 4 years. I kind of suspected it wasn't going to be pretty and it wasn't. About half the things in it were completely ravaged by moths. A 1940s jacket which belonged to my late friend Jo completely destroyed, a Margaret Howell skirt now with a new lacy hem, Ercol seat cushions which I hadn't quite got round to selling, in tatters. It was depressing. Some of the contents were fine other than the fact that were covered in webbing and dead moths - a tartan shirt that I took from my father's wardrobe, Levi 501s which had stopped fitting (but now do), a pair of linen trousers I'd forgotten all about. The moth damaged items all went straight into the bin.
I spent about an hour cleaning the suitcase and vacuuming it to ensure that there were no moth eggs lurking in it. I put it on Freecycle and it was picked up the next day.
Last Saturday, full of the cold and feeling sorry for myself, I mooched about all day and did nothing constructive other than bag up my sweetie jar full of change. It came to almost £200 which was slightly surprising. Most of the coppers I gave to a charity shop during the week. (I'm counting them as one item - it would feel like cheating if I counted each coin as a single item).
Today I sorted out my sock drawer and threw away tights and odd socks. I seem to have about a dozen pairs of coloured tights - all variations of blue and red. As I too old to wear coloured tights and even if I'm not, are they in fashion? (Obviously Evie is not concerned about things like this.) Whatever, they are still in the drawer.
I also listed a number of garments on eBay.
I think I will do a weekly update. Watch this - soon to be emptier - space.