Monday, 25 April 2011

Soul for sale: Oxfam, Edinburgh

I have been reflecting on my clutter issue. This weekend, as promised, I have begun the clearing out. The black bags are piling up, and my digital camera and I have been busy snapping my unwanted (although mostly wanted) clothes to flog on eBay.

But I feel I am alone in my mess.

My flatmates’ idea of a home is somewhere you live without leaving the slightest impression of human habitation. That's why, before they go to bed every night, they move the scatter cushions half an inch from where they’ve been all day, so that the sofa looks like a derriere has never darkened its door.

My mother is also a tidy woman. You could literally eat off the floor of her kitchen, and if you leave an item of clothing even momentarily unattended it will be washed, ironed and ready to wear afresh before you even have time to ask ‘where did I put my cardigan?’ There are clean surfaces, a place for everything and everything in its place.

As discussed in my last post, Stuff it,I am not like this. Every surface is littered with books, paperwork that needs attending to, junk mail that needs the bin, and dare I confess it, half drunk mugs of tea.

Nothing is in its place because nothing has a place. How do you give something a place? Surely this is a question that should tax the minds of the world's finest philosophers, and yet most people seem to manage it quite naturally. So instead I pick my way through piles of clutter and weave the hoover in and out of the patches of visible floor. Whilst I have always maintained that life is too short, I am beginning to worry that I am leading a perilously inefficient and disorganised life.

From a practical, moral and I suspect bacterial perspective, it is basically wrong to live like this. And so I have begun the Great De-cluttering of 2011.

It is at times like these that I wish I lived in America. Oh to just have a yard sale. Dump all my stuff on the front lawn and sell my wares to the nosy neighbours. A car boot sale is not the same. And besides, I don’t own a car.

So instead the charity shop is benefiting from my great purge. But where does it end? Do I have to give away my bed?

My books will be safe. The dvds may not be so lucky. I’m sure my soul will be shattered as I sell all my dresses to ‘hot-shopper-666’ on eBay. Ah well I'll just tidy that up and put it in a binbag. Coming soon to an Oxfam near you.


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  1. “Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

  2. Dear Rachel

    You have inspired me - I too have had a clear out followed by a trip to the charity shop.


    K xxx

  3. Love the link Clayton. Merci. Done my 5 mins.