Decluttering the Clutter – Stage 1

The mountains of clutter in the garage!

I’ve just been so exhausted with all the goings-on this week that I can barely think. You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything on my blog this past week. I’m usually known for my punctuality, but this week, it was impossible. On May the 2nd, I posted a piece entitled Family Moving In. I explained there that my son, Tom, and two young grandchildren, will be moving in with me for, possibly, the long term. It was meant to have happened by now, but as circumstances are, it’s more likely to be in the autumn.

Nevertheless, the junk room must be turned back into a bedroom for my son and young grandson (7). My granddaughter (9) already has her own room (my daughter’s old bedroom) as she’s previously come for sleepovers. There’s so much to do, as you can imagine. In addition, the garage needed to be cleared out so that Tom would have storage space when he moves in. I had a friend, Callie, come over on Monday morning to help with this onerous task. I’d hired a 6-yard skip which is currently sitting on the front lawn, slowly killing the grass!

Bearing in mind that I never go into the garage as I don’t own a car, I was mortified by the sight that greeted us when I opened the garage door. What a mess! Callie put her hands on her hips and rolled her sleeves up to the elbow. She meant business. “Where on Earth do we start?” she exclaimed in horror. I was physically unable to help, so she got stuck in while I gave instructions. She does house clearance as a part-time job, so was an expert on decluttering. Just as well with that lot to go through.

There were items in there that had been in the garage for decades – ancient tins of unusable paint, rusty and broken garden and DIY tools that hadn’t seen the light of day for many years, an old vacuum cleaner that I’m keeping for emergencies, big pieces of cardboard that my new kitchen came packed in about seven years ago, offcuts of chipboard shelves, rolls of old Lino and carpet … I could go on, but we’d be here all day. There were so many things I would have hung on to if it hadn’t been for Callie’s ruthless personality. Just as well as we’d have got nowhere with me in charge. As she worked through the clutter, she threw most of it into the skip. I couldn’t believe how much stuff I’d collected over the years.

After three hours, we decided that we’d done all we could do. We stood back and admired the beautifully tidy garage that I could now call my own.

Almost there

And this, ladies and gentlemen, was what the skip looked like when we’d finished!

In the last couple of days, I’ve had the decorator in to strip out the junk room. It’s been chaos here. It’s also meant having to get up very early every morning (I’m not usually an early bird, so I’m tired out). Once he’s finished, the carpet has got to go down. Then, it’ll be getting new furniture and beds. That’s a whole other story – I’ll be writing about those adventures in my next post.

Now, I need someone to come and make me a lovely hot cuppa and settle me down with a box of chocolates and a new head.

33 thoughts on “Decluttering the Clutter – Stage 1

  1. Sorry it was mistakenly sent before completion. 🙂 I was thinking about writing about the experience and got to read yours!! Glad to see your garage transformed. ❤👍

    1. Good luck with your decluttering, too, Mousumi. It’s been an exhausting process and I’ve still got to finish the spare bedroom for my son and grandchildren. I think that will be even more chaotic as it’s indoors and there is so much mess everywhere. At least, the garage was outdoors. I’ll write about the junk room to bedroom transformation in my next post. Xx 💜🌞💕

  2. Wow! That’s an impressive change, and for the better! Getting rid of all the stuff we accumulate over the years isn’t easy, but the result is worth it. And I bet it will be nice having your son and his family live with you!

    1. Thank you, Ann. I think when I get over the exhaustion, I’ll appreciate getting rid of so much. I’ve now got to get Tom and the childrens’ rooms ready for when they come. I’m so looking forward to having them stay, although a bit apprehensive as I’ve spent the last twenty-five years living on my own. It’ll take some adapting too. I’m seeing it as a challenge right now. Fingers crossed it’ll all work out for the best. Hope you are well, Ann X 🌞🌹🌻

    1. Thanks for your comment, Cherryl. I’ve still got half of the contents of the junk room to fit in it yet! I might need another skip! They’re expensive as well. Xx 😘💚🌹

  3. I’m happy that you had someone to help you organize. It’s SO easy to just amass things, but most of the time it just ends sitting there, taking up space, and becoming a headache for when you NEED TO get rid of it ALL.

    1. I was very grateful to have the help. There’s no way I could have tackled that chaos with Callie. I agree, it’s so easy to let things pile up in junk places and less easy to get rid of it all. The bedroom/junk room is another matter altogether, though. All the stuff in there is currently heaped in my bedroom and my granddaughter’s room and it’s all got to go somewhere after the room is being used by Tom and the children when they move in. I haven’t got a clue where! Once that room is finished, I will write a post about the goings on up there. Believe me, it’s far more complicated than tackling the garage! Thanks again for your comment, Sam. It’s appreciated. Xx 🌞

    1. Thank you, Harshi. I was exhausted by the end of yesterday with so much going on and would have loved someone to have come in and made me that cuppa and brought some chocolates with them. One of the joys of living alone is that you have to make your own cuppas! Still, I enjoyed it when I got it. Thanks again, Harshi xx ❤🌞🌹

    1. Thanks, Devang. That’s the garage sorted out. Now, I have to tackle the junk room and turn it into a bedroom for my son and the children to move into. It’ll mean more mess and chaos, and I’ll be very glad when it’s all finished. I shall write a post about that room once it’s been decorated and had furniture and curtains in it. I definitely need the rest. Thank you for your best wishes, too. Take care. 🌞

  4. Ellie, what a stunning transformation. I get tired just thinking about it. May you have multiple cups of slow and well deserved tea and the best chocolate around. Peanut must be quite out of sorts with all of this commotion! I hope that it at least provided some welcome discoveries for our feline friend : )

    1. Thank you, Stacey. I haven’t yet recovered from the effort, albeit I didn’t do all the shifting around of ‘stuff’ out there – my friend did the physical work – I just did the mental work – I think that was just as exhausting. It’s nothing to what is going on upstairs, with the junk room being turned into a bedroom for Tom and the children when they finally move in! It’s chaos with builders, decorators and carpet fitters in and out of the house. I will write more about that when it’s finished – if it ever is! Poor Peanut is quite confused. She hasn’t liked the noise and the strange people coming and going. She’s taken to hiding underneath my armchair – I guess she feels safe under there. The carpet was laid this morning so she’s upstairs breathing in the smells of new carpet. And thank you very much for the virtual cups of tea and chocolate. Somehow, making your own cuppa isn’t quite the same as someone else doing it for you, especially when you’re exhausted as I am. Xx 🐈🐾💕

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post and for appreciating the hard work that went into clearing out the garage. I really appreciate your kind words too. Take care. Ellie 🌞

  5. You’ve done a great job there, Ellie! I’m swamped at the moment, myself, trying to declutter my parents’ home (now that they’ve both passed on… and I have to move out; long story). I have piles of stuff they accumulated over the years (and I often wonder, ‘Why?) that I’m trying to shift, mainly through places like Freecycle, Nextdoor, Repair Café, and charity shops where there may be some residual value or reusability, and of course sorting everything else that’s recyclable (in the – somewhat vain – hope that it will actually be recycled and not shipped off to landfill or, worse, to foreign parts). But that’s because I’m in Climate Emergency mode. It’s a big job 😧

    1. Hi PeNdantry. Thanks for taking the time to read my post when you’re so run off your feet yourself. I’m sorry to hear about your parents passing. It’s a difficult time. When I lost my Mum, six years ago (and my Dad before that), there was so much stuff to go through. It can be a bit overwhelming, can’t it? Mum’s stuff went partly to charities, some to family and some to house clearance. I daresay some of it ended up in landfill. I also use Nextdoor and Freecycle although I haven’t heard of Repair Café. That sounds interesting and I’m going to research that for future reference. I’m totally with you all the way on the climate emergency. Believe it or not, I used to be a member of Extinction Rebellion and traveled to London a couple of times to protest as well as being very active in my home town. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do with being a wheelchair user as you can imagine. I’m still a member but since fracturing my pelvis it’s become more difficult. I still support them though. I wish you all the best in sorting through your parent’s belongings. Take care. Ellie

  6. That’s a big task to take on to get your place ready and sort out the garage. Might be just as well it’s not happening just yet!

    I’m glad you’ve got Callie to give you a hand and take the reins on being decisive. I need to be in the right mood to get rid of things otherwise I’d be too indecisive and keep everything.

    That’s a big job done with the garage cleanout and stripping the ‘junk room’. Celebrate the successes! Perhaps celebration by way of daytime naps given how early you’re having to get up. It’ll all be worth it in the end. I wish I were around to help. I wouldn’t be up to much physically but I could always hand you chocolates and cheer you on 😂

    Good luck for this week! Don’t overdo it if you can help it, look after yourself.

    Caz xx

    1. Hi Caz. Sorry for the late reply. I’ve been rushed off my feet again today. There’s so much to do as I wrote about. I’m very grateful for Callie’s help. I couldn’t manage without her. We were doing some more work on Tom’s room this morning. The new curtains went up today. It’s beginning to look more like a bedroom and less like a junk room! I still haven’t managed to have a cuppa and certainly not chocolate. I just haven’t stopped long enough. It’s very kind of you to [virtually] hand me a box of chocolates 🤗. Naps went out the window. Perhaps, tomorrow.

      I haven’t even had a minute to look at my blog until now. I’m now in bed as it’s now 10.20pm. I’ll have loads of catching up on reading other’s posts tomorrow and I’ve got to go out in the afternoon. It doesn’t stop. Thanks again for leaving me such a kind comment. Ellie xx 🌞

  7. Ellie, dear one. I’d come over to fix you a good cup of whatever your heart desires. And chocolate. Yes!
    Great progress, dear one. Decluttering works for stress too. Makes room for more peace to enter. Happy for how much you accomplished. So happy for friends like Callie. 💗
    And good luck for the job ahead. One day at a time, my sweet. Slow and easy. Please.
    Here’s looking at you. Sending blessings. XoXo

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Deeksha. It’s much appreciated. I’ve cleared the garage, but, like you, I really have to do my wardrobe, too. I keep putting it off as it’s always such a job to do. I can never decide what to keep and what to get rid of! Xx 😀💞🌞

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