This week I declutter my “sentimentals” and my “collectibles”
What did we all do before we “decluttered”? We tidied. We picked up our crap, dusted under it, then put it back down again. We also used our crap. In my house we collected toothbrushes, icecream buckets and old singlets, which were used for cleaning our BMXs (the hub ballbearings would soak in kero in the buckets, the toothbrushes and rags were for extracting crud from the chain). And Dad used the old inner-tyre tubes for just about everything – fixing fences, espaliering the tomatoes and occy-strapping things to the ute.
Nowadays we buy more new stuff, and we don’t have time to get creative with re-using the old stuff. So we have more crap. And less room. But more importantly we’ve developed a raging intolerance for this clutter and a need to clear our lives of everything that could be bogging us down, physically, emotionally or spiritually. Decluttering has become a euphemism for the enema we’d like to take to our relationships, our schedules, the floors of our cars. In the US “storage solution” stores are experiencing exponential growth, while hoarding memoirs are emerging as the new “mis lit”. I tell you, decluttering is a dirty big business.
In this column I’ve subjected myself to many declutterings, consulting some of the world’s experts on the subject. I’ve overhauled my book collection, my email inbox; heck, I even did a colonic. But this week I went the next level. I decluttered my “sentimentals” – photos, heirloomy knick-knacks, my grandmothers’ Jesus statues and the box of school certificates I’ve kept since kindergarten (for “good book work” and “trying hard during health hustle”).
Which is how Peter Walsh ended up in my loungeroom on Tuesday morning.