De-Cluttering and Disposaphobia

flowers in springI don’t know if it’s the sudden infiltration of Spring filling the air, or the redundant musical instruments that oft clutter up our dining room; but last weekend I was compelled to treat Peachy Towers to a HUGE de-clutter and a shift around.  So, armed with charity bags, bin bags and one very sleepy child, Mr J and I set about moving furniture and sorting each and every room.

I guess it comes with being at home a lot, not to mention constantly picking up after a baby, but there are times I find our lovely little house a bit stifling, usually when we are head to toe in piles of paper, scattered magazines and living amongst a sea of the aforementioned instruments.  We have little space to work with, our home is pretty compact and once you consider the baby factor, the music, craft, writing, general fanatical geek factors; it’s no wonder we need to make the best of a small space!  Lucky for me, I find clearing out very therapeutic, but our second de-clutter of the year got me thinking a lot about a term Judith Levine had discussed in her book ‘Not Buying It’, are we a society suffering from Disposaphobia??  Is my year without shopping turning me into a Disposaphobic?

I best start by saying I had high hopes for my literary trip with Jude and her year out from shopping.  In truth, she was a million miles away from my Frugally Fabulous Year! Judith Levine She managed to shop.  Twice.  She often talked of self-help groups and associations that helped you to NOT spend, by TAKING your money and then telling you how NOT to spend it.  Plus, we were worlds apart as people; Jude is a successful writer in her fifties running two homes and three cars with her partner.  Me?  New mum on a huge career transition running a relatively new home with a penchant for fashion and vintage, stingy about getting buses, Queen of eBay.  Where I may struggle sticking to a weekly food budget of £50, Jude metaphorically wept on the pages as she discussed her dilemma at losing a particular brand of socks or reminisced about ‘that Winter she couldn’t replace her ski wear’.  Overall I didn’t buy it.  Because she bought it.

But she did talk a little about this theory of Disposaphobia and how, as a society, we are too afraid to throw anything out and I couldn’t help but think she was right, but is it wrong?  Looking around us this weekend, we both moved in with a load of ‘might do’s’, ‘could be useful’s and a whole help of baggage!  It is said that we place so much value on ‘things’ rather than experiences, it feels that by throwing these ‘things’ away, we are throwing a part of ourselves away.  It is almost as if we need physical reminders of where we have been and what we have done – from concert tickets and leaflets, receipts and long-dead crockery – we take everything we have with us, because we are too scared of leaving ‘us’ behind.  I’m guilty of it, ticket stubs that bring back memories of films I’ve loved and gigs long past – you only need to take a look at Instagram to see how important it is, for many, to capture each and every moment of our lives – whether that’s a beautiful woodland scene or a well-cooked omelette!  But why do we do that?  Is it because we have to have a constant reminder of what we have done, where we have been?  Disposaphobia talks of longing to hold on to the past and my oh my it’s a hard habit to break!  I like to make memories and I like to hold on to them, not because they define me but because they are a tiny fragment of my journey.  But I guess I want to learn to live in each moment too – I don’t HAVE to take a photo to remember a gig; I might want to close my eyes and let it all wash over me again, which is something even a photo can’t bring to life.  But, at the same time, having a good throwback session with the photo album can’t possibly be bad for the soul and, one day, I hope to share my experiences with Daisy in the same way that my Mum shared hers with me!  Does that mean I’m Disposaphobic?  Or just happy to hang on to the good bits for another time?

I have a firm belief that, as a creative, you always have a pile of ‘will do’s’ waiting for you – I’m a fabric hoarder, a yarn hoarder and a hoarder of memories.  I’m making my way through the material, de-fusing the yarn bomb, the memories not so much, I want them to stay!  Much like The Dice Man, I live in a permanent state of organised and unpredictable chaos; we have a lot of stuff, and very little places to store them.  I’m not defined by the clothes on my back or the DVDs on my rack, but I will make space for the stubs, the useless bits and the experiences they brought me.  A sure sign of disposaphobia?  I’m undecided!

Well, needless to say, our de-clutter was very therapeutic – check out our lovely dining room now, perfect for family dinners and hardly a musical instrument in sight!Dining room 2  I had one of those made cupboard cleaning episodes and the house is feeling bright and airy.  Peace has been somewhat restored to our chaotic abode – even the sun isn’t unwelcome; says she, a firm fan of the dark side!  Our next job is to make some sense and prettiness of our top room, which serves as a dressing room/craft space – a haven for the disposaphobic in all of us!

Stay Peachy x

Are you a hoarder?  Do you like a good de-clutter?  As always, I would love to know!

15 thoughts on “De-Cluttering and Disposaphobia

  1. Leslie

    I need to declutter too. It was 70* yesterday & today. I’m so ready for Spring & I never thought I’d say I was happy to see a little pollen on my car tonight!

    Reply
    1. emma@missberrys.co.uk Post author

      YAY! Me neither, I’m a huge winter lover but it’s lovely to see Spring – everything feels cleansed and brand new! xx

      Reply
  2. Caroline

    I used to be a terrible hoarder, more out of sheer laziness than anything else.

    I’m so much better now and it is a positive thing. My only problem is if something is in good condition. I still get the “it might be useful” voices in my head!

    Decluttered is definitely more peaceful.

    Reply
    1. emma@missberrys.co.uk Post author

      Completely agree Caroline, tidy house tidy mind – an old but very true mantra in my eyes! x

      Reply
  3. Fiona

    I too have ticket stubs from every gig I have ever been to! I can’t throw them out. I have 2 boxes of memories, I keep thinking I will put them into scrapbooks if I ever find the time! I do like a de-clutter every now and then, and when I do I am ruthless and feel cleansed afterwards. Ready to clutter the house all over again :-)

    Reply
    1. emma@missberrys.co.uk Post author

      Exactly Fiona! We now have more space for more clutter! I love Emma who commented idea of making a collage of ticket stubs etc – I’m so tempted to do it! x

      Reply
  4. Tracy

    Hi Emma, great read really well written! I felt myself nodding along as I read as we too are hoarders. I have huge collections of books/magazines, craft materials, fabrics etc, my Partner is an Artist so he has an unbelievable amount of stuff , throw that in with two kids and a love for car boot and charity shopping and the house is bursting! We do a huge car boot sale once a year to clear some of it and whatever doesn’t sell goes straight to the charity shop! I also pass on kids clothes to friends and family which always makes me feel good :)
    Well done on your de-cluttering session, mine is well and truly due! Your dining room looks lovely xx

    Reply
    1. emma@missberrys.co.uk Post author

      Hi Tracy – ah then you completely understand me! It feels good to have a clear out but I never want to regret getting rid of anything at the same time! Car boots are great places to declutter- though also great places to pick up clutter and add to our collection eh?! Thank you so much for reading xx

      Reply
  5. Vicki

    I use to hoard sooooo much!! It only ended when I moved to a tiny studio flat and couldn’t possibly take everything I owed. i found chucking things out rather therapeutic, Magazines and clothes were the items In particular I would hoard..

    Its only been the last two years that I have stopped being so senimental about things, although seeing my favourite cardigan go on ebay this week was a bit heart renching, however, I think my goth days are over and it would never have been worn by me again. It was time to let it go to a new home! x

    Reply
    1. emma@missberrys.co.uk Post author

      Hi Vicki! I totally agree it can be so therapeutic, I definitely feel better after a good clear out – there are just some things I can’t bear to part with! Funny you should mention your goth days….I don’t think mine ever properly left me!!!! Thanks for reading – heading over to check your blog out now, lovely to meet a fellow frugal friend! x

      Reply
      1. Vicki

        Hi Emma! I’m still goth at heart but there are some items I just can’t pull off anymore! I’m a bit more goth glam these days.

        Reply
  6. Emma-Louise Porter

    I absolutely love reading your blog! I too am a hoarder mainly as you say of ticket stubs and reminders of trips out or holidays away.

    My husband and I whilst pregnant decided that we had so many that we wanted to put them in a place that we could show everyone who came to our house, especially our new bundle of joy who was cooking inside me at the time. So we took our box of memories and spent an evening of making one big collage of our favourites (we even had the receipt from our first date). We have framed it and put it on our landing in pride of place so anyone who comes can admire it or if they have the time stop and have a look through our adventures.

    Needless to say the stubs are stacking up again so a new collage is required now! Being a disposaphobic has got to be a good thing surely it means we are so contented we want to hold on to those memories, throwing it away would mean unhappiness and that is definitely not for me :)

    Reply
    1. emma@missberrys.co.uk Post author

      Hi Emma! Thank you so much for reading! That is a FANTASTIC idea for ticket stubs – I’m tempted to do the same, I have some dating back years and years, what a lovely idea! I agree that disposaphobia in that sense is only a good thing – we need to celebrate and relive the good times as there are often not very nice times to combat! xx

      Reply
  7. Andrea

    Hi. I popped over after reading Sally Strawberry’s blog about a re-loved denim dress in which you were mentioned, and I’m glad I did. Your blog is really well written and struck a chord. I am definitely a hoarder. All crafty stuff but still, that can encompass a lot. I made scrapbooks for a few holidays with flight stubs, restaurant cards, town maps and key photos which are lovely to flick through. I do admit to still having a few scrapbooks unfinished (okay un-started) but I will get there.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>