OK, the urge to declutter has passed – whew! Back to normal! To be honest, it only lasted until I disturbed a giant spider with the vacuum cleaner in the first room I had decided to tackle. I thought plugging in an electronic anti-spider device would be enough to clear the house of these things, but apparently not.
I think I’ll leave it until spring and call it spring-cleaning. Or (and this is, I think, the best way) I won’t set out in the morning to do a massive de-cluttering – I will start with the intention of de-cluttering a very small space. A table-top or one shelf of a bookcase would be enough to start with. If I still want to do more after the first shelf, then that’s ok, but if I want to read a book – which I almost certainly will – then that’s ok too.
Actually there is a small table-top I need to de-clutter urgently, because the round table on which I perch my netbook to write has developed a really bad list to one side and the netbook is in constant danger of flying off. It has never been a very good table, except that it’s just the right size to fit into my writing space, and the last straw was when I got up to answer the phone in a hurry, caught my foot in the netbook power cable and sent the computer flying along with the table. I almost sent myself flying too, but recovered in time to stagger to the phone and tell the financial services salesman never to phone me again.
So I need to de-clutter another small table to replace this one. At the moment the other table is completely covered with stuff. Books I’ve read, half-read and have no intention of ever reading; an empty folder; a folder with an old pantomime script in it; an empty box with lots of compartments that are meant for screws but which I thought I would keep craft things in and haven’t had time to fill up; an old first aid box that used to belong to my mother; an old diary of the kind you’re meant to re-fill every year but which still has the pages for 2008 in it; a multi-coloured hand-knitted bag made for me by a relative; a souvenir plastic bag from the Camargue; and on top of everything, a cotton bag I got at the Book Festival which I know contains a polystyrene Easter egg I am meant to be converting to a magic golden egg for this year’s pantomime. The lump in the bag is a reproach to me, as I’ve had the egg for 3 weeks and haven’t done anything with it yet.
Another reproach is an implied one in an email from another relative asking for more details about something in our joint family tree that I think I wrote down at Norwich Records Office about 6 years ago and have since lost. That is the tip of another de-cluttering iceberg. I must try and get my family history notes in some sort of order so that I can answer this kind of question without having to delve into cobwebby old baskets and go through every single piece of paper on which I could have scrawled something about the relevant branch of the family.
Do I seem overwhelmed with stuff? That’s what happens when you spend so much time writing!