Unclutter My Life: the bug is catching

The son has finally decided to part with his Bionicle collection. They have been gathering dust for many months years, since he decided he no longer wanted them.Bionicle

Yet, deciding what to do with them, sell them or donate them, meant that even after taking them off the shelves and packing them away, meant that they were still not out of the house. Still clutter. He needed a big box he said. I got him two big boxes and off we went to a local charity shop.

Acorns Charity shop

This is also the charity shop that he volunteers at.

Pricing up his collection
Pricing up his collection

So, not only had he had to part with them, he was tasked with pricing, displaying and ultimately selling them.Bionicle display

The book I have been using to help me on my de cluttering journey, Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland,  warns, in the section Tips for Handling Sentimental Clutter

touching an item creates an emotional connection to that item, and the longer you hold it, the stronger the bond

The author suggests:

enlist the help of a buddy to hold up items for you in order to keep the duration of exposure to a minimum and make parting with items significantly easier

 

As my son marked the boxes up, he said:

this is my childhood in a box

Building these models had given him a lot of fun. When he was a kid. He is now 22 and has made the decision to let them go. Even so, it must be tough. Yet he will also get the satisfaction of knowing that the money that they make will go towards to making a difference to a family that benefits from the work of this local charity.  Acorns Children’s Hospice provide care and support for local children and young people who have life limiting or life threatening conditions

When decluttering we need to be kind to ourselves. You don’t need to do it in one go. that is why I like the book I have mentioned, as it breaks it down into manageable chunks and in different areas of your life and your home.  When you start seeing the results, you are uplifted and feel physically lighter, but of course, we do get attached to stuff. As Erin says:

Whatever sentimental objects you wish to keep you should display and/or use in your home.

Uncluttering is not about having nothing. She goes on to say:

Nothing sentimental should be stuffed in a box in your basement or attic gathering dust. Why keep something that doesn’t reflect the remarkable life you want to live?

I think that my son has found it easier to let go of his stuff than I have for many reasons. He is pretty much a minimalist, He only buys clothes he needs. He does not enjoy shopping. He has a lot of self control. He saw how much stuff my mother had hoarded and said, as we emptied another of the 7 car loads from her bedroom to my dining room, to sift:

I am just thinking, if this is just from one room, what will it be like when you go and I have to deal with all the stuff in this house?

It was these words that set me on my decluttering journey. It hasn’t been easy. Documenting it here has been incredibly therapeutic. And seeing me empty kitchen cupboards and wardrobes and emptying file boxes of paperwork from the 1990’s and beyond has enabled him to finally let go of his childhood in a box.