I am not sure if it is just us, but over the Christmas holiday period, my wife, Kerry and I decided to do a bit of decluttering.
In retrospect, I don’t think it was just us. In fact, one day I was dropping some goods at the local charity shop and I was the last car they were letting drop off for the day. It was 10:30 am. They had had so many goods dropped off that morning, they didn’t have the capacity to process everything more that day.
So why the sudden interest in decluttering?
Is this something that people do early in the New Year – in with the new – out with the old, or is there something else afoot?
Certainly, there has been a bit of a movement in recent years around the general concepts of minimalism, tiny houses, and living a more simplified life – which I personally really like.
These days it is not hard to find a plethora of content on YouTube and Netflix covering topics ranging from a person sharing their tips and ideas to full blown ‘production quality’ video series from the likes of Marie Kondo, The Minimalists, Matt D’Avella, and even our own home-grown Peter Walsh.
But what really prompted us to take a closer look at our situation was Kerry’s parents.
As they are advancing in years, they have found living in a freestanding suburban home getting a little too much to manage. So, they decided to sell and move to a nearby retirement village. This all happened in late January 2019. To top things off, Kerry’s mother had managed to break both arms just before Christmas, so packing up a lifetime of treasures was going to be a challenge.
In helping them pack, what was so revealing was the sheer amount of stuff one gathers up over a lifetime. Things that haven’t been used for years and will never be needed in the new home.
Anyway, the long and the short is that Kerry’s parents have now moved into their new home, but the car is still living outside the garage. I feel there will be a lot more decluttering to go before the car can find shelter out of the elements.
And most of the packing boxes that littered the house – yes, another trip hazard – have been emptied out.
But what was the real lesson for us?
While we could never be called hoarders, we certainly have more than we need to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. As a result, we have been progressively attacking our house with renewed ‘decluttering‘ vigour.
After all, who needs a large collection of DVDs – or even a DVD player for that matter – in this day and age?2