I donâ€™t remember exactly why I started decluttering. All I recallÂ is that I was overwhelmed. I told about this here. However that story is over two years old. So why have I continuedÂ decluttering, even though I had reduced to a â€œmanageableâ€™ amount of stuff and a big house where I could fit all the storage units my heart could ever desire? I was not sure about the answer. I wanted more space, but more so, I did not want my children to deal with my clutter should something happen to me. There is always going to be some stuff they would have to deal with but less is better right. But why should that matter to me, I would be gone and they would be left with a lot of useful stuff among the clutter too.So there would be no harm, right? Wrong!
Well, yesterday I was watching “Hoarders: Buried alive” and it was a heart breaking episode. The actual hoarder had died, but she had left her hoarded house to her three grown offspring to clean up and return to the bank, as she had mortgaged her house to finance her acquisition of stuff. Sadly her son had been living with her and now has nowhere to live. It had gotten to the point that, had she lived, she would have nowhere to live either as the bank was already planning to foreclose on her mortgage. All causedÂ by her clutter issues, her hoarding that she did not deal with. I know she had a mental illness, but it was a warning for the ones of us who are not sick.
As they started looking for important papers, heirlooms and documents amidst the trash, it was plane to see how lost and angry they were at their mother. As the show progressed and the cleanup team arrived it was so sad that instead ofÂ being ableÂ to cherish her memory they had to deal with this mess and humiliation. One of the daughters was so furious that she smashed a chair that had been her grandmotherâ€™s. I had been ruined amidstÂ the grimeÂ caused by the hoarding. All the love was buried beneath the junk and the rats nests (plenty of those, yuck!!!). I felt sorry for them. They had not had the chance to grieve her properly. They could not walk through the house their mother had been living in and sit at her bed and just think about her. They could not gather one last time around her table to remember the good times. Clutter had robbed all that from them.
That was when I thought: â€œthat is why I am clearing my houseâ€. That is why I declutter. I declutter so that I live a full life, so that stuff is just the things that I use. So that my house will have breathing space for me and my family. Space in my bedroom where I teach my five year old to dance. Freedom to make clean up a quick chore, so that I have time to enjoy the good things in life.
And when I go, when I am no longer here, my loved ones will walk into my house, look at those empty spaces, remember me and all the good things that we shared together. Then they can quickly dispose of the physical stuff we all need to live in this world, but, in the end, is just stuff.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter parts of sets that aren’t being utilised. It isn’t compulsory to keep sets together. In the past I have sold or donated attachments to kitchen gadgets, a strainer from a pasta pot, saucers from a dinner set…