I am happy to report that major progress has been made. But first, I must confess the title of this post is not entirely accurate. The Retired Husband (RTH) did not personally declutter. I did.
It was time to take the next step. Work life is over. Accoutrements that serve as reminders must be shed. The work clothes cupboard was in dire need of a make-over. I had been gently working towards this hurdle for some time. To be met by unintelligible mutters. Putting on my metaphorical gumboots to wade into the murky depths of the swamp (credit here needs to be given to Edward DeBono and his brilliant work) I waded in. “Like we did with the books…”
Oh dear! Bad idea. Two years on he has yet to forgive me for culling our bookshelves. Our then renovations necessitated a serious make-over of our bookshelves. They were crowded. Books had begun to encroach into other spaces and rooms. More shelves, he asked, hopefully. On what wall, I asked in frustration. There are none we could use, I added. That ended the discussion.
I sorted them into piles. Made it as easy as I could. Even sorted them by authors. Must keep. Must go. Maybe go. That was the hard one. And the biggest. There was lots in that pile. Of his books. He had to work through them. Into Discard and Keep piles. It was a crime to humanity he said. I was ruthless. He did as told. In my defense I must add here that by that stage I had done my own decluttering too.
I had decided to take full and absolute control of this current decluttering. There seemed to be an unhealthy attachment to torn, paint splattered, tatty tradies clothes and caps. I emptied the work clothes cupboard. The bed was covered with the stuff. He had said he wanted to keep some. Ok. I could live with that. He potters around doing lots of stuff in the man cave, on the boat, in the garden. Work clothes are needed for that. So I kept a reasonable pile of them. And caps. So many of them!!
( On the quiet – I had spoken to a neighbour who takes bedding to animal welfare and rescue organisations. Would they find clean, worn tradie’s clothes useful. They are durable. Yes, she said. They are always short of bedding and Christmas is coming up. Unfortunately there will be many abandoned pets in the New Year. So a worthy cause for pre-loved clothes.)
I finished sorting the clothes that survived the cull. And restyled TRH’s work clothes and not work clothes storage. Very pleased with my job, I called him to come and have a look at what I had done. You’ve done something then, he said in a worried tone of voice. Reluctantly, he came, dragging his feet like a dead man walking. And headed straight for Death Row. Picked up the top item. Put that back, I quipped. That is a no go zone! He dropped it like a hot potato.
I must digress here with an important observation. Perhaps even ground-breaking discovery worthy of a research grant. I have come to the conclusion that he has a default setting in his internal software. Or an autopilot app. One that steers him to reject piles. If he has this, it is only logical to conclude that other TRH’s do as well.
Having successfully diverted his attention away from the discards, he asked what I wanted. An orientation to your newly styled wardrobe, I said. Please keep them neat and tidy in future.
As I said at the start, today was a major step forward for TRH.
© Raili Tanska