Get. Shut.

By Alison May 29, 2014 6 Comments 3 Min Read

Yesterday I opened the front door and my heart sank. Though workman had been milling around all day finally fitting the much talked about boiler, and I was expecting a certain amount of mess, what I had not anticipated was suddenly seeing my tiny little cottage,in all it’s shabby, grey, miserable glory. Stuff everywhere! No wood and far too many trees.
(Mama said there’d be days like this..)
Heck yes. This is what happens when you take your rose coloured specs off and take a long hard look at your house. You give yourself the vapours! After a dose of smelling salts I sat myself down with a stiff gin ( I didn’t really. I did.) and tried to work out WHAT THE BLOOMING HECK HAD GONE WRONG. How did life end up looking like this, nay feeling like this?
Readers I came to two conclusions: I had become both slovenly AND greedy. Nothing worse than greedy. Greed is gruesome. Greed for MORE books and pretty things and cushions and candles and terribly charming little vintage portraits and magazines and lots of other things is in fact the opium of the irritated housekeeper. Fed up of your house? Go by yourself something to fix it. Or brighten it up. Or make yourself feel like a fully functioning human being instead of the person responsible for creating this downtrodden mess in the first place.
Hell I’m talking all kinds of tough tonight. Be afraid. I am in a rather dodgy frame of mind…
See the thing is this: I have fallen head long into a trap I have been cheeky enough to have been warning YOU about for years. I have started to accumulate TRASH simply because I have not been mindful enough to keep on recognising what it is that is worth TREASURING in my life. How depressing is that? Tres depressing m’lady. Tres, tres.
I seem to be in the business of accumulation you see. Accumulation, and then, (oh woe is me) the ongoing business that is MANAGING the nonsense I have accumulated. Ugh. Imagine that! Ruining the order of each promising, beautiful day just shifting stuff around. Making space. Compromising yourself. Trying to utilise what little space you have got on your bookcase. And in your head. Trying to fit it all in, for the sake of HAVING.
Owning that 1932 book you could actually download on to your Kindle. Settling for being second best to a man who will never be truly yours. Buying yet another vintage apron just because it is there. Borrowing books to add to the pile you have yet to read. Shopping for another vest top in the most perfect salmon pink. Because it is cheap. Worrying about this, that and the other and never attending to any of those worries. Letting worry accumulate! And recipes! And demeaning relationships and rubbish friends and magazines you will eventually walk straight to the recycling bin! Making piles just for the sake of it. Stacking things up: ideas, things to do, places to go, facets of the woman you want to be!! And then letting it all get dusty, and smelly and draped in shame and disappointment.

Enough already.

I am jumping off the accumulation wagon and I am dragging you with me. (Don’t argue – I am simply not in the mood!). You see were we able to view our lives as films we would see ourselves trying to fill holes with STUFF instead of ACTION. That is dreadful. Awful. Rubbish. Not good enough. Yeah, that’s it: trying to fill holes with stuff instead of action is simply not good enough. It doesn’t work and in the end it exhausts us.
So here is where I am at. I am done. I have got a roll of bin-bags at the ready and I am going to make SPACE. Stand still and I will pop you in one. I need to be able to see what it is I treasure. To feel treasured by all that I make room for in my life: for books that speak to my soul and shampoo that makes my hair shine. Nothing that is ok, or acceptable or possibly useful. I don’t want second best. I want the excellent and the precious and that is all: memories, objects, clothes, people and words alike. And then I want to treasure it all silly. Polish it and dust it. Treat it gently. Carefully. With pride. Nurture it and darn it. Lick it. Clean it and cry with it.
As my Dad always says, it is time to get shut. I dare you. Heck I dare myself. Let’s do it. Let’s GET. SHUT.


  1. Oonagh says:

    I recommend a book by Francine Jay called The Joy of Less, a minimalist living guide. I have struggled for years with my clutter and I have to say this is the first book (and there have been many!) that I have read that has taught me to look at clutter in a different light. For me, it has made it easier to part with items that I would otherwise have kept. Now don’t get me wrong, my home is far from being minimalist but the clutter is much reduced and only contains things I love – now that can not be a bad thing can it?? Good luck xx

  2. Yep. You are one hundred percent right. I loved this post. It’s almost too late for me… And the clutter is not mine.. But you are so on point with this. I’m afraid you might as well shove me in one of your bin bags! If you have a jumbo! Lol.
    Hugs to you!

  3. chrissie says:

    Er okay ! Don’t feel strong enough today to argue with you. Let’s do it then !

  4. Mareanna says:

    I really needed to hear this! I need to get to that fed-up place to actually DO something about it.

  5. Good timing! I feel completely overwhelmed by the clutter now,the wardrobe cull last week has left me exhausted,I have yet to start on the shoes,the mere thought of the books makes me want to weep and I have a dresser full of odds and ends that are oh so pretty albeit useless.Woe is me!

  6. Patti H. says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read as I sit in my computer room surrounded by books and clutter, reading about how to get organized. I have read and I know it’s true: You can’t organize junk and clutter! I just don’t follow that. I am SO guilty of not doing what needs to be done because I am bogged down by clutter and hard feelings and stress and on and on and on. I have to GET. SHUT. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for putting my feelings into words and giving me the nudge (shove ;)) I need to clear of f my desk and clear out my life. XOXOXOXO

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