You will not experience many bursts of happiness quite like those which decluttering brings.
Sorry, let me rephrase that, decluttering on the day your children return to school.
Or, better still, doing it with my dear friend Rebecca who is like a walking, talking shaken-up can of Fanta most of the time, but good Lord, give her a mammoth task like this and she turns into Martha Stewart… all Miss Strictypants, with her systems and her sticky tape.
She started slowly, so slowly in fact, that I thought she was just here for the banana cake, but by the time I returned from my exquisite 6 minutes of procrastination in the bathroom, she had macheted through four piles of junk that consisted mainly of scribbled phone numbers without names, a forest of paper showing my youngest sons attempt at circles, a bajillion of those magazines that fall out of Sunday newspapers, the ones that promise you 12 weeks to a bikini body starting October, but you only get around to reading them in July, when all you you want to do is drown in a vat of mashed potato. She removed cookbooks whose insides had never seen the light of day, and assured me that there was no need for the 4,000 tea lights I scored in the IKEA “as is” section. People, these are just the wee little innocent piles that live on your bench, the ones that day by day become a mini His and Hers Petronas Towers. They were no match for her.
And then she started on the bookshelf. She was ruthless. Allan keys, bobby pins, candles, coasters, dolls, DVDs (read: coasters), lego, plectrums which make Steve feel like a six-foot-one, bald, well-fed Keith Richards, photos, snow domes, usb sticks…gone, all gone.
Then the kitchen:
“When was the last time you used these crab-claw-shaped crab claw crackers? Hmm? Never? Say goodbye.”
And on it went, but look at this:
I can now put my hand in a cupboard and know that my fingers don’t run the risk of being lopped off by the blades of 7 redundant food processors, and my fetish for enamel colanders is sated by my new lust for clear space.
Decluttering brings great happiness because it makes you feel lighter. There are less things to lose, to find room for, to rearrange, to be frustrated by, to dust around, to make decisions about.
Note to self: Buy less crap. And every 5 years, get yourself a Rebecca.
(Bloody hell, here she comes again!)