About 2 years ago, my flat was ridiculously messy. Not dirty but very cluttered. I had stuff everywhere.
I had fallen into the trap of loving everything and seeing its value. I would definitely use that thing at some point when the stars aligned. Or mum had mentioned once that I really shouldn’t get rid of things like that.
And so it went on. I would open a bag of stuff and find that it contained Christmas cracker gifts from a few years earlier. I would despair and then shut the bag (causing the despair to vanish).
I was too busy. It was awful. I bought books and tried to find a method on Pinterest that would sing to me…
So… did I tidy one tiny insignificant thing at a time? Did I pick up a bag and deny myself food until its contents were rehomed?
Instead, I threw away the MOST LOVED thing that had to go FIRST.
This was the boundary marker – the one that you gnash your teeth and debate about for hours if you encounter it half-way through a clear out.
Except I didn’t debate at all. I jumped up and down on it and threw it away. Immediately. Almost without thinking.
Now this piece was important to me. It was a table that my dad had made and was inlaid and built to his exacting and very hardwearing standards (a lot of jumping was required).
My dad died when I was 13. I have little physical evidence of him. But my photos and memories are enough. And I hadn’t used this table since moving into my first flat in 2001. It was the wrong shape and height, wouldn’t do in any of my family’s homes and really wouldn’t have been worth anything to anyone else.
It felt very bad for a short while. And then it didn’t.
And then the clear-up began. I was keen to get on with it and it was VERY easy.
Do I care about these old lipsticks more than I cared about dad’s table? No.
I flew through the tidy in less than a week (there was a LOT of stuff) and at the end, the relief was amazing.
Dad’s table remained the most important thing that had gone, but I had cleared about half the contents of my flat – every work surface, cupboard, drawer and room looked better and was far easier to life with.
So that’s it. Find your boundary marker, jump up and down then ask yourself the same question over and over again! Makes perfect sense!