The other day whilst out and about doing errands, I popped into one of the local charity shops to drop off a couple of bags of items that I have needed to take for a while now. I resisted the urge to have a look around and acquire anything else, as Little Bird was waiting for me in the car and I didn't have any spare money to spend. (Not to mention any room in the house).
More or less as soon as I got home, I felt compelled to begin another round of decluttering and proceeded to start filling more bags to take. I started the process by sorting through the shoe basket. It had been spilling over for a couple of months and I knew there were shoes in there that were no longer worn, were worn out or had been grown out of. I put a few pairs of canvas pumps in the washing machine, to clean them up a bit and cleaned and polished another pair of leather shoes ready to donate. I'm sure I'm not alone in not liking to donate something that is dirty, damaged or stained. If necessary, I will cut clothes for rags rather than send them to the charity shop in an unwearable condition.
I came across an old favourite pair of knee length black leather boots and decided to give them a polish too, ready to wear in the autumn or when the weather takes a turn. I think I'm going to restrain myself from buying any new ones again this year and get these rehealed, as there is something nice and familiar about a comfortable pair of boots whose leather has become supple with age. In addition I do find it hard to get a boot to fit on the calf and these are perfect in that respect. Who cares if they're not the latest style. Having said that, when I was looking at boots in sales in July, many of them were almost identical to the ones I already own.
I also found a favoured pair of ankle boots whilst I was in the shoe basket, that I am going to give a makeover. I thought about doing it last year, but couldn't quite bring myself to do it. This year, however, I'm certain it's the right thing to do. I just need some black leather shoe dye and it's as good as done. Another outgrown pair of shoes I'm going to sell on eBay, as they are in very good condition and are a very popular brand. I'm calling this sudden burst of activity my pre-autumn clear out. It felt good to get stuck in and clear some more unwanted 'stuff'.
Next on the list of places to declutter was Little Bird's wardrobe and chest of drawers, which seemed to be full of clothes she no longer wears. Having her at home in the holidays, she was able to help me and tell me which items she no longer wished to keep. I was completely shocked at the volume of clothes we put on the donate pile. I think I've been hanging onto a lot of her things for emotional reasons and because I liked them, when she no longer wore them or liked them herself. It was time to say goodbye and let go.
What shocked me the most were the number things I'd bought her that she'd hardly ever or never even worn. Some of these I am going to sell and some I'm going to give to a relative who has a younger daughter who will grow into them. Most of the rest filled a bag to go to the charity shop, save a few old and damaged items that I will be cutting up for rags or to modify. It made me realise that often over the last few years, I've bought her things that I liked, that were not what she liked or would want to wear. It just really isn't worth doing that anymore. She has her own style and tastes now and I think I'm better off letting her get on with it, with a bit of guidance here and there. It will have to be joint shopping trips from now on and no more ordering things on line without consulting her, no matter how much of a bargain they are in the sales. It really is just false a economy.
I'm still looking around the house for other things to donate. My wardrobe and drawers might get a good sort through again I think and maybe even the linen cupboard too. I like to have a charity shop bag on the go at all times, as it makes it easy to just pop things in, as and when I decide to part with them.
I've been feeling particularly in the mood to declutter lately, as possessions seem to be weighing heavily on me at the moment. Not sure why, but there it is. I'm trying not to be too hasty or rash in my decision making, just in case I change my mind about some things. It is likely that it will take me at least a month or so to fill another couple of bags and then donate them, but the purging of the clutter is nevertheless proving very therapeutic. I think I must be in a better place to be able to part with things, that previously I would have found it hard to let go of. Perhaps Little Bird's fast approaching transition to secondary school has a lot to do with it. I'll keep you posted on progress.