Thursday 28 January 2016


We recently contemplated moving house, but quite quickly discounted the idea. Various reasons, the thought of avoiding having to do a loft conversion was one them, complications of citizenship another. Above all though it was the sheer agony of having to pack! Good grief we have a lot of stuff. Unnecessary junk for the most part, Mrs L and I both guilty - me more guilty, but less obviously so. Would that we could roll the clock back to when we arrived 11 years ago. We moved from a house half the size, and after moving in continued to wander around largely empty rooms for quite some time. Roll on ten years and we can barely move, but have no recollection of when this change happened. Gradually I suspect, the purchase of a book here, a pair of binoculars there..... Not that the house is totally stuffed with reading material and optics, but you get the idea. Partially stuffed. The other day I looked at a bookshelf and realised I had not even opened the glass door on it for about five years. My 7x42 binoculars, when did I last look through them?

Ugh. There is junk everywhere. Fishing stuff, millions of bird books, two-way radios, wool, rocks and pebbles, plants, cricket balls, photos, a collection of pine cones from around the world. Why?! How does this happen? Well it just does. Stuff just accumulates if you're not careful. Like children. We arrived with a one year old, tiny. Now we have three of them and that one year old is massive, way bigger than we ever anticipated. And is collecting his own belongings! The house is awash with sports kit, clothes, shoes, and all manner of crap that a twelve year old picks up along the way.

Something must be done. Some serious decluttering must occur, and I am starting now. Naturally I made a list..... In fact it is three lists.

1. Sell
2. Give away
3. Throw away

The key I think is to be strict. If I have not actively used something for a year, I must not need it, so off it goes. So goodbye the pair of bins that live in the car. Whenever I drive to a bird I take my other bins, so what is the point of car bins exactly? A couple camera lenses bought on a whim and used.....twice perhaps? A watch that just sits on the windowsill. A shelf of books I've not opened for a couple of years. Some cassette tapes and a pair of shoes with a hole in. A long wave radio! A dead amplifier that was replaced but yet sits on top of the new one! A hundred DVDs that are all classics but that I never watch as I don't have the time.

And this is the key part. It takes time to get rid of stuff. If I was being totally ruthless I would hire a skip and simply heave the whole lot in. I'd be done in an afternoon! Goodbye and good riddance. But you shouldn't really do that with Leicas.....


  1. No, that's right. You should recycle your redundant Leicas via the Dorset branch of the 'Old Bins Protection League'. I'll send you the address.

    I know about clutter. Downsizing last year forced us into a dramatic turfing out. Very cathartic. Loads of stuff gone, and no regrets about any of it.

    well, hardly any...

  2. Decluttering is a never-ending process. The first cut is never cruel enough. Neither is the second, third and so on.