cleaning up and clearing out – a cathartic exercise

I’ve been on the path of simplifying my life for a while now. More in my head than in the actual physical world unfortunately… I lie in bed at night and mentally clean out the sheds with overflow with crap I’ve accumulated in the last few years, things I plan to use to make something one day, things which will come in useful one day, things that I’m sure I’ll need again one day

Well, I’ve decided that if one day hasn’t come in the last 5 years, it probably won’t ever come, and I’m beginning to sort things out.

Of course, its way easier said than done. Especially when you visit a friend’s house and she has way more stuff than you do, and you talk about something you once had but threw out, and how there’s a great idea for it here and now, but its gone, cause you cleaned out and threw it away, and now you don’t have it for that great idea and you kick yourself and you want all the more to hold onto things you do have right now, cause you’ll surely need them one day, when you have another great idea and you’ll go searching in the bowels of the shed where people are afraid to enter cause its crammed full of things precariously balanced on top of other things and if you shift one thing you’re in danger of being crushed by the weight of all the good stuff you can’t let go of, cause, surely, you will need them soon, or one day, cause here you are now, looking for that one thing you know you put in the shed in 1993 cause you were sure it would come in handy one day and the day has arrived and here you are, rummaging in boxes up to your neck and pulling it out triumphantly and saying “here it is! I knew I had one of those!” its perfect for the job, and you’re glad you’re so clever and had the foresight to keep it all those years ago…


Its not easy to clear out stuff.


But here I am, my nose full dust and, ugh no doubt, mouse droppings, cause storing stuff in sheds means that, inevitably, mice get into things and if you’re lucky they only chew up the newspaper and plastic containers and not the items you so loving shoved in there so long ago.

I began with a plan: throw out anything I’m not likely to need or use in this lifetime. That included all bits of furniture or timber which wasn’t real wood – I took things apart, removing and keeping hinges or catches or doors. Any smaller bits of real wood which were of no use were put into the kindling pile.

I allocated the space just outside the store room as a temporary rubbish dump, tossing bags of rubbish out there, flinging out the chipboard pieces I don’t think I’ll ever want to use but which I kept just in case…

I packed up things which would be sold at a garage sale I’m planning to have sometime in the near future. ie useful things which need to be in someone else’s home where they’ll be used and appreciated more than I appreciate them.

Another pile for items I’ll take to work for projects there.

Bags of things I no longer want to take to various friends who I know might appreciate them.

Lastly, I went through my big plastic storage boxes of craft and sewing stuff. I was ruthless. I managed to go from 9 boxes down to 6. I still have tons of craft materials, but I’m a bit more realistic about what I’ll actually use.

So, prepare your eyeballs for the before and afters.



Almost everything on the lower level on the left hand side of the above pic is garage sale stuff – which means I’ll have that much more space when its gone!



I still have bits of wood, doors, STUFF, but its easier to get to now.



I even have space left on shelves now! The poodles approve. They can now get through the room and get outside.



I’m feeling better already, and I’ve only just started.
I mean that in a figurative way cause I’ve been working on this for most of the weekend. On and off. But I still have the entire workshop area to clean up and organise and a whole 2 other sheds to start on.
Its going to be a looooooong haul.

3 thoughts on “cleaning up and clearing out – a cathartic exercise

  1. If the poodles approve, all is good!!!

    It's difficult to know what you'll need down the line, especially if it is stuff to make other stuff out of. You can decide quickly whether you need a broken coffee maker or two crock pots, but knowing what you will want to make in the future…Well that's a tough one! I think it was probably good to get rid of anything that wasn't real wood.

    Having a sense of accomplishment could propel you into the other sheds and clean them out, too. I know when I cleaned out, possibilities began to come in. That's when Katie's job became full-time and we bought a house. {I have a garage full of garage sale stuff waiting for a warmer day!} Are you hoping for something like that? Something big and important? If you are, I hope you get it.

    Way to go, Zefi! I'm one of your cheerleaders!


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