De-junking your life was really popular a little while back, wasn’t it?  There were loads of magazine articles about clearing out your wardrobe and getting rid of any item you’d not worn for a year, throwing out any ornaments which marred the classically beige colour scheme of your lounge, and so on.  And I think there is indeed something in it.  The fewer items you own, the fewer things you have to find a home for, keep clean, or replace.  As someone who’s inherently untidy, resents cleaning, and hates shopping, these are all plusses.

But I think the articles missed one very important point – how much fun is to be had in the process of de-junking!  I cleared out our loft the other day – and as well as a lot of spiders, dust, and old cardboard boxes, I found a lot of memories.  For every item that you happily add to the “charity shop” pile, there’s another item which takes you back to your childhood or misspent adolescence, and yet another which you’d completely forgotten about. One thing is absolutely clear – you can’t get rid of everything or you risk living in a stale show home, bereft of any personal history.  Without life’s hoarders, we wouldn’t have antiques, exhibits for museums, and goodies for bric-a-brac shops.

I’m smug with the good deeds I’ve done – several bags have gone to the charity shops, my clothes drawers are not rammed full to bursting, but run smoothly on their runners. With everything in order, I feel a sense of ease and weightlessness (is this the beginning of OCD, I wonder?). 

Now, since nature abhors a vacuum, the challenge will be to ensure I don’t just acquire more junk!  But of course, junk, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder….

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