‘I’ve faced a real dilemma decluttering around the house’

Jan 21, 2019
This writer just can't contemplate parting with all her lovely books. Source: Pixabay

Over recent weeks I have embarked on the dreaded annual clear out of wardrobe, dressers, shoe boxes and books. When it comes to the clothes, the approach is simple — if I’ve not worn it for some months, it goes.

Everything with the dresses and clothes drawers went swimmingly. The end result was about two-thirds of the haul disappeared, never to be seen again. Most were laundered and donated to the local op shop. Anything slightly scruffy was binned. Easy peasy, no problems.

I actually felt quite smug about my efforts. Clever woman.

I may have felt great, but my very experienced husband just rolled his eyes and remarked to the dog, that it would be back to normal in about two months. Once again chaos would reign in the wardrobe and drawers.

The same applied to the linen cupboard. Just the slightest hint of any defect or if I was simply tired of the item, out it went. If it looked outdated, out it went. The wonderful result is that I now have a linen closet that I can actually see the contents of.

At this stage I am feeling quite sanctimonious. I just have the shoes and book cases to do now.

However, this is where the wheels come off. I cannot part with any of my shoes. I love all of my shoes.

It does not help that my smarty pants husband comments that I am not able to wear my sky-high stilettos any longer and that if I attempted to I would most likely break my neck. He also commented that those same shoes had been around since I was in my 30s. Though I am well aware of that, I loved them now just as much as I did then.

How could you not be in love with mauve suede, hand-beaded, strappy sandals with towering heels?
Or coral-coloured suede wedges with a respectable height? Or how about finely strapped black and silver patent sandals, which added about another 10 centimetres to my height? I don’t get how my husband cannot understand this.

I will never understand men. They are a strange breed.

Don’t get me started on the book shelves either. We have one entire wall of our dining room covered with floor to ceiling books, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is another full room in storage.

When we moved from a spacious Californian bungalow to a small villa there was not much room for books. Every one of my books has been read two or three times, some much more. I know every one of them personally.

I know when they were bought, where they were bought, why they were bought. I feel that I can pick anyone of them up and know the characters and plots intimately.

The hard-covered non-fiction books are especially special. Each was bought for either a project or special interest. The most precious of all are my son’s childhood books; they are a reminder of his growth.

In short my books are as precious as children. I don’t feel I can cull or discard any of them. It means then that for another year the bookcase remains an overflowing shambles. My smug husband has the last word and says, “I told you so”.

Have you downsized or decluttered? What tips do you have for anyone considering the process?

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