Thursday, 18 April 2013

Clearing Clutter and Sorting Stuff

So sorry I have been absent recently - not a post done since Easter time...  Naughty.
I have had an excuse though as I've been doing the above - Clearing Clutter and Sorting Stuff....  
At the moment this seems to make up the main part of each day.  The cottage here in UK has to be cleared and what is left is going into storage (which = $$$ so the more I clear the less it will cost!)  Some belongings are coming back to Australia with me which makes me happy...  And, I'm even more happy because my daughter is coming back to Australia too.  (Visas willing!)   
My 'sabbatical' here has nearly come to an end (well, beginning of July actually) and the light at the end of the tunnel can be glimpsed for my daughter with the end of her University days in sight.

So true

I was reading a really good article a few years ago about "downsizing" / clearing clutter and I was so impressed with the piece I kept it (yes, more clutter!).  However,  I've  been referring to it rather a lot recently and so much of it makes perfect sense.  I thought I would share some of the points that the author Jo Foley made just in case you are thinking of undertaking anything similar :

  • If you decide to downsize / sort your "stuff and clutter" DON'T leave it too late - it needs stamina and do it at least 5 years before you think you need to.
  • Allow plenty of time - getting rid of your stuff is a time consuming business.
  • DON'T expect to profit from downsizing. People, shops and dealers are not desperate to take or buy your stuff.  People are more and more picky these days.
  • Don't fool yourself - it's very unlikely you are harbouring a treasure. Anywhere.
  • Start off gently and train yourself to get rid of something every day. Then a bag a week and ultimately a bag a day.
  • You may even have to pay people to take things you don't want. Don't worry if they make money from it - it's out of your house and away from your life.
  • Look on websites where you can give away things for free - like the special section of
  • Don't be sentimental about clothes and baubles but do be about your children's school reports, photos, your first doll,  your Dad's medals etc. and keep these in ONE treasure chest.
  • Ask others for help and advice.
  • Throw your home open to nieces, nephews, godchildren etc and invite them to take what they want to set up their homes.

Anyone got any other good tips?
Happy Clearing.....
Why do I have so much of it?


  1. ahhh all so true sarah. it is hard work. and gut wrenching at times, at least for me it is. i try to focus on the light feeling i get when i'm done instead of the heavy, gnawing feeling i get when i'm afraid to let go. it's all so weird. those are good tips too, thanks for sharing.

    1. That's a good idea Janet - I will try and focus on the lighter feeling now... have to say it is very a cathartic process too which is another bonus. x

  2. It is a difficult task but one worth doing. My husband and I were left to deal with all the clutter that his parents had in their home and it took weeks and lots of effort. We hired people to help us in the end and it was a very exhausting and emotional process so I have done my best to rid our home of unecessary stuff.

    1. I think this is what initially galvanises you to do something.. Seeing how much a parent has accumulated. I helped my parents a little when they moved a few years back but I could see how much they had and it was SOOOO much... I don't want to have that much for later in my life. Think I will have to adopt the "out with something for everything that comes into the house" attitude. x

  3. Hi, Sarah, I have just discovered your blog and became your latest follower. I am worse than you with blogging, I haven't posted for a post as I've been drowning in work and overwhelmed by that awful weather we've been having in Europe. You are leaving just we're starting to feel human again ! Love that post about decluttering, I'm doing it (slowly, one piece at a time) right now too. All the best from France !

  4. Hello Silver Bunny (LOVE the name too btw) - thanks for following.. I know I think I will have a double winter again this year as I arrive in Australia in Melbourne in the middle of the winter there... However it does not get as cold as Europe at all. Good luck with the decluttering. S x

  5. Yes. I enjoyed grabbing and taking away your clothes hahahaha xxxx

    1. As ever Ms Sophie as ever!! Still, I know they are appreciated and off to a good home! x

  6. It's hard work but you feel lighter when it's done, I am an inveterate de-clutterer. When my children were very young I bought them each a wooden trunk, and in them must fit all of their memories - aside from books of course.
    I was amazed to get a letter from the charity shop where I take everything informing me how much I had made them with my gift aid, nice to know my junk was someone else's treasure.

    1. You're right it is a good feeling and you do feel far lighter when the tasks are done! Great idea about the wooden trunk for each child. x

  7. Great article! I hate stuff, I think our culture is way too obsessed with owning stuff and lugging it around. Just think of all the stress when packing to go on holiday, decades ago we travelled around with far less stuff these days we need to bring tons of cosmetics and clothes and electronic gadgets and who knows what else...
    Happy downsizing :-)

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  9. Bonjour Sarah,

    Over half of my life has been spent living as an expat and as a result of having to move every couple of years most of my tresured items fitted in a few boxes. I have been in France for 6 years and as a result have filled two large houses and two garages with items hence I think some decluttering is in order. To make things worse I met a lovely French man who has a large house rammed full of items and a garage that is chocker block with things including two cars that have not seen the light of day for 20 years. I am hoping to start the decluttering process soon......


    Leeann x


So lovely to hear from you....