Keep it – Sling it.

Keep it – Sling it.

Hi there,

Thanks for popping in. Must tell you about today. It’s been interesting, very interesting.

I had a real keep it-sling it morning.  You know the one. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, look out!!! We’ve had way too much work on to think about the home for months now, and slowly the piles of STUFF have been doing what they do best: piling up. Each room has slowly been getting more and more cluttered with STUFF. And this morning was the day I decided enough was enough. Time to have a sort out, be a white tornado, whizz round the house and blitz it. Dave had to go to work, so here was my window of opportunity.

In reality, I only got the living room and the kitchen done. Climbed around in the inglenook for at least an hour, even found a couple of Christmas gift tags and a stray bauble! But boy oh boy – there’s something very rewarding about letting it all slide and then going in armed with rubber gloves and Mr Muscle! No, Dave was at work as I said…

I had a conversation with myself, and discussed the sheer excess of it all. The loads of mugs and crockery we never use (we only use the same faves), the dozens of coasters and placemats (yet we only use the same set), the piles of table cloths (don’t even use tablecloths nowadays), the cupboards FULL of bedding (most of which hasn’t seen a bed in 20 years!). All the duplicate STUFF which fills ALL your storage space to the point where you can’t get anything else in! What is the point of hoarding all this STUFF, which we will never use?

Problem is, most of it is very nice and cost a packet, so you feel guilty about slinging it. Or it was a gift, so you feel guilty about slinging it. Or you think the kids may come home one day and need it all, so you hang on to it. Or maybe those hand-embroidered table runners you bought in Germany 30 years ago will come in handy if you ever buy a log cabin in Austria. Who knows? You get me, don’t you? It’s been a right old roller coaster of guilt laced with waves of ingratitude!

But I have reached a decision: this is what I said to myself this morning. I’m 60! Not likely to buy a log cabin in the Black Forest or even the Pyrenees at this stage. And I’m pretty sure Grace won’t thank me for hanging on to all this STUFF for her either! Mark even less so!

Only keep it if you need it or love it.

Pack the rest away, and give it to charity. And if it’s no good, then bin it.

Anyway, that is my decision going forward, although as I say, I got caught up the chimney with Mr Muscle, and ran out of time for a proper, thought through clear out. One room at a time methinks, and one cupboard or drawer at a time, eh. Every day, I have decided, I shall tackle ONE area – even if it’s only a shelf.

Now here’s the irony. Dave came home at lunchtime and rescued me! The sun was shining, and we decided to take a run out to a National Trust place called Standen House, a beautiful Arts & Crafts place, decorated by none other than William Morris & friends. There is a fabulous Morris & Co exhibition there until 10th November. Well worth a visit.

Anyway, what a magnificent place! Beautiful gardens, breathtaking views, and this quote by William Morris himself:

So clearly, William Morris had the same conversation with himself as I did, and reached the exact same conclusion. Wonder how many tablecloths he binned….

A few months ago I asked our dear Mel – she who designs so much of our art – to come up with some filigree swirls. “Sort of Arts & Crafts”, I said, “sort of William Morris”. And she did. I have them here with me. Thye are beautiful. Tomorrow, I am excited to have a play with them, because the Morris & Co. colours in the rooms at Standen house have just brought them to life in my head. Sod the cleaning!!

Love & Hugs,

Barb xxx

41 thoughts on “Keep it – Sling it.

  1. I love table cloths and any thing pretty. If I had been there…you would be throwing it out with one hand and I would be right there retrieving it! lol.
    I’m terrible, I have the same problem.
    Must do the same… day!!!

  2. Sounds like a plan Barb. But then an afternoon out at a fabulous place with the fabulous Mr Dave sounds soooo much better. Oooh can’t wait to see those swirls. 😉😉😉

  3. I have spent a sad but also lovely day with a dear friend who lost her mother to cancer very recently. We planned to clear the house but ended up clearing the garden & preparing it for the winter months. We found endless pots behind the shed all filled with bulbs just wakening from their summer slumbers. We have added fresh compost and topped them with beautiful pansies, violas & primulas. What emerges as winter arrives remains to be seen (neither of us really have a clue!) but we felt Pat’s spirit encouraging us to keep going & we are exhausted but feel sure her husband will find comfort seeing her much loved garden flourish. Enjoy your weekend Barbara xx

  4. I have had a blitz in my craft room and yesterday I took all my unwanted items to a craft barn where they sell items and also work with a disabled school in Lichfield. They were so grateful and I felt so good knowing those kids will get some use from it. I am married to a hoarder which is a problem. I put something out and it disappears to his shed or the loft. The NT house looks interesting somewhere for us to visit when we are down your way next time. xx

    1. Our craft group in Sutton Coldfield does exactly the same-whenever anyone has a clear out, bags of stuff are brought to class -members can take their pick (not everyone has been crafting for years or can afford to buy loads) and everything else is off to the craft barn.

  5. Hi Barb, sounds like you had a good day. The trick is, move to a house with hardly any cupboards, that forces the clearout!!! It took me over a year of a little bit at a time but I got there. My rule was, if I hadn’t used it since I moved here it’s going. Once I did that stuff, I went through everything again, if it hasn’t been used in the past year or two and is unlikely to be, it’s going. I didn’t have your dilemma of things being gifted to me etc. though, and I only have a tiny bit of sentimental stuff which was easy to keep as it doesn’t take up much room. It feels good to do, get rid of what you don’t need. Doesn’t work so well in the craft room though…. Although one box of stuff did get donated to an art Mindfulness therapy group near me.

    I had a nice day too. Just doing a few wee chores, and a wee bit crafting. The sun was out, both that yellow ball in the sky, and the wee light inside me was shining bright today too. I even like what I was making! (Although that probaly won’t last when the gremlins get going!!!) My wee cat spent her day following the sun across the craft room floor. What a hard day she’s hard poor wee soul!!!

    I hope you have at least as good a day tomorrow. Love you xxx

  6. I had a blitz in bottom of my wardrobe this week. Well, I found sandals I haven’t worn in ages (and they still fit!) and some to charity shop with a couple of bags. It’s like ha paving new shoes! Oddly enough I got rid of a tablecloth this week ! I’m a lot more ruthless than I was and I’ll be 60 next month ! X

  7. It must be that time of year! I’ve started a sort out and taken 4 bags to the charity shop but oh there’s still so much to catch up on. Still it’s a start and as you say Barbara our kids won’t thank us for a lot of this stuff. I will continue but not sure how long it’ll take! Onwards and upwards. 🙂

  8. I am doing the same. I had to empty out 3 rooms for Samuel’s through the floor lift to be put in. The old and new bedrooms plus my office/craft room. Oh my, how did I ever cram it all in there in the first place?! The problem is, I know I am a hoarder. I hate to get rid of ‘stuff’. My sister has even nicknamed me ‘Skip’ as I don’t let anyone else in the family throw stuff out either! I like the idea of a swap shop – one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure as they say 😁

  9. I’ve been gradually sorting and discarding for a few weeks now but it is slow going as hospitals and dentists and optician appointments interfere with what I’m trying to do. They seem to know when something is going well and time it to keep us from doing what is needed, but these days it is so hard to get fitted in we cannot refuse what is offered.
    We got a skip in last week and are still filling it with stuff we used to use all the time but no longer need. Moving to Norfolk meant a total change in our life. I no longer cater small dinner parties and events so all the catering gear went a while ago. Trouble is I love the China and dining accoutrements we have and do not want to part with any of it even though we no longer entertain as we used to. There is a small fortune just sitting there so maybe I will buck up the courage to get it valued at the local auction house. At least then it may get a good home.
    Have just finished my reference samples of the Groovi floral numbers, they are lovely plates.
    I’m going to be good this week and not buy anything (can you hear hubby’s sigh of relief?) because I need to make more space in my craft room which at the moment is all storage and no room to craft !!! I can see the skip being full soon. Cherry
    It is a chore but very satisfying when all is clean and tidy – until the next major crafting session !!!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.🍒🍒🍒

    1. Just think of all the Clarity stuff you could buy if you sold it all, and a ready made space to store it in… No-brainer!!! 😉 Xx

  10. Don’t you just love that feeling after a clear out when the storage areas look neat and tidy and everything actually fits , until I go buying more stuff of course 😂😂😂. Went to the craft and design exhibition at Hever castle yesterday ,love it there , visit quite often as it’s only up the road ,and we have annual passes . My floral numbers arrived today they are delightful xx

  11. I read a de-cluttering guide just the other day – one sentence got me hooked. “sooner or later, no matter where you live, if you do not sort your clutter out, YOU WILL RUN OUT OF SPACE “. 8 charity bags later, I feel more in control – because that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? – but there is still more to do! Need to keep up that momentum, not easy when I am trying to make space for my new Claritystamp flower alphabet and numbers.
    Hope you are all well.
    Maggie (Bendy Yorkite)

  12. Love this blog! It sounds just like me! But then I get so carried away with finding things and reading them that the clearing out takes a back seat!! Would be good to do just one drawer or cupboard a day! I think that’s far more manageable! Wish I could get down to see William Morris display!

  13. You make a few good points there, Barbara. Moving to a smaller house is not the answer because then you end up with at least one room that you can’t get into!! When I start clearing out, I end up in a bigger guddle than ever so I need one of my ruthless friends to visit, particularly one who holds a black bag in her hand!! I’m too sentimental but there is no one to pass the stuff onto so one day I will need to bite the bullet. It’s quite tough though, I find. Have a good weekend.

  14. The only place I really love with clutter is in my craft room funny enough. I’m trying to use bits up so my stash of papers and odd envelopes are slowly reducing over time! Good luck with the decluttering – one drawer at a time is not so overwhelming x

  15. When you have finished sorting your house out would you mind just popping round here & do mine !!! I do really need to have a good sort out as my craft stash is steadily spreading out of my craft room/spare bedroom to other parts of the house like lava from a volcano. I have started on my clothes & like others have said if it hasn’t moved /been worn since I looked at them last then I don’t need it & off to the charity shop it is going. I just can’t take the same decision over craft stuff.
    I think an afternoon off though is a perfect way to reward a busy week & Standen House sounds interesting.

  16. I read a fantastic book by Marie Kondo , the magic of decluttering, recommended by Kirsty Goodwill, really opened by eyes, basically only keep the things that spark Joy in you. This was invaluable advice as I needed to have a major declutter before moving house. Feels incredibly therapeutic having a good sort out x

    1. Sounds good , but won’t help to de clutter the craft room as everything I have in there sparks joy in me !! I suppose I could just convert the whole house into a craft room and have joy around me in every room! Why didn’t I think of that before ?!

  17. Well done Barbara for getting starting on your clear out. We did start on our wardrobes and took a fair few bags to the charity shop a week ago. Need to sort a drawer or cupboard at a time like you said. So much stuff that we never use and haven’t for years, it takes courage though doesn’t it. Glad you and Dave had a lovely time at Standen House, so refreshing to go somewhere different for a day out. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and hope you can relax.xx

  18. Hi Barb,
    I got rid of 15 black bin bags of clothes a couple of months ago , took them to a charity shop. They were extremely grateful and I bet there’s a few people who’ve got some very good bargains from them as they were all really quite expensive dresses, coats, trousers etc. I was sad to see some of them go but as they were all too big for me now ,it had to be done. I still need to do a fair bit of de- cluttering though! I think I’m just a hoarder deep down! All of my goodies from last weekend’s shows arrived yesterday so I’ve got lots to play with now. Thank you. Love and hugs Alison xxx

  19. Sounds like a good day clearing out. There is a Japanese de-clutter movement (can’t remember it’s name) where you are supposed to hold every object in your hands and if it doesn’t bring you joy then it goes. I just use my sister…she doesn’t seem to get sentimentally attached to things like I do, or like you said feel guilty about how much something cost, her thinking is ‘well I can’t have the money back and I’ve enjoyed having it but now it’s got to go’ she is the best helper to have when I am sorting out…although I do sometimes sneak things back in when she’s not looking!! 😂 xx

  20. I s been saying same we keep things just in case and there are some thing that do get used by others my girls friend use to say your mum dad got everything when we need something they always have one but comes a stage when family has grown up and those things we no longer need then when ask are girl do you want this they so no I don’t want clutter. My craft room need a big clear out. But that’s big hard one cause sometimes you really do find need that thing that’s been in cupboard for few years. On shelf draw sound good place to start. X

  21. Thank you Barbara you have speared me on to declutter. I have a the large pots and pans used to cook, plates and cutlery used to serve when all the children x 4 husbands and grandchildren would be here nearly everyday to use our pool hence the extra towels. All the nice things used for dinner party’s etc that don’t happen since my husband left. Lots of his bits that he left to. Time to declutter my life definitely. As just me now and the cat. Need a skip lol xx

  22. Moving house has the same effect as your talk to yourself…especially when you downsize! I think we just about filled the local charity shops, got rid of loads but believe it or not there’s still more sorting/decluttering going on here. Have a good Sunday everyone xx

  23. Good advice and I do try but often when I’ve thrown stuff out it somehow manages to find it’s way into the garage or appears back in the house a few days later.
    I do find the charity bags that come through the door very helpful and since finishing work have filled a few with things I no longer wear. Getting my hubby to do the same is another matter.
    It’s the nik naks I find hard to part with as most have a sentimental connection.
    However doing one bit at a time and being ruthless might be key.
    Glad you had a good afternoon out. Sounds a great place to visit.
    Love and hugs! Xxxx

  24. Hi Barbara, well done for making the start of decluttering. You have got me thinking too. It doesn’t seem 5 minutes ago that I was collecting lovely things to entertain guests and making a wonderful home. Next thing I am 60 too and hardly do dinner parties anymore, probably because I now intend to do crafting instead and just have friends in for a kitchen supper, so much easier! – Funny though, I never seem to get time to do the crafting I want either as I am busy doing other ‘job’s’ that have been sent my way by my husband and daughter!
    I was only saying yesterday to some lovely ladies at Leonies workshop that crafting has changed over the years and I have changed too and I should go through my craft room/s and just get rid of all those out of date dies etc that I will never use again as I have definitely changed over to more modern and mixed media crafting. (I even have a separate Clarity room now!)- when though?
    Umm 1 cupboard at a time then……

  25. Standen is one of my favourite NT properties, a bit of drive from home but we try to go once in every season to see the changes in the garden and the different exhibitions. Will have to try and catch that exhibit before it closes.
    I really need to declutter – still have most of my mum’s stuff from when we cleared her house but I’ m not emotionally ready to part with much yet.

  26. Hello Barb, so now you have a plan and have inspired me too. As the last kids have just moved out into their own home, it is time to sort out the guest room (just in case someone comes to stay), sort out the craft room/home office (notice the order of importance there) and the rest. We have loads to clear, some of which will never go, too many memories, but some which has to go to someone else to make memories or a home with. Take care all. Bx

  27. Oh my goodness Barbara we were there last week on 30th August. I took so many photos it was a lovely day out and the gardens are brilliant too

  28. I more than halved my wardrobe a couple of weeks back. It must be the season. Don’t bin rags though – put them in a separate bag and charities can sell them to a rag man to be shredded and made into other stuff.

  29. I think our house could do with a bit of a clear out so your chat with us about getting rid of clutter has encouraged me. When we lived in Caterham we visited Standen and thoroughly enjoyed it. The William Morris designs are beautiful and look forward to seeing the swirls. x

  30. There is a revival in people doing afternoon tea parties, so pretty table cloths and pretting cups/saucers, tried cake stands are all welcome to charity shops etc. Not everyone wants to pay London’s Top Hotel prices for special teas, but happy to give friends a tea party treat for a Birthday or leaving work party, have friends round for a chat.
    These things are not old fashioned tat but usable items and make some ones day special….without traveling miles to do it. Happy days!

  31. There must be something in the air ,spent yesterday trying to tidy my craft room even have boxes marked inky backgrounds now ! I now have a clarity corner I notice as they are my favourite go to products.We moved house 3 years ago and still have unsorted boxes in our garage .Would rather craft all day .I know if we haven’t used the items in 3 years etc they should go !

  32. I too have just been to Standen House and Gardens – beautiful. We went to Saint Hill Manor afterwards – well worth a visit and very close.

  33. Just A thought Barbara, did you know that you can even donate your “Rags” (items Unsuitable for selling in the Shop) to Charity Shops as well? I know this because I work for Saint Catherine’s Hospice in Scarborough and anything deemed not saleable we sell onto Companies that pay depending on the weight of the item so no need to add to Landfill – eveyone’s a winner 🙂

  34. I’m unsure who ? Is but I think maybe Marie Kondo (the magical art of cleaning up) knew him. It is a huge undertaking cleaning our cluttered areas in our lives (sometimes not just our homes!) …but oh!!.. when it’s done it sure does feel good doesn’t it!?
    I did part of my kitchen- need to do the inside of the cupboards now. I think I may need some extra strength for that job. Thankfully my hubby is retiring this end of this week and so I shall put him to work again- can’t spoil him yet ! 😉

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