You may have noticed I have not been active on this blog for a while. A cold, miserable January has never been my favourite time of year, or my most productive. This year I decided to put all my efforts into carry out my New Year’s resolution – to de-clutter my life.
If you live in the same house for over 20 years you accumulate a lot of things; if you are by instinct a hoarder (in a family of hoarders and collectors!), things can become ridiculous. Now that our children have grown up and left home our house should be far too large, yet every space seems to be packed full of stuff.
I took a hard look in my wardrobes and found clothing that stretched back twenty-odd years. Some things had not been worn in all that time but I always planned to find a way to remake or reuse them. This type of recycling is something I was brought up with but I have now come to realise that I will never find a use for everything in a couple of lifetimes.
Our children may have left but I still seem to have rooms full of their belongings, with great piles of children’s books, toys, games and knick-knacks that I have found it hard to sort through and dispose of.
Books are a real problem too; every member of the family collects books and this Christmas brought a few more; yet we have far too many to give them all shelf space and that means making hard decisions about which ones are no longer wanted.
The last and perhaps the biggest problem is all the fabric, dyes, paints and many other materials I have amassed to support my creative work. It is the source of my work and I never quite know what I will want to use next but I again I have more than enough for several creative lifetimes.
So how am I doing? Well it is still a work in progress but I now have sorted many sacks of rubbish and even bigger quantities for the recycling collection; the local charity shops have already received some new stock and are set to get more, while I have a growing list of items that are headed for eBay. I am not sure I will ever really change my habits and learn to shun possessions but at least I should have some space free for a while.
I must now try very hard to remember the Taoist message that we enter the world with nothing and that possessions are just baggage that ties us down.