Wednesday, 24 March 2010


I seriously need to de-clutter my house. I have now filled every available shelf/cupboard/cubby hole and there is simply no more room for anything else. Everyone who knows me will tell you I am the Queen of organising. "A space for everything and everything in its space" has always been my motto. Sometimes it amazes me just how much I have managed to cram into this tiny box I call home.
I read an article the other day that said British people's clutter adds up to an estimated worth of £31 billion. That's just stuff we never use. I know most people would have been shocked to learn this but I wasn't. In fact I did wonder if I might be contributing to at least a couple of billion of those pounds with the stuff that lies unused and untouched in my under-the-stairs cupboard. I lovingly refer to that 8 foot by 3 foot rectangle as "no man's land" ("An area of land that no-one wishes to move into or take control of for fear of being attacked" - in my case by a precariously balanced stack of toilet rolls or a particularly vicious ironing board). There have been times when I've desperately needed something at the back of that dark and frightening place but have taken one look at the obstacle course I would need to negotiate in order to get there and just closed the door with a heavy sigh. I know I need to tackle the problem but I hate chucking things out. I've done it before and almost always regretted it. I do have the occasional ruthless splurge where I feel liberated by throwing things onto the charity/rubbish pile. "If you don't use it or don't like it then chuck it!" is the mantra during those times. But inevitably, a few months down the line I'll find myself cursing under my breath that I gave that certain something away.
My loft is a veritable banquet of guff. There's no other way to describe it. It bulges at the seams. Having to clear it out is a job that fills me with dread not least because I cannot even get into the attic. There is not one single inch of floor space on which to stand. My attic reminds me of one of those puzzles I used to play with as a child. The one where you had to move the squares around to make a picture. I would have to move all the things around the loft hatch (broken lamps, old baby clothes, three legged chairs, an ancient typewriter) just to get up there. It seems like such an overwhelming task, and one I simply could not contemplate doing on my own. There is very little truth in the saying "out of sight, out of mind" when it comes to my loft. I lie awake at night in a cold sweat thinking about the day I'll have to tackle it.
My kitchen cupboards are a plethora of unused appliances that at some point I must have thought I wouldn't be able to function without. A yogurt maker (what a hassle that was!), two juicers (which take around 40 oranges and an hour to clean just to get one tiny glass of juice), a popcorn maker (fun to watch the truckload of puffed up corn spewing out the hole but it tastes like pieces of polystyrene which could in no way compete with M&S butter toffee bites), a George Foreman grill (which I bought during one of my short-lived health kicks and is a real faff to clean), three Thermos flasks (!), a Soda Stream fizzy juice maker...the list is endless. I haven't used any of these appliances for years and yet I cannot bring myself to part with them.
In Feng Shui the main entrance to the house is called the "Mouth of Chi" because it has the strongest influence on how energy flows into your home. "Your home cannot benefit from fresh, vital Chi if the front door is blocked". Mmm. I wonder if Chi has worked out a way to get past two pairs of muddy wellies, three pairs of smelly trainers, a broken brolly, a spade (which has been there since the snow forced me to dig myself out of my parking space every morning) and enough coats and cagoules to start a clothes stall. Since Junior came into my life I don't think I have been able to open the front door all the way. It used to be pushchairs and car seats blocking the way, now it's school bags, football trainers and a Spiderman ball (that somehow I always forget is there until I have fallen over). According to Feng Shui, "opening the front door more widely and frequently is a good way to breathe life into a less-than-exciting romantic life". Oh well, that explains quite a lot then...
Having a small house gets on my nerves beyond description. I hate having to manoeuvre my rather ample bottom around things to get washing into the tumble dryer/step over hamster cages to get in and out the back door/tiptoe through the mine-field that is Junior's bedroom floor in order to put clothes away/crawl over the bed just to get to the wardrobe. But I often wonder if having a bigger house would solve the problem or simply result in me filling every available space with even more clutter! Oh, to have a minimalistic living room. Nothing gathering dust, no obstacles to make my journey from the settee to the kitchen fraught with danger.
Getting rid of clutter feels great. I think I'll go and make a start on no man's land. To quote Captain Oates, "I may be some time"!!


  1. I always feel better once I have had a good throw out. I know it is hassle but car boot a lot of the stuff and make some cash,you would be amazed at what people will buy. If you have not decluttered the loft by the time I get back I will go into the abyss for you :o) xxx

  2. Wow, that's quite a lot of stuff. I love organizing and cleaning. It always feels great to have more space and things put where they belong. I just get in the right mood and before I know it, no clutter!