Thursday, December 31, 2009

Clutter and Hoarding are the Devil's Work


At the moment I am at the beach and but the second I get home I am going to have a serious declutter. I've bought so many clothes and shoes lately and that means that stuff has got to go from the FF wardrobe to make room for this new clobber. I either sell the designer stuff I don't want to colleagues or give things to the Salvation Army. I have a depot near my house where you can drive right up to the dock and offload stuff which is handy.

When my home is cluttered and there's stuff everywhere that I don't use or like, it makes me feel anxious and I absolutely hate being reminded of Bad Decisions I have made. I want physical Reminders of Bad Decisions Banished!

I ask myself 3 questions when it comes to deciding whether to keep things:

1. Do I love it?
2. Does it flatter me?
3. Is this the image I want to project?

A reader asked me if I ever had decluttering/culling remorse and the answer is yes but out of the say 50 outfits I culled last September I only went looking for 1 to wear. It happened about a month ago. I did have some regret. It was a beautiful green dress with a flippy skirt arrangement but the truth of the matter is I had not worn it for over 3 years and it just wasn't worthy of what I call "the Archives". So the regret soon faded. Plus it was a little tight and frankly, I do not not want to be reminded of a thinner svelter me. I'm honestly not going to be that size again so that's one of the reasons the dress went.

I generally am a pretty tidy person but even I find that things are piling up and getting out of hand. Next week I want to:

*clean out the fridge freezer and pantry
*go through the my second kitchen drawer that has become messy and filled with miscellaneous clutter
*go through my concertina file where I keep receipts and stuff
*contact the girls in my magazine club and get rid of my magazines
*dismantle my Christmas tree and store all of my decorations
*have a sort through my linen cupboard and give anything unattractive to the Salvos
*sort through my makeup
*cull the contents of my china cabinet
*get rid of clothes and shoes that I haven't worn in ages
*I'm a prolific reader and I'm going to donate read novels
*declutter the FF Garden and give it a good prune and fertilise
*return my neighbour's wheel barrow which I should've done weeks ago (Sorry D!)
*get rid of cookbooks I don't use

I want a peaceful home and just can't create this with mess and excess stuff that I don't use or want. Plus my home is the size of a postage stamp. Space is at a premium.

I had a huge declutter in spring that lasted about a month where I sold things online, to colleagues, at a car boot sale and gave about 2 carloads of things to charity. I really reduced the amount of things that surrounded me. I found it very emotional. I had defined myself by my possessions for so long that once I started giving them away I sort of didn't know who I was anymore. It was scary and yet the absolute right thing to do.

I watch that Australian guy Peter on Oprah a lot and got some great ideas from him. I haven't read the book but people who have like it a lot.

I see decluttering as a journey- it'll never really be over for me. And it's like going on a diet or giving up smoking-you've got to be ready for it, you've got to want it.

Any questions?


  1. Dear FF,

    I have decided I aspire to be like you and your friend M - who by the way sits next to me at our Coalface. I now have 3 days off work to start the de-clutter process.
    My 'floor-drobe' is out of control and it is stressing me! Stress makes me eat more so now most of the clothes in the 'floor-drobe' don't fit which stresses me more and the cycle continues. So I am going to use your declutter list to inspire me to declutter. Wish me luck.

    I have enjoyed reading your blog - keep up the good work.

    Have a Fabulous New Year,


  2. wow i so want to go home right now and declutter my whole apartment but tis new years eve and it will have to wait...

    i find it so refreshing cleaning out all the old stuff.

  3. Hi V
    Good luck with the floor-robe! It breaks my heart to see expensive or even cheap clothes on the floor and not hanging up! You've worked hard to pay for them, you have to look after them! Just remember, it's a journey and it can be really hard. Good luck and thanks for being a devoted reader xx

  4. Jade I am dying to get rid of stuff form my wardrobe and to get started on Mr FF's stuff too!

  5. Can you help me understand....Jackie Kennedy saved EVERYTHING. Cataloged and sorted and eventually it was worth MILLIONS. Wasn't she a hoarder??

  6. Such a great commnet and question-Yes Jackie hoarderd evertthing, even childhood books and junk jewels. It's not for me, but clearly she dthe $ to fund the wharehouses necessary for such a thing. Because she was aware of her almost mythical role in USA history (Camelot thing) I think she was desperate to save for historical purposes. She was a pack rat, but I do not judge-I feel it was born out of a desire of intense acquisitiveness, fear of being the poor relation that never left and a desire for historical authenticity. Her circs enabled large New York wharehouses. Mine don't so I adhor hoarding. Her hoarding doesn't make me admire her less- it gives me insight into her psyche. Money fears followed her all her life, she knew the auction would raise millions for the kids. Her possessions defined her. That isn't for me but I understand. She had an intense desire to be Keeper of the Fables and wanted the proff to back it up. Hope this make sense.

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