A friend of mine had the sad, but necessary task, of helping an elderly relative move into some sheltered accommodation. Her relative needed to downsize so she asked me to give her a hand.
I was quite excited – a de-cluttering project!! Right up my street.
However, when I got to the house, I felt both mentally and physically overwhelmed. The poor woman had not been mobile for some time and just couldn’t cope with keeping the house tidy or sorting out her belongings.
There was literally no surface visible. Everything was crowded onto table tops, worktops, window sills and especially the floor. There were mats on top of rugs on top of carpet. Ornaments and mementoes balanced precariously on every available shelf. The walls were filled with photographs and pictures. Bookshelves held candles, torn-out recipes, wrapping paper, all sorts of odds and ends – never mind books. Newspapers were in piles in corners.
I think it was probably symptomatic of a happy, full life but one which had got a bit crowded out by the clutter.
I was amazed at how easily my friend’s relative let go of the ‘stuff’. I thought most of it may have had sentimental value and would be hard to part with – but besides some cherished photo albums, in the end it was just seen as ‘stuff’.
Yet, I felt very overwhelmed and oppressed by it all. I thought, even if I could have whatever I wanted, I know for certain now that I wouldn’t have it. Light, space and clear surfaces have become very important to me and far outweigh most material items. I couldn’t go back to my old ways now if I tried. And I don’t want to even try.
My friend’s relative had a smooth move. She seems contented in her new surroundings and pores over the photo albums every day. Every photo has a story to go with it! In the end, this was what mattered – just a few small items to trigger memories and re-live happy times.
Have a great week 😊