The Joy Of Decluttering

I'd like to tell you how three bears epitomised all that was wrong in my house.
The reason I hated tidying.
The reason I hated clothes, washing, folding putting away.
The reason I would do anything in the world other than housework.
The reason I stopped baking and cooking from scratch.
The reason why many cupboards were no go areas for one false move could bring on an avalanche of crap.
These three bears Clingy Bear, Stolen Bear and Woffett had been with me pretty much all my life.
I loved these bears with all my heart when I was growing up.
They slept with me, ate with me, dried my tears and did all that a child's bear should.
Every time I saw these bears in present day though I felt nothing.
Nothing other than a slight sentimental tug of my heart strings and wondering where I could stuff them now as I only ever came across them when I 'decluttered' (they were always hidden away quite frankly due to being a bit minging).
Matted fur, half an eye missing, a wobbly head etc stuff of nightmares really.
Then I read

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever

and it truly opened my eyes.
I was holding onto so much clutter from the past that I had no room for my present life.
I would tell you the reason my house was untidy was because I didn't have enough room, not enough storage etc etc
What I wouldn't tell you or even admit to myself for a long time before reading this book was that we just had too much stuff.
My mum once tried to tell me this but I shut her down, went on the defensive.
"What is it I have too much of" I cried, "we NEED all this stuff"
I'll tell you exactly what I had too much of.
Too many clothes, too many toys, too many books, kitchen stuff etc etc etc.
In fact I had 3 full van loads that went to the tip.
4 full van loads to the charity shop and a pantry full of stuff to sell.

 I had pots dotted around the house filled with 'stuff we might need' like battery's that could be dead or live, hair clips, rubber bands, bits of lego etc.
Actually the title of these pots should have been Shit I Can't Be Arsed To Put Away Properly.

I had bags and bags filled with random old cards, keepsakes, ticket stubs.
Craft stuff, school stuff, work stuff.
PAPERS! Papers everywhere bank statements, wage slips, old insurance docs, bills.
Under each bed was a special kind of hell where things go to never be seen again.
Bed linen, good god you would have thought I had a 10 bedroom mansion given the mountain of duvet sets sheets etc I was holding on to.


Oh my. My days had become an endless stream of washing, hanging, folding, not putting away.
Yes, not putting away.
I would spend ages folding or hanging the clothes so they wouldn't crease (I dont iron) then I'd either leave them in the washing basket for days or guarantee creases by stuffing them into too full drawers or wardrobes.
I figured having lots of clothes was key to everyone always having something clean to wear but obviously the key to everyone having clean clothes to wear is to wash more often.
Since I cut our wardrobes down by at least three quarters I have to wash regularly and frequently because there isn't a huge pile of excess clothes to wear instead.
Therefore I never have more than a small load to deal with every day.

I was holding onto clothes that might fit if I'm thin, might fit if I'm fat, that I'd spent lots of money on, that I'd once loved, that still had wear in them.
Yet most of these clothes never got worn.
I had a beautiful dress that I'd spent a fair bit of money on.
I wore it for the occasion I bought it for five years ago but not since.
Every time an occasion came about that it would be suitable for I didn't wear it.
So why on earth was I keeping it?
It was a lovely dress, it cost lots, it had only been worn once, what a waste to get rid of it, I might one day wish I still had that dress, my daughters might want it, my sister might want it.
Kon Mari taught me that's its OK to discard something just because you've done with it.
Its served its purpose.
It brought me joy on the occasion I wore it.
It did its job.
And even if instead of selling it because its a big hasssel and I won't get back anything close to its worth, I donate it to the charity shop that's ok .
Much better someone else gets some joy from it than it being crammed into a wardrobe for years on end.
I asked this simple question of everything in my house.
Does it bring me joy?
If the answer was no it went.
Obviously you may wonder how objects such as pens or hairbrushes can bring you joy.
Well that's a very base joy, does it do the job it should, do I still want it to do the job it does, do I need it?
If the answer is yes, it brings you joy, after all a pen that's run out of ink is no joy for anyone.
This has been but a small introduction into my journey of decluttering, I will be doing posts on each aspect of decluttering, starting with a full clothing breakdown.
I can honestly say that decluttering the Kon Mari way has absolutely changed my life and it can yours too.
I did mine in a frenzied week, I was so fired up I barely slept, desperate to crack  on as I saw each area of the house filling with light and space.
The house now is beyond my expectations, it almost runs itself.
I shall be posting on Facebook and Instagram too so feel free to follow on there.
Reason to be joyful.
My clutter free home.