Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Ruthless Bitch


Me, that's who.

And loving it.

Today I should have ironed my customary two baskets of clothes, helped at kindy for a few hours, and gone to the dentist. I should have done a few hours worth of work from home, and made a whole heap of 'phone calls.

Instead, I turned my phone onto silent, and cancelled everything. I logged off everything, and put some tunes on the stereo.

And I got ruthless.

Black bin bag in hand, I sought to get busy and get ruthless with some serious declutter activity.

As is so often the way when a visit from parents in law is imminent, I see crap and clutter everywhere through this whole house, and it makes me shitty.

For the past week or so I have found myself getting cranky in my kitchen with the amount of crap that seems to just be in my way.

(It will come as no surprise to anyone that yes, cleaning is a form of control. Cleaning and decluttering become my method of exerting a semblance of power?)

So, I became a ruthless bitch and dealt with -
  • Every kitchen cupboard
  • The pantry
  • The cupboard under the sink. (How many green scourers does one family not need? How may half empty bottles of spray and wipe that we don't ever use?!)
  • The kitchen drawers. Even the third one down. (Which is actually neatly stacked with clean ironed tea towels and aprons...)
  • The school note folder that sits under the microwave that is spilling out all over the bench with notes and canteen price lists from 2009.
  • The craft basket that is spewing full of....crap. No other word for it - just crap.
I did not take photos of all of my kitchen cupboards. I was too focused on the job in hand. But the very worse example was the "plastic pot cupboard of doom". Which also contains a shelf of baking stuff. And another shelf high up for medicines and sunglasses. And another shelf for my toolbox. A cupboard that NEEDS to be organised but is generally a magnet for more crap.

In the end, I chucked out two big bin bags of stuff. If I don't love it, it's GONE.

I was chatting to the lovely Maxabella about this decluttering issue yesterday - we have a theory that the DE-cluttering of stuff is vital.

"There is nothing like a good declutter to restore the domestic mind. I secretly suspect that my mantra 'don't buy clutter in the first place' is doomed because if I didn't buy the clutter I wouldn't have anything to DE-clutter. It's good for the soul."

I feel better. I actually enjoyed preparing dinner in my kitchen again. I enjoyed coming home from the school run and surveying my ruthless work. I was, most definitely, calmer and less cranky this evening with the kids, in my zen space. One room down, eight to go.

How about you? Do you hoard? Love some artistic clutter? Or do you love to get ruthless and get rid?


Total calories inhaled - 1461 ~ Exercise calories burned - 386 ~ Glasses of water sculled - not enough 
Dental appointments skipped - 1 ~ Hours of glorious sleep - 8


  1. Good for you. Isn't it cleansing. Nothing beats a big de-clutter. I moved in February but for a few reasons, one being my back and the was that it was quite rushed. Not a lot got sorted in the new place. I've slowly been sorting through each room as my back will allow me but the kitchen is next on my list. Like you especially the plastics drawers oh and the pantry.

    Glad you're enjoying your kitchen again x

  2. One of the side effects of having a family is having to deal with their stuff. I really don't like living with lots of stuff but I have a family who quite likes their stuff. Selfish buggers. I hate clutter. But it happens. A lot. I even have a bit of my own. Then about once every 6 months I completely get the shits (just like you did) and purge. And gee it feels good. Completely cleanses the mind ...
    "Cleaning out the cupboards and vacuuming the house is like cleansing the mind and dusting the soul".

  3. OMG I'm exactly the same.
    Usually once a week I look around and think 'I can't cope with this' so I go on a mad rampage, cleaning and barking at the kids and fiancé to get their buts up and help!
    I LOVE to purge. It really helps me feel like I have a bit of control in a life where it sometimes feels like I have none dealing with my ex. So I purge and clean and bark and when it's done I instantly am relaxed.

  4. Great job Miss Lucy! While I'm not a hoarder by any means, I do love to declutter. I have been known to buy things and then throw them away in a declutter almost immediately. Now I just don't buy stuff, and find reorganising cupboards and shelves every few weeks gives me the same effect. xx

  5. Hello, my first time here and can I just say how much I hear you?! I love a good declutter too. I recently did my kitchen and discovered about 10 Tupperware pots with no lids making my drawers a horrible mess. Wow I sound exciting don't I?!
    Anyway, well done you!

  6. I find that I feel calmer after decluttering as well. My tupperware cupboard makes me swear like nothing else. As soon as it falls out on me I call to my husband who stacks it nicely. He likes geometry!

  7. Oooooh, yay for you! Decluttering is sooo wonderful for the soul. It makes everything so easy - easier to clean with fewer things, easier to think clearly, easier to find the kids (they can't hide amongst the Tupperware)... We move in less than two weeks and our rule for the new house is 'if we don't love it or it's not totally necessary then it has no place..' I hope we end up with some stuff!
    All that decluttering is also fabulous exercise - squatting up and down to peer into cupboards, walking from room to room with stacks in hand...

  8. I am so glad I am not the only one who gets shitty about clutter.

  9. hahaha...first of all - love the title, Lucy.
    ...must be something in the air...I "purposely" let the fridge and freezer empty out a bit and gave them a huge clean yesterday...attacked the pantry this morning (so many almost empty packets of pasta...)
    It's definitely good for the soul, can't describe the feeling I get when I see tidy organised pantry and fridge shelves. Looking forward to some grocery shopping now ;)
    Well done! xo

  10. So pleased you attached a reason for the manic DE-cluttering. I do exactly the same thing, particularly when I'm feeling overwhelmed. The clutter is a physical reminder about how much everything is on top of me.

    Ohhhhh I'm feeling a fun and not furious decluttering session coming on. I tried to move my 'suicide' cupboard (because every time I go into it I feel like I want to kill myself) and change my 'temple of doom' cupboard, last Friday but the timing didn't work. I WILL finish this project however! Thanks for the extra push!

  11. At least once a month I do the whole purge. I love it. I Often have a volatile purge like you did.
    I live by the rule that if we don't love it, it goes. I am not a hoarder and due to our teeny, tiny house I have learnt to live with so little stuff. It is healthy.
    Ironed tea towels?????

  12. It must be the week for it. I have attacked my whole house with reckless abandon this week. My wheely bin is full and a garage sale is planned for Saturday to evict anyhting that is to good to through away.

  13. God I love throwing stuff out. It's cathartic. Having too much shit around clogs my brain up and I can't think straight. My kitchen needs a cleanout but quite frankly, I can't be arsed!

  14. I'm a declutterer and try to do it regularly... then move stuff that needs to be given away to a shelf under the stairs, then de-clutter that and then start again. Proud to say that I have spaces in the cupboards... mind you, there are a lot of cupboards!

    As kids grow there is always stuff to pass on, or put in the loft for the grandkids, and it feels great to do it.

  15. I do this for rental inspections and for visits from family. But I should do it weekly. It needs to be done. I am inspired. I will do it this week... later

  16. I love to de-clutter! Seeing little bits of crap everywhere (and with 4 kids it really is everywhere) irks me and I can't relax until it's gone.

    My mother loves to re-clutter my house by bringing in bags full of plastic junk from charity shops for the kids (that I've probably just given away), tupperware and play dough. Sometimes you just can't win!

  17. Oh Lucy I get this. I am a cleaning nut especially at times when the rest of my life feels a bit out of my control. LOVE the before and after shots as well.

  18. I feel out of control in clutter. Perhaps that's why I move house a lot, nothing like moving to get rid of crap!
    Mind you, I do live a bit of artistic clutter - goes so well with my nag champa!

  19. I have come to realise that I am the boho type. Nothing really matches with the decor and I have lots of artistic clutter around me.

    LOML loves saving every morsel of left over food in little plastic containers. I swear everytime I go near that plastic pot cupboard of doom.

    You sound now so pure.

    jill x

  20. Oh Lordy I am in desperate need of the same makeover! Clutter is killing me at the moment, just waiting for a vast chasm of time to open up in which I can attack it, child free, and give our home a good once over...

  21. I need to be ruthless. But I can't. I want to put things to bags and donate them but have this awful feeling that I will toss something important.

    Hopefully this will inspire me.

  22. Go girlfriend! This house seriously needs some decluttering too but alas, my MIL is a horder. Le sighhhh x

  23. Oh yes! I heard that woot of joy from Sydney! Clutter.. Crap.. Mess.. It drives me mad but like most of us, I "let" it accumulate. Too slack to sort, leave it lying around... Until like you a DEADLINE looms. Suddenly, yesterday when I "had" to find one piece of paper for a meeting today, I saw the light!
    Bingo! All of the accumulated, "just chuck it here" pile of papers since Christmas ( bills- paid so that's a relief, notes, referrals to doc, scripts ) were culled and filed. Properly.
    Once I did that, then it meant a trip to O'works.. You know where us stationery junkies hang out.. For suitable filing systems.. And by jingo today I had the paper for the meeting & feel about 100% better.
    Next stop: oh dear. My Scrapbooking & Photos. I'll need to think of another deadline!!
    Good for the heart & soul as well as the nod.. Culling!!

  24. WOW! I am SO in need of a declutter day. It's been bothering me for a while now. The bedroom cupboards need it. My kitchen needs it. I feel a bit out of control actually, as I have NO idea where certain things are and I'm sure I've forgotten a mass of stuff which would actually come in handy... if I remembered it was under all. that. clutter. Ahh vicious circle.
    Inspiring post for me Lucy. Now, just to find the time to do it!

  25. I'm a shocking hoarder. But also HATE mess! It's a constant battle with myself... :)

  26. You go girl! I am a de-cluttering freak. At least every couple of months I get the 'urge' and everything in my sight goes! I yell, um, I mean tell my kids that everything they want better be battened down or it goes!
    Ruthless bitch? Yes. Freak? Probably!

  27. I can't stand clutter. People laugh at me, actually, as I sit and complain about the state of my house - because it's actually very neat. But I can see every bit of stray paperwork, every toy that should be packed away, and my x-ray vision can see into those cupboards that are only just staying closed. Decluttering and tidying makes me feel much better! (Control freak, me?!)

  28. I did my own version too. I still need to do more. I have to be ruthless as hubby is a bit of hoarder. Eek.


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