Large-scale clutter busting!

I occasionally participate in Cee’s Share Your World Challenge. I must confess I don’t always have the time to do so more regularly. But her prompts (Share Your World 18th December) this week really spoke to me.

Prompt 1

If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?

Most definitely a cook. I’ve always said that I would eat more healthily if I had food ready for me when I came home from work. Meals filled with colourful salads and veggies, sustaining soups, smoothies… yum, my mouth is watering!

Blueberry smoothie

Blueberry smoothie © Deborah Ann Stott 2017

Every morning I wake with the best intentions: to eat well and to have a decent meal when I get home. The reality is somewhat different. When I get home, exhausted from a long day, normally without lunch, I immediately eat toast. This fills me up and then I don’t eat a proper evening meal. A terrible cycle to get out of. So I would hire a cook, without a doubt!

Prompt 2

If you were to move and your home came fully furnished with everything you ever wanted, list at least three things from your old house you wish to retain?

An interesting question and very pertinent, as I have just done this and it gives me an opportunity to share. My house is in the process of being sold, the transfer is due to take place on 22nd January 2018 and I have just moved into a colleague’s home for a year whilst she is out of the country on sabbatical. Shortly after she gets back I will be immigrating back to the UK.

On top of that, my 18-year old son has left home and has moved into student digs for his first year at university. As he has taken a large percentage of my furniture, I think he and his friends may have the best-furnished digs in town!

I have done quite a bit of ‘clutter busting‘ this year, but when I look at the sheer quantity of stuff in my house, I realise that I didn’t do enough. Not nearly enough. For the last few weeks, as part of the packing process, I have looked at every item in my home and asked three questions:

  1. Does this go to my son’s digs? (Anything that goes there, will not be coming back to the UK with me.)
  2. If not, then do I want to keep it:
    1. To take back to the UK?
    2. To bring with me to my temporary home?
    3. Or both?
  3. If not, donate it.

Not only is this a long, drawn-out process, but it’s an emotional one too. I am exhausted and wish that I actually had nothing to sort out.

So many things bring back memories: more good than bad, but ultimately, when I return to the UK, I will not have a large home so there will be no space for stuff. Shipping my possessions to the UK will also be costly.

So I have been brutal. My favourite pieces of furniture, my crockery and cutlery and things that I have collected that will remind me of Africa will return to the UK with me – enough to furnish a small place there.

Scratching post

Scratching post © Deborah Ann Stott 2017

This piece of wood comes from the Hogsback area of South Africa and is my cat’s favourite scratching post and a sentimental piece for me. Even though it is bulky, it will go back to Europe with me.

So what did I decide to bring with me to my temporary home?

Quite a lot – a year is a long time, but I’ve tried to whittle it down to the essentials for the prompt:

  • Camera kit including lenses and tripods. This also includes my laptop, because I take all my photos in RAW and process in Lightroom.
  • Journals, pens and crayons – creative stuff
  • Books that I cannot live without
  • My own linen (bedding and towels)
  • My teapot and favourite cups
  • My laughing Buddha who makes me smile every day (you can see more of him in my Instagram feed to the right)
Dougal kisses the Laughing Buddha

Dougal kisses the Laughing Buddha © Deborah Ann Stott 2017

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  

I posted my musings about finding inspiration earlier this week. And I was inspired by the conversation about photography between myself and ShutterBug that grew out of the comments. This is the first time since I started on WordPress that I have had a real and sustained engagement with someone based on something that I posted.

And I hope that it is something I will be able to do again.

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