Monday, August 07, 2006

Taming the clutter monster

Today I began taming the clutter monster. No, not the stuff that lurks in my cupboards and crawls out onto unsuspecting surfaces. The clutter monster is my precious, beloved mother. To my delight she has decided to sell her too-large house thirty minutes drive away and buy a small bungalow (single-storey house) near us - hopefully within walking distance, but certainly in the same town. This is a big relief as she is not in the best of health, is struggling with mobility, and is just too far away for us to be able to help her as much as we would wish - much of the time I don't have the car, so eighteen miles might as well be the moon. I'm so pleased she will be close by where we can provide whatever care she needs. BUT ... she is a clutter monster. Her house is jammed with stuff, and a good two-thirds of it is going to have to go. Last week we made a plan. Start by clearing big items so that we can reclaim floorspace and make the house look bigger and less cluttered before putting it up for sale. Today we began with her second desk. You can get the measure of the task in hand if I explain that I didn't even know she had a second desk. No surface area visible, you see. I am pleased to announce that the surface of the desk is now clear, and we are making good headway through the contents. Interesting finds include ...

  • Instructions for my 41 year old brother's orthodontic braces
  • A 1970 price list for beach huts (cabins)
  • Books of green shield stamps (you would need to be British to appreciate that one)
  • A letter I wrote to God, aged around eight (don't ask!)
  • An uncashed cheque from 1976
What a task this is going to be! All being well, the desk will be freecycled next week, along with various other items. Anyone want a dishwasher? Unused for thirteen years. Believed to work based on the evidence of crockery left in it by previous house owner. Any takers? Once I have dug it out from behind boxes of papers and from under heaps of assorted stuff, that is.

Seriously, prayers for her good health (she has struggled badly during our recent heatwave and has very little energy), for successful decluttering, for a smooth house sale, and for a suitable property to come on the market in the right place and at the right time would be very much appreciated.


Jan said...

I'd love to know how much a beach hut cost in 1970. Can't think of much use for the rest though. Sounds like quite a challenge

CelticMom said...

I'll keep you all in my prayers that your mother's health improve, she find a home close to you, and that you survive the de-cluttering process! :)

Nancy Ruth said...

My husband and I have been involved in cleaning out and selling two houses -- one of them was a 20 unit apartment house and we had to clean out two of the apartments plus a mammoth cellar. I will tell you the amazing, and comforting, thing: it can be, and will be done. The reward is what you will find along the way -- a letter to God when you were 8. Wow!