Saturday, 12 December 2009

Not Being A Bag Lady No More

This post doesn't have a photo, because I'm sick of the sight of it's subject. (I'm also hoping that that sentence vaguely makes sense.)

Earlier in the week I moaned about not having the will to do things that I wanted to do. One of them was writing more, another was tidying what I could euphemistically describe as my living space but is actually my bedroom, because, yes, I might be limping towards thirty, but I still live with my mother.

And every morning I wake up amidst piles and boxes of detritus I've accumulated over the last twelve years and inwardly shudder and never do anything about it. Somehow it all just seemed too much.

In the normal course of events, this is followed by some internal recriminations about slovenliness and laziness, and a passing shadow of fear that I'm clearly going to become the crazy old woman who gets crushed to death by the piles of newspapers she's been hoarding for twenty years. But as part of my general scheme of navel gazing, I decided to consider why I was doing a junior bag lady at home when in China I had less possessions that any of my friends.

If perfectionism is my writing kryptonite, then guilt is why I'm living in a lumber room, because I genuinely felt guilty for throwing stuff out: if I loved something when I was six then obviously I can't throw it out now, I might not have worn something for five years but there's nothing wrong with it. (Well, unless you count the fact that I'd look like trussed mutton in a lot of my 'perfectly fine' teenage/early twentysomething outfits.) Getting rid of it would be wasteful, and being wasteful is wrong.

Once I realised that the reason why I've been living with two (yes, TWO) broken suitcases, my dead dog's bed (died ten years ago) and every calender I've had since 1997 amongst other miscellanea I've been on a bit of a mission. Throwing stuff out (or being cheap, putting it aside for a car boot) feels good! I've only dealt with a quarter of the rubbish that's been festering away for years and already I feel strangely light and relieved.


  1. Clearing the decks for new energy to come in. Bravo! Love it or heave it.

  2. That sounds like great progress, well done you! :)'

  3. I've always found that cleaning out the closets is wonderfully refreshing. (once it's done!) We need so much less than we think we need.

  4. Go for it ! If you need some matches, kindling wood, and petrol, we can help. You are welcome to borrow my bulldozer too...


    You will feel so much lighter when you're done. But don't throw everything out either... some relics from childhood deserve to be preserved... I still hae some old treasures, but got rid of huge piles of stuff when I moved to France..

  5. I've always kept things organized in my wardrobe and find it mentally painful to have anything in disorder. So, I think you should just summon up the courage to clean out the negative energy. It will do wonders for your confidence and make you feel a lot better after its done.

  6. i find that cleaning and throwing thgs out helps me to declutter my mind

  7. Another day thowing out, and I feel, yes, lighter. And have had a good chance to have a laugh at the ridiculous rubbish I purchased as a teenager - what was I thinking?!! Can't wait to get it all down the tip or to a charity shop. And Owen - could've done with a mini bulldozer today for sure!