When I first ran away from real life and came to my seaside apartment I was a broken man. The thought of friendships and relationships made me feel physically ill. I also began to relearn who I really was. The true Jack Collier cannot abide clutter, untidiness, dust, dirt, and mess. Neither physical, mental, and emotional muddle sit well with me.
Nor do I seem to be particularly acquisitive. The pleasures of collecting things; pictures, ornaments, and the like, largely passes me by. Although I have been, and still am, guilty of having far too many books and too much recorded music, (in its multifarious forms), than can be good for one person.
Fashion does not particularly interest me. My sheepskin ‘flying’ jacket is more than 20 years old, and I am still wearing dress shoes almost as old as that. ~ but then I’m a man.
Without any planning or conscious thought I began the process of decluttering my life.
Some of this was easier than you would think, because there are only three little rules;
- Do not buy anything that does not have an immediate and specific purpose in your life.
- If you have things which do not have a specific purpose in your life, then either sell them, give them away, or dump them in the trash.
- Never, ever, leave anything out in the open, cluttering up table-tops, counter tops, bedside cabinets, dressers, sinks, the sides of the bath… If you are not actually using something right now, then always put everything away. If there’s nowhere to keep whatever it is ~ say clothes you haven’t worn for years, then follow rule #2.
What I did not realise until very recently is that living attracts clutter like a dog attracts fleas. Decluttering your life is not a one-off event, it’s an ongoing process which requires vigilance and effort. Consequently I am still selling stuff through eBay and Amazon, I am still a regular visitor to my local thrift / charity / goodwill stores, and I still find myself tossing things into the trash.
Worst of all, I still sometimes buy things I don’t really need, or even want. And, like all men, I am terrible at returning things to the store.