Tackling your Gremlins

DSCF4080There are a few areas in our house where I swear the crap just multiplies when we’re not looking, like a Gremlin that’s got wet.

Today we tackled the terrifying cupboard under the kitchen sink, which is meant to house cleaning products. We found, among other things, car maintenance stuff, slippers, compost, driftwood, a smoothie maker, more incense than we can feasibly use in our lifetimes, more than 20 lighters and heaps and heaps and heaps of plastic carrier bags sat waiting to be reused.

We emptied it all out onto the kitchen counter tops and it looked ridiculous.

About half the stuff went back in and the cupboard is at least functional now, although a lot of the carrier bags have lived to see another day. That’s because a mandatory 5p charge for plastic bags in shops is starting in England next month – a move I support – and it’s giving me an added incentive to actually reuse them rather than keep them in a pile of good intentions. Oh, look, another one of those times when minimalism and frugality clash.

Often, newbie minimalists are told to start easy, clear off a shelf and see how it goes. That’s great, and that’s certainly how I started. But I have to say, it’s far more satisfying to blitz a heap of shit and see it totally transformed.

4 thoughts on “Tackling your Gremlins

  1. Lisa says:

    Slippers? Under the kitchen sink? When my father died, I was cleaning out his house. He was a bit of a hoarder. And a lifelong smoker. I came across so many lighters throughout the house, I started putting them in a bag. When I was all done. I laid them all out. There were well over 50 lighters. I was also convinced that he’d need a screwdriver and not be able to find one and go out and buy another. The man had a lot of screwdrivers. Cleaning my dad’s house made me want to get rid of all my stuff so my son doesn’t have to go through what I did. Keep fighting the good fight. Sometimes it seems two steps forward and one step back, but you’ll get there. I’m still on my journey. I’ve gotten rid of quite a bit and still have more than I need. My husband is slowly getting on board.

    1. Claire says:

      Thanks for the comment Lisa. Yes, I’ve no idea what the slippers were doing there. No idea. And yourdescription of clearing your father’s house is really moving. It must be utterly heartbreaking to have to go through someone’s things like that. It seems to be something quite a few minimalists reference as the ‘wake up call’ – realising we’re not our stuff.

  2. A piece of advice I give to people attempting to declutter: Do not clear more than you can maintain. If that junk drawer is filled back up a few days after you cleaned it out, you need to address the problem, which is why the drawer is full of junk in the first place. If you’re decluttering the house and it’s all just building up again in your wake, you’re not accomplishing anything.

  3. Nads says:

    Totally agree about downsizing in volumes. You’ll be able to appreciate the result more and be encouraged to do the same in the future. Marie Kondo would approve.

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