Friday, March 21, 2008


The Big Clean

It has begun. The Big Clean of Easter 2008. After the Big Sleep-In, mind you. (What? You didn't really think we'd be treating it like one of our start-at-dawn, marathon bike rides did you?!)

He suggested we tackle one floor per day. (Three storey house, remember.) That sounded fair enough. So we decided to start at the top. Our bedroom.

Several bags of clothing, clothing for rags, and "rubbish" later, we've only dealt with one half of the room. Given we didn't start till after midday, that's probably reasonable - plus I must point out that it is a rather large room - but I already feel pounds lighter (even if I've only taken 3 bags to the clothing bin so far.) Bloody hell, the amount of clothing and stuff that we have both hung on to over the years is insane. I suppose it's a combination of sentimentality, and dislike of waste - the classic packrat mentality. It doesn't seem right to throw out something still theoretically wearable, or something that cost money, or something that someone gave you... But if you haven't used, worn, or needed it in 10 years, then you don't need it at all, do you?!

Time to get ruthless.

Today I shoved the first thing he ever bought me into the charity clothing bag. It was a woollen Swan Dri bush shirt - which is what all self respecting bushwalkers/cross country skiers etc wore back way back before polar fleece became popular. I haven't worn it for years, and it probably wouldn't fit me now anyway - and even if it did, I'd still choose to wear polar fleece. But it was a bit sad to throw it away. I also put in a few handknitted jumpers. (translation: sweaters) My mum was always an avid knitter, and made some really lovely jumpers with fair-isle patterning. And there was one I made too. But I don't wear them anymore. Not that I'm a fashionista, but they were rather.. eighties. Maybe someone else will. It is pointless them sitting there for another 10 years.

An old bedside table, sitting sideways outside the ensuite, still had bits and pieces in it that I never knew where to stash. Out went the hairdryer styling attachments that I have never used. Out went some perfume. Out went a lot of stuff. The only thing that might hold any value is a few Swarovski figures that have not been on display since... meh.. when I moved out of home? Not my style anymore. Perhaps I'll see what three out of the five pieces will get on eBay. (The owl has lost an ear, and the bear has lost an arm.. so goodness knows what I should do with them.)

Tomorrow I guess we tackle my 'sewing' area. I went through a relatively short phase of sewing (when I learnt how to sew knit fabrics, and acquired an overlocker, around the time that Cait was born) I made quite a few things for my toddlers and babies, and a few sloppy joes for us, but I've not been inspired to sew much at all in the last 10 years. It's hard to believe I accumulated so much material in such a short time. And I don't know what the hell we're going to do with that... (and he'll probably even suggest I get rid of the overlocker seeing I never use it) but that's a conundrum to deal with tomorrow.

God, I hate it when he's right, but not only does this need doing, but it has already rained (tonight) - though possibly not up where I wanted to camp- and the untimely arrival of the red menace has me kind of relieved I'm not where I wanted to be after all.

I hate it when he turns out to be right.

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The first day is always the hardest. The trick is remembering not to get overly ruthless or carried away. If you have to think twice about an item put it aside and go back to it at the end.

Once the purge is done it's much easier to keep the junk levels down.

It's ok to let husbands be right once or twice in a marriage. More than that and they get inflated ideas about their importance!!!
go you good thing!
Wow - I am going through that process at the moment, too - although I have had the advantage of moving possibly a dozen times in the time you have lived there, so won't be quite as large a task.

Good on you for powering on - it will feel so much better when it is not OVERWHELMING you!
Are you really throwing them away, or do you have something like Goodwill stores over there (where used clothing is sold cheap to poor people like me)?

I would brave a bushwalk to your place for that fabric- I'm just getting motivated to make some "princess" dresses for when we study the Middle Ages next month!

Good luck!
You'll be glad you did it. As hard as it is to start, it's a wonderfully liberating feeling when you're done.
How's your back holding out?

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