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Decluttering a small flat and I'm swamped with emotion.

(18 Posts)
Phoebefromfriends Wed 31-May-17 10:46:47

So I've recently been decluttering my flat as I wanted to get rid of an expensive storage unit. My small flat is now busting at the seams from the unit and I'm trying to sort through the mess. I started shredding paperwork and 3 days later I'm still going. I didn't expect it to be so blooming emotional, fifteen years of life in paperwork. Also despite all this clearing out my flat doesn't look ANY different. I think I'm going to have a break today and clear it away as I'm going to see my parents for a few days. I've tried to just focus on a small amount but when you have open plan living and very little storage it gets on top of you. I'm so embarrassed by my flat that I don't invite friends in. The process of clearing the storage unit was huge because it was pretty full so I've done well, I also took pictures so I could track my progress, I just didn't expect to be so emotional. Any advice is welcome.

AddToBasket Wed 31-May-17 10:51:50

I did this a few months ago with loads of deceased relatives stuff I had kept in boxes. It is exhausting.

Stop shredding. It's too time consuming. Just take it to paper recycling or if you have somewhere you can have a bonfire just burn it. The main thing is to get it out.

As for the emotion, yes, you'll feel it. But you will feel amazing afterwards, like you have had a massive cathartic cry. Keep going! smile

Phoebefromfriends Wed 31-May-17 11:29:00

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately I don't have anywhere I could have a bonfire as I would take pleasure in burning it all. I've found stuff I've been looking for that has been missing for ages. It's not even related to any deceased relatives it's just my crap. My one friend is fed up of hearing about it, although I've not actually spoken to her that much I couldn't meet her on Monday because I was clearing stuff and she made a comment about why was it taking so long, makes me feel ridiculous. Then my family tease me about my clutter and it kind of upsets me, I'd prefer it if they just listened and supported me. I'm really trying to be ruthless and they never expected me to clear the unit out but I did, they were shocked.

user1495915742 Wed 31-May-17 14:23:37

Well done for getting it out of storage!

You've made a good start. You just need to keep going. Keep chipping away at it every day and you'll get there. It just takes time. Commit to a minimum amount of time every day (30 minutes?), set your alarm and go! If you want to do more then just keep going but make sure you do a bit every. single. day. Slow and sure wins the race!

Do not discuss it with anyone who judges or ridicules you.... People who say, "Are you still doing that?!" or "Phoebe and her clutter problem!" followed by a snigger. Life is hard enough without those comments. If anyone asks just say you are ploughing through and change the subject.

Phoebefromfriends Wed 31-May-17 14:56:46

Thanks for the pep talk, I'm normally quite strong but this is a sensitive area. My family were shocked about how I tackled the storage unit and kept talking about helping me when they came down in Aug. I finished at the end of April after 5 weeks sorting it out, not continuously but I started it and dedicated a few hours each weekend to doing it.

Today I've e taken a break from shredding and sorted out a cupboard instead, which has made me feel better.

I'm going to set small goals and keep focused. If I can manage the storage unit I can sort the flat.

1AngelicFruitCake Wed 31-May-17 15:27:53

It can become addictive once you notice the difference!

Phoebefromfriends Wed 31-May-17 16:07:45

Let's hope so, I actually took pictures of the storage unit everytime I took things out so I could see how far I'd come, that was fairly motivational along with the financial incentive of saving nearly £80 per month

Phoebefromfriends Wed 31-May-17 16:14:49

And I've also taken another box to the charity shop......

MargotLovedTom1 Wed 31-May-17 16:18:16

Ah it becomes clear now you mention the monthly cost - I was imagining a unit as in a sideboard/dresser thing, and was wondering how big it was to hold so much stuff!

Well done on what you've done so far.

Phoebefromfriends Wed 31-May-17 16:28:03

Ah sorry about that I wasn't clear, the storage unit was roughly 8ft by 4ft so pretty big and filled with crap. My current flat is pretty small with no storage, I was previously in a spacious two bed. I relocated from a different part of the South West and struggled to find a flat which is why it is smaller, now I'm trying to sort my finances out and don't want to move again in the near future hence the marathon decluttering.

DancingLedge Wed 31-May-17 16:33:20

Sounds to me like you've done huge amount. Kudos.

Hope you're giving yourself a pat on the back

Phoebefromfriends Wed 31-May-17 19:15:06

Thanks DancingLedge I suppose writing it down makes me see how far I've come. I'm away for a few days from tomorrow, hopefully I will return with a renewed vigor.

Nevergrowingold Wed 31-May-17 19:20:58

Yes I thought you meant something like a filing cabinet in your lounge not a storage unit you hire.

I am decluttering too as I am downsizing and the paperwork/cards/letters is the most difficult I find, especially stuff I've held on to for years.

Hang on in there!

HopeClearwater Wed 31-May-17 23:15:03

Keep telling us about it!
I did the same thing with a storage unit that was costing me £25 / week when I downsized houses. I've got rid of loads of stuff over the past few years. Some had belonged to relatives too. The paperwork is the hardest and then it builds up again. So I know what a big thing it is to do and how well you've done! Keep going.

savagehk Wed 31-May-17 23:21:03

Sounds like you're doing brilliantly. Have you read Marie Kondo? If i remember rightly she does paper last because its so emotive.

AnthonyPandy Wed 31-May-17 23:27:41

No it's sentimental papers last I think, photos, personal letters etc.

Phoebefromfriends Sat 03-Jun-17 14:37:17

I'm quite enjoying my mini break with my parents. When I return home I'm going to pull out a small pile each day and spend at least 30 minutes sorting it out. I also cleaned and organised a kitchen cupboard before holiday and it didn't take long but really freed up space on my countertop in the kitchen, it felt awesome. I'll make a list of small things or areas to focus on clearing or sorting so I can check them off my list. I think little and often is the way to go.

MrsHathaway Sat 03-Jun-17 14:54:10

Wow wow a whole storage unit! I'm in awe.

I've recently found this thread very useful and supportive. It gives different ways of thinking about stuff and how it accumulates.

We've also stopped time consuming shredding by getting one of these camouflage roller stamps so you can obliterate the confidential bit (one roll exactly) and then you can put the document in normal paper recycling with confidence. Highly recommend.

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