Clearing the clutter from my house

I am not a hoarder. Definitely not.

Well maybe I am. Just a little bit!

I have had to face facts. I pack things up and put them away at the back of the cupboard. Rarely open them, rarely use them, but comforted in the knowledge that they are there. I have come to understand this quote thoroughly.

Courtesy of

I recently moved to the Surrey Hills. This meant my home of 23 years was standing lonely and unloved. I had to bite the bullet and take steps to rent it out. The first step was ‘operation clear out’, which I thought would be straight forward. I wrote my action plan as this task was going to be a practical one, maybe with peripheral emotion.

My house was tidy, but somewhat full. Full! Full was an understatement. I am surprised at the naivety with which I approached this. Digging around nooks and crannies untouched for years. Did I really think it was going to be simple?

I had cultivated and treasured years of memories. My mind, just like my house, was stuffed full to the gunnels with things. Things that would:
• Come in handy in the future.
• Be back in fashion soon.
• Remind me of my life so far.
• Keep people I have lost alive.
• Stop me forgetting.

I felt as if I had been hit by an emotional steam roller. Memories, painful, happy and resurrected, tumbled out as quick as I pulled the precious items from the shelves. My head rang with questions. Will my memories fade? Am I being wasteful? What if I need this in the future?

There is a great article by Michele Hanson at the Guardian called ‘How to conquer the clutter’. One line in it resonated so loud for me it was almost deafening:

‘I daren’t let go of the past, and I know that I’ve completely lost control of the present, never mind the future.’
Michele Hanson, 15 February 2010

Bolstered by the article, knowing I was not alone, I ploughed on. I made piles called:
• Bin it.
• Sell it.
• Use and enjoy it.
• Still can’t get rid of it!

Box Hill in the Surrey Hills


This made the physical space to allow me to rent the house out. It also made space for new thoughts and seeing things in a new light. Luckily nature can provide a way to explain the complex. I came across this scene while walking, and it says how I felt better than any words could.

Inspired by my first round of decluttering, it may be time to revisit the still crammed bookcases and wardrobes. The brilliant blog, , on minimalism is spurring me on. Have a look and you will get the bug too.

Or have you already had a go at decluttering? Any tips would be welcome.

Anyway, time for me to dash off until next time, when I would really like to introduce you to Ted, also known as Mr Barker.






  1. Hi there, I loved this post! And thank you very much for the shout-out, very kind indeed. I’m still very much on my de-cluttering journey so really enjoyed this insight and the line that spoke to me most was that you have kept things that would keep people you have lost alive. I struggled most with this because I felt letting go of the thing was like letting go of the person and I couldn’t do that. I’ve found ways around this now and my memories are inside of me but it’s difficult. I can’t imagine having to apply this to a whole house – I admire you tremendously, Lxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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