Decluttering is a traumatic job

Mae with clothes for donation
Mae with clothes for donation

It’s done!  I emptied my wardrobe in a traumatising process. I found clothes I hadn’t looked at in six years which I loved but threw out for the Salvos. Some which were my favourite were size 12! A part of me said “but you’re losing more weight what will you do when you reach 12?” And I’d respond “don’t worry we’ll buy new ones” and out they would go onto the bed where Mae decided was the best place in the home to sit. There are hoarders and collectors, there is a big difference. Collectors meticulously keep things of sentimental value packing everything away neatly in boxes and cupboards until they have so many they don’t remember what they have, but their homes are tidy. Then they’re looking for something specific and the guilt of having so much stored away gets them upset! That’s what happened to me,  8 weeks ago I began the decluttering. Hoarders throw everything around until there no room for them and it can get unhygienic too. I watched the shows on TV cause I loved the ending when their homes were spotless.

I eagerly began, not realising how traumatic it would be to let go of precious things. It’s hard for me to let go of material things. I believe this is so because my family was allowed to

My decluttered wardrobe
My decluttered wardrobe

leave Romania at end WWII with just the clothes we had on because my Dad was Greek Orthodox and qualified to go to Greece with his family as refugees. While in Greece we were housed in an old asylum and our home was on the dirt floor in the basement. I was 4yrs old and now in my 70s I can still smell that dirt when I remember back. Then  2yrs later we came out on a merchant ship to Australia with 300 other Greek Romanian families on the Marshall Plan, where we were kept in Army tents turned into Refugee Camps until the men got government allocated jobs and could move their families out. Our fares had to be paid back to the Council of Churches who paid them originally. So my father got work with the Australian Aluminum Co.  and together with another man bought a huge tent which was erected with 2 double beds divided by a blanket and a large dining table housing their families, on a block of land at Fairfield. This was while the men built a half house which was still in progress when we moved in. It was 2 rooms divided by a wall and one family lived in one room with its kitchen dining room and external door out to the back while our family had the other similar bedsitter with an external door at the front.

So from that beginning  I became attached to my possessions and the trauma was about letting things go that I had collected for over 60yrs, and which I no longer needed. When I start a project I’m committed to finish it no matter how painful, so this decluttering was traumatic because of my history. Nevertheless imagining how great I’d feel when the clutter is gone kept me going till the end. If the truth be known, however, there are still some suitcases in my wardrobe that a strong member of my family will need to pull down which need to be cleared.💥


2 thoughts on “Decluttering is a traumatic job”

  1. What an inspiring story! I too need to declutter my home URGENTLY, but like you, I find it very hard to let go of things. You should be SO proud of yourself. I need to move house soon, so I keep telling myself I’ll do it then, when in actual fact I think I’m just making excuses for not doing it now. I have so much, I just don’t know where to start. My wardrobe is probably a good place to begin. Thank-you for a wonderful article yet again.

    1. Joan I am so proud and contented because I’ve move often and each time I just stored things away for when I’d have the time. Philosopher Holmes believed that if you want contentment first you must clear up your surrounding environment in order for your mind to declutter. So to get me motivated I watched all those Hoarder shows with the spotless organised outcomes. That’s why I shared my story so that I would stay committed to such a traumatic task. Thanks for your inspiring comments and good luck with your decluttering, it’s hard but it’s worth the outcome.

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