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It has been happening all through lockdown. We have been gripped with the decluttering bug. Friends and neighbours have been turning out lofts and watching videos on Youtube explaining how and why we need to declutter.
It is true we are all guilty of keeping odds and ends just in case they will be useful one day. Empty tins that get filled with buttons and screws that we collect and this last year has been a good time to throw stuff away and make space in our lives.
There is however another side to clutter. Recently I moved house. I like many have been shocked at the junk I have kept over the years and there have been many trips to the tip in the weeks before the move.
I have a large old cupboard that belonged to my grandmother and after much soul searching decided that yes I would take it with me and find space for it in the new house. I have been surprised it has fitted in well almost as if it belongs here and I am pleased that I decided it had to stay.
Last week my eldest granddaughter came over to help me empty boxes and we decided to put the stuff back in the centre part of the cupboard which has a glass door and is laughingly known as my cabinet of curiosities. The things in there range from buttons off a uniform, old coins, tiny elephants (given to my mother on her wedding day by her great aunt for good luck) and a whole multitude of other bits and pieces of no intrinsic value.
As we put them back I realised that each had a story to tell not just the tiny elephants and with my granddaughter we shared the stories about why these things had been kept. At the end of the afternoon my granddaughter said I want a cabinet of curiosities one day and I felt glad that I still had a home for grannies cupboard, and the clutter that is in it.
Another bundle of clutter that has joined me on my move as some of the cards and things that my children and now grandchildren made at school for special occasions. When my sister died a few years ago and sadly her only daughter had to clear her belongings she told me that it made her sad that her mother hadn’t kept a single card or picture from her days at school
Her mother had proudly displayed her graduation picture but she had found nothing even in the corner of a drawer that brought back memories of when she made that for her mother. My sister had moved around a great deal and I am sure it was just the necessities of moving that had caused her to be so ruthless. I know she loved her daughter and was proud of her. Sometimes we need to remember that what we call clutter can have memories attached.
Most families bring out a box of Christmas decorations that have been handed down over the years and share memories of when they were bought or made. A old neighbour of mine used to throw away her decorations every year and next year had a new theme on her christmas tree. My box of decorations goes back generations and every year like Grannie’s cupboard brings back memories even if some of them are now too tatty to come out of the box.
So if you are planning to declutter, remember that sometimes that tatty bit of junk may mean something to someone one day.
I have worked as a hypnotherapist in Leatherhead and London and I also teach hypnotherapy and train new hypnotherapists. I offer a full range of services including weight loss, stop smoking and treatment for phobias online via Zoom. Please get in touch to find out more.