All our Christmas decorations have been returned to their storage boxes and my thoughts now turn to the year that lies ahead.
We have decided to start the year by “de-cluttering”. For us this is a truly daunting prospect, as we’ve lived in this house for over 32 years and have filled every available space, both inside the house and outside in the outbuildings, with “stuff”. This photo should give some idea of what I mean.
I’m ashamed to say that this shows part of the inside of my workshop before I started to sort and clear out the boxes, shelves and tables. Originally this outbuilding was intended as my dyeing room, with a writing and reading area, but gradually every available surface became covered with items deposited “for the time being” until I got round to sorting them out and tidying them away. Needless to say, once I had established another dyeing area in our conservatory, this tidying up process somehow never happened – until I embarked on it this week, that is.
Sometimes sorting through the evidence of a lifetime of hoarding can be a refreshing and revitalising process. It certainly does feel good to bring some order into the chaos within drawers and cupboards, especially when one finds unexpected treasures that bring back happy memories. At the same time, I am amazed at my apparent inability to throw away such things as bent paper clips, dried-out pens, screwed-up paper bags or even the smallest piece of string. Gradually I am learning to separate the rubbish from the genuine treasures and I’m re-organising and labelling my storage spaces in the hope that I shall be able to find things more easily in future. Of course I am resolving never again to let things get so disorganised and untidy but I suspect I may all too quickly revert to my bad, old ways. However, with each bag of rubbish consigned to the council tip, I feel a lifting of the spirits, as if I am casting off aspects of the past that have been weighing me down. So I hope I shall be able to face 2010 with an increased sense of optimism and a readiness to embrace new experiences.
If you are feeling somewhat jaded and lacking in enthusiasm at the start of another year, I can recommend the therapeutic value of a little sorting and tidying. However, whatever you are feeling, I wish you all the very best of health and happiness for 2010.