The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - UPDATE - With edi­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Hang on to when it’s time to let go

I’m feel­ing a lit­tle over­whelmed with stuff at the mo­ment and I have no one to blame but my­self.

Al­most 30 years af­ter I moved out of my par­ents’ home, I have col­lected what feels like a mon­u­men­tal amount of fur­ni­ture, fur­nish­ings, uten­sils, din­ner­ware and other mis­cel­la­neous bits and pieces suf­fi­cient to kit out not just one, but two houses.

I have been mak­ing an ef­fort to clear some of the stuff I no longer need but some­how that makes it worse.

In an ef­fort to cre­ate more stor­age space in one child’s room, I emp­tied out some cubed shelv­ing from an­other room. It was pre­vi­ously full of a well cared for but no longer re­quired col­lec­tion of books typ­i­cally found in the Young Adult sec­tion of the li­brary.

The prob­lem arose when I de­cided to do­nate the books, which are still in very good con­di­tion. I care­fully filled a large plas­tic con­tainer with books, en­sur­ing I re­ally packed them in. And that’s as far as I got. Some­thing sim­i­lar hap­pened on the week­end when I de­cided to fi­nally go through the kids’ bed linen with a view to toss­ing out any­thing too old, worn or stained to hold on to.

Af­ter emp­ty­ing out the shelf and sort­ing the left­over bed linen into fu­ture drop sheets and just plain rub­bish, the room looked no dif­fer­ent while the hall­way was clut­tered with bags of stuff that has nowhere to go for now.

It gives me lit­tle com­fort to know that this sort of prob­lem is quite com­mon when clear­ing things out. Ap­par­ently, a lot of peo­ple find the last step — ac­tu­ally re­mov­ing the stuff from your house — the hard­est.

Worse still is the de­sire to go shop­ping for new sheets/books/ what­ever as some kind of re­ward for the cleanse. A trip to the char­ity bin might be less fun but more ap­pro­pri­ate.

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