A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Decluttering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decluttering. Show all posts

Monday, 4 April 2016

The one where a daughter finally sorts out her bedroom...

Daughter, Bedroom, Sorting out, DeclutteringAs regular readers will know, I'm always decluttering our home in the hope that some day we'll move to a house overlooking the sea and take only the things that are useful and/ or beautiful with us. In the meantime, living in a house that's slowly achieving minimalist status is a bonus. And while I'm pretty good at offloading anything that is surplus to requirements or takes up too much space - my daughters are possibly the polar opposite.

I have raised the subject of sorting out the contents of bedrooms many times; only to receive one of those withering looks from my offspring that roughly translates into...

'I hear you loud and clear - but didn't like what you said - so I'm going to ignore you.'

I was therefore surprised by the unfurling chaos in Sophia's room on Saturday evening and realising that she was actually going through her belongings came as a complete shock. Her collection of illustration books, art paraphernalia, coursework plus assorted tat she's accumulated while at uni has no space to go in a few week's time when she arrives home for good. This may have inspired her call to action. She's also off to the US for the summer and possibly leaving again just as soon as summer camp is over to teach abroad after that.

Sophia worked diligently in her bedroom for several hours. Methodically sifting through the contents of wardrobes, drawers and cupboards. I was astounded by the heap of belongings amassed on the landing and sad that so many treasured possessions from childhood hadn't made the transition into her adult life.

Gone are the cute kitten playing cards bought in Greece, the once treasured hair accessories and the Rubik's cube she never quite mastered. The prom tiara, secret diary and an assortment of gifts from friends and family that she neither wanted or used. My youngest daughter has grown up and there is no room in her life for any of the above. Instead, there is more emphasis on wanderlust than a room filled with stuff. 

Yesterday we made the long journey to deliver our youngest to university for the very last time. As we hugged before making the long drive home without her, I felt a familiar pang of something that's hard to define. I get to repeat the experience with my eldest twin daughter next week and know that I'll feel out of kilter in the coming days with only the cat and Mr A for company.

This morning as I bagged donations for the charity shop, I've gone from feeling sad to ever so slightly philosophical as I think about what's next for my twin girls and wonder where life will take them.

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Monday, 2 September 2013

The Cleaning Fairy Has Left the Building

If you think about it cleaning is a pointless task. Blink, and you've missed the scent of newly-polished gorgeousness, as someone's mucked it up and the house looks as though it's never seen a duster.

Here, it isn't the cleaning that takes the time - it's the non-stop return of scattered belongings to owners bedrooms. This, I've decided is a game I could play all day - if only I had the time and energy.

We used to tidy up once a week when we had a cleaner. I'd have hated her to think that we lived in a hovel and so, the night before she came - we'd spend a frantic half hour running all over the house and flinging stuff back where it came from. Sadly, the cleaner left a couple of weeks ago and since then, no one has done their frantic half hour fling.

The girls think it's hilarious when I ask them to tidy up. I have to admit to feeling as though I'm the mother of the three little pigs in the fairy tale (although obviously, there are only two of them) and that my daughters seriously need to move on. Which incidentally, they will be in just three weeks time. And I will be squinting to see just how their rooms look via Skype in their new accommodation at uni.

Essentially, we have too many belongings and I'm trying my hardest to rectify that. I'm always taking stuff to the local charity shops, but the trouble is - it's only me that does it. Everyone else is fixated on keeping every single thing they've ever owned! Just today I've spied a pair of pyjamas in Olivia's room that are age twelve - she's nineteen in two weeks time.

In fact, I've flung so much stuff through Sophia's bedroom door recently, that the carpet is now invisible. And, we can only walk upstairs on the right-hand side as the left is cluttered with abandoned coats, bags and sports kit.

All of the additional supplies for university currently entering the house is only adding to the chaos. Just today one of my daughters has been whinging that she has nowhere to put anything. It was ever so tempting to reply with something sarcastic.

We have given our daughters an ultimatum - either they tidy and declutter their rooms before they leave - OR WE WILL DO IT FOR THEM.

I find myself constantly questioning just how much stuff one family actually needs?! If it were up to me - I really don't think we need that much. I'm fairly strict about decluttering with my own belongings. If I buy something new, then I make sure that it's fabulous and ensure that an equivalent something gets donated or recycled. Or, if the cupboards are overflowing, I'll donate two things.

Mr A and myself would love to move house, so what better incentive is there? I might start off filled with enthusiasm, but when each and every member of the family seems hell-bent on causing more chaos - first I get stroppy, then I wonder why I bother and lastly, give up and let chaos reign once more.

Friends think that my house is super organised. They are so wrong. Should you ever pop round to mine for coffee, please don't open anything - I promise you'll be deluged by falling stuff escaping from the confines of whatever hidey-hole I've flung it into.

There are pangs of genuine envy when I see a house on Grand Designs, Restoration Home etc. Do people actually live there at all? Or, do the owners actually own nothing but tasteful furnishings, flowers, and walk only on their hands?

Even when I've made the effort to tidy up - it narks that the house stays that way for all of ten minutes. Seriously, what's the point? Questioning anyone about the whereabouts of something that's buried amongst the chaos, provokes one of the three following responses:

"I haven't seen it."

"I don't have it." Or,

"How would I know?"

 I've taken to hiding essential supplies after failing to track down a pencil sharpener the other day.

I used to work three days/ week and it was always a complete mystery how life unravelled as the days progressed. On day one - I'd open the post, recycle the junk mail, put shoes and coats away and take a few loads of stuff up and down the stairs.

On day two - I might pop the post unopened in the letter rack, put away a couple of pairs of shoes, fling the coats on the stairs and take a couple of things upstairs and leave them on the landing.

By day three I'd be completely exhausted - would make dinner and collapse in a heap on the sofa with a bottle of wine. I don't know why, but clutter is invisible after wine. And that is exactly why I'd wake to such a complete and utter mess the following morning. For some bizarre reason, it'd take me the next four days to piece everything back together and then it would be time to go back to work.

Since starting to work from home in January - it's been grim. The clutter is always there to tiptoe over and it irritates the hell out of me. I used to be quite organised, but then I had children. I'm going to admit defeat for the next three and a half weeks and then I'm going to get busy with the bin bags.

Of course, I could always just drink more wine...

Until after my daughters have left. After that, I guess I'm going to miss them and their mess more than I could possibly imagine...

Copyright ©2013 Izzie Anderton
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