Clearing Out – My challenge to myself for November

Call it what you like, the vast majority of us, have far too much stuff.  Not only do I have too  much stuff, a couple of years ago, my mother died and while I passed a lot onto charity shops, I kept a lot of things that would be ‘useful’ one day, or they had a sentimental attachment for me. I remember when xxxx….

Then following a major cupboard collapse, a few weeks ago, I have had to find alternate places for the contents of 6 metres of wall cupboards. That’s a lot of ‘stuff’. I also have a loft that’s bursting with even more ‘stuff’

So over the next few months, I have to

  • positively decide I am going to keep an article – I wear it (it still fits!), I use it, I need it
  • I am not going to keep it – can I sell it? will I give it away on Gumtree, give it to a charity shop, or throw it away.

Some years ago, I read an article, where over a period of 1 month, you start on Day 1, clear out 1 thing, Day 2, 2 things, Day 3, 3 things etc. By the end of the month you should have cleared out 406 – 496 things depending on how many days there are in the month. I tried this in February 2015, and according to my spreadsheet, I managed to clear 107 things, but I ran out of steam halfway through the month. Here’s hoping I do better this time.

I read on Early Retirement Extreme a discussion some time ago, about how many plates and cups one person needs. See his list of essential kitchen equipment here. I fail miserably… I could feed 60 people using the crockery in my house. I am not sure I would want to get even close to Jacob’s definition, but I know I have gone too far the other way. Not only did I have plenty in my own right, I inherited a full 12 place setting of my mother’s Royal Doulton dinner service, and as it was her mothers before that, I have a sentimental attachment to it, however I already had plenty of my own. Do my husband and I (all 2 of us) need more than 60 dinner plates, desert bowls etc, etc. We also hold a big party every couple of years, so I suspect I could manage to find 60 wine glasses as well.  Then saucepans, I probably have a dozen of varying sizes. I could go on and on….

Books – for those of you who are familiar with the IKEA Billy range of bookcases, I have 7 of the 2metre high, 1 metre wide, all full. Many are my son’s, but regardless that’s still more than 42m of books (some are double stacked!) I could open a book shop. I will just have to get busy on eBay / Gumtree. It all takes time. While I am retired, I am also a non-exec director (non paid!)which takes up 2-3 days a month, I am trying to get this blog up and running, I have a time consuming hobby of metal working & silver jewellery making, I try to fit in a 1 hour walk each day, I am learning French and Spanish (one hour each day, I’m using Duolingo which is free). The list goes on.

So perhaps I’ll stop writing, and start clearing




  1. I always have clear outs, I put stuff that I can get money for on ebay or Gumtree, then everything left over I sell at a car boot sale.

    I try to think of it as if I was moving house, would I want to pack it all up?

    1. What a good way of looking at it. I definitely wouldn’t want to pack all this stuff up. Thanks

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