If you throw away half your stuff, you’ll end up with twice as much left as you think

Cluttered shed

Cluttered shed (Photo credit: UnnarYmir)

Both myself and my wife are inveterate hoarders. Neither of us can throw away anything. This is not a good combination, because what happens is that you fill up your house and then you start to look for elaborate storage solutions to deal with all the clutter. You think you’re being organised, but all you’re doing is turning your house into a Tardis. Somehow, you squeeze in twice as much stuff into your house as really ought to fit.

Of course this persists until some kind of traumatic event. For many people, it’s a house move. Moving house is one of the most unpleasant experiences I think I’ve ever had, but if there is a good side, it’s that it forces you to reassess your belongings because one way or another, they either have to make the transition to your new abode, or they need to be discarded. I’ve had my fair share of house moves when we were growing up, and when we moved into our current home, I vowed that we would never move again.

So for us, the traumatic event this time was not a house move, but a flood. If the entire ground floor of your house floods, somehow, you need to get rid of everything damaged by the flood – including the carpets. Discarding the carpets invariably means disturbing everything that lies on top of them. It’s like a house move without the transition but with all the trauma.

Cluttered shed

Cluttered shed (Photo credit: UnnarYmir)

We have been busy. My Volvo holds a hell of a lot of stuff, and we have filled it again and again. Car boot sales, the local recycling centre, the charity shop and the storage place. You name it – we’ve tried it. And yet, by observation, you would never guess. The house still looks cluttered. I’m starting to wonder if every time we leave the house with a car full of stuff whether burglars are breaking in and leaving more.

This morning, I looked at my bookshelves in my games room and made a quick calculation – I’ll need 4 large archive boxes to store all that stuff. No – hold on a minute, better make it 6 to be safe, or should it be 8? Sod it – I’ll get 10 large archive boxes. After a whole day of back-breaking labour, I came to the crushing conclusion that I was going to need another 10.

Maisie was helping. She took to throwing stuff into the boxes with gusto. Thankfully, there wasn’t too much damage. If you are going to ask for help with such a gargantuan task – my recommendation is not to ask a 3-year-old. They will enjoy the experience, but you probably won’t.

That’s it – I’m not buying any more stuff ever. But I did get an email today with a link to something tempting…

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One comment on “If you throw away half your stuff, you’ll end up with twice as much left as you think

  1. Great post. I’ve been going through some storage boxes for a couple weeks or so now. Most have been packed for 8-9 years. I actually came across rice, pancake syrup, flour, spices, etc. I don’t know what in the world I was thinking when I packed. — I’ve moved 26 times in my life, spend a lot of time living out of boxes. I’m actively working on dealing with it all now. Maybe some of us are born with these challenges. LOL! — Best of luck to you! 🙂

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