The ‘Great Depression’

April 6, 2011


This IS NOT my house ... but this is what it feels like, colour and all. Image credit in the clickthrough.

Those of you who know me well will know that….. my house has been having a very negative effect on my mood lately. Anything concerning my house was feeling like the Great Depression.

The main reasons:

  1. Six (not small or becoming smaller) people sharing a 3 bedroom flat is squashy.
  2. I need a studio space for harrysdesk …. which only adds to the squish and the stuff.
  3. Tim needs a desk space … as he works a lot from home….which adds to the squish and the stuff.
  4. About 2/3 of our family are untidy by nature….and the other 1/3 are finding this difficult….and sometime join in the messy tone of others, just to survive.
  5. The girls are getting older and their needs are different to that of toddlers or the early school years.
  6. We have thought for years that this address was temporary and that something more appropriate would come along. So we have waited, and looked  and prayed. It hasn’t. So we have kind of camped…. like students (clothes racks, furniture that we have rather than that would suit a particular purpose).
  7. We have too much stuff! Why wasn’t I told the ‘Great Depression’ ended well before I was born.
  8. Visuals have a disproportionate effect on my mood….both ways.
  9. It’s really stressful doing any sort of hospitality here. Something we really love being able to do.
  10. We have too much stuff…. or have I already mentioned that.

So we are fighting back.

I am going to blog my process so I keep going. I need all the help I can get! Please be very gushing in your encouraging remarks…..

So….one room at a time.

In the next couple of days I will show you the first room to get a work over, then as the weeks go on (yes it will take weeks…. possibly months) I plan to share some de-cluttering tools from other people and some more rooms as they get sorted.

Some of you are struggling (or confidently coping) with similar changing needs of space and the challenge to have less stuff, so I am hoping as you see my failures and hopefully some successes you will feel encouraged to start …. and continue.

I will show photos where I can, but sometimes the rooms are just too messy and too cluttered to share and keep any dignity intact. Some of you will understand.

So join me……


14 Responses to “The ‘Great Depression’”

  1. Liz McQueen said

    Go team! Go! 🙂

  2. Tom said

    Go for it Ally! We face a similar issue, though to a lesser extent. The kids have moved into their own rooms and now we have no study too much stuff and two people who regularly work from home.

    I’m sure you can do it – you have to be ruthless though. Here are my tips:

    – Ebay is helping me part with some of the more valuable items, but we have so many things that are still useful to someone, but of no value to us. It seem so wasteful to throw it away but it just has to go! Vinnies

    – We are trying to put “containment zones” around the kids’ rooms. None of their stuff can spread into living space – that is what their rooms are for.

    – Emotional baggage is impossible to get rid of. Especially if it is someone else’s emotions 🙂

    If it is any consolation, your family has been an inspiration to me in terms of what a family needs (and doesn’t need) in a house. That being said, I will certainly pray for an extra room or two for you guys.

    • allysonadeney said

      Thanks Tom.
      I love the emotion baggage comment. Tim and I laughed out loud at that this morning.
      Ebay is becoming my friend. I have sold 2 beds in the last week and have another is presently listed.
      Containment zones is also brilliant.
      Cheers Ally

  3. Dani said

    I totally get where you’re coming from, and am dreading the winter months where the space seems even smaller (probably something to do with damp washing draped everywhere)! I confessed to a fellow growing-family-in-small-dwelling-occupier that I have a recurring fantasy dream about discovering that my house has extra rooms that I didn’t realise were there… and she has the same kind of dreams!

    Gird your loins and all that, and think about the other 90% of the world – I know it sounds trite, but I find it helps a bit (tho I do still browse the real estate pages in hope….) Hmm not sure how encouraging that all was… and what exactly is girding your loins…? No, don’t answer that, I think I’d rather not know.

    • allysonadeney said

      I’m not sure what gird your loins means either, but I will do it anyway!
      You must be an optimist and me a pessimist if our dreams are anything to go by. LOL
      It’s encouraging just to know I am not alone and that it’s possible to change.
      Thanks Dani,

  4. Jasper said

    Fight the war on clutter!

    We live in 50sqm for the 2 of us, so we end up just having to be painfully brutal on what we buy and what is keep. Literally if we don’t use it for more than 12 month, it’s headed for ebay or the charity bin.

    In some ways its actually liberating…..not having to be encumbered by stuff.

    • allysonadeney said

      Hi Jasper,
      Yes I am feeling more free as I get rid of things!
      I’m not sure what our total floor space is… I will have to work it out.

  5. I love the emotional baggage comment too! I have discovered in a sorting and tossing process that there are things I am happy to get rid of, which other people (who don’t live in our house) are sentimental about me keeping. It can become seriously complicated! Need a special space for the “I would toss it, but the relational damage is not worth it” category!
    Love to see your progress.
    You guys have always had the living space which has inspired me most. xxc

    • allysonadeney said

      Nice idea… the special place for “I would like to toss you but the relational damage is not worth it” Problem is, how big is this space and how many stuffed toys can it fit.

  6. Caroline E said

    Yay indeed. Fight the good fight. Take photos of things you’d like to remember but can’t keep. Take inspiration from the TV programme ‘The Hoarders’ of which I only just saw for the first time last week. I recognised bits of myself in those poor people – ‘it might be useful someday’. But R and I quote your Tim to one another regularly, ‘It’s not worth the money you’re paying to store it’ and that helps us sometimes. Even a few books have left the house recently (shock!).
    M and I dropped by this morning, but you were out. It was a long shot. Due on Monday, so I may have to see you when I’ve got a newborn. Traditionally, we visit you guys first, so we’ll try to keep with that. See how we go!
    love Caroline

    • allysonadeney said

      Sorry to have missed you. Anzac Day service at school.
      We would love for the tradition to continue! See you soon after Monday. Even better with the school holidays because everyone can be around for cuddles.
      I haven’t seen ‘The Hoarders’ but have heard about it. My cousin tells me that they found 2 dead cats in one ladies house! Eekkk! Will let you know if any dead things turn up…. actually…. no I won’t….. but I can safely say, no dead cats at this point.
      … and I have heard my Tim say that. I will remind him of it when we get to the books…..might find something dead in the house then!
      Thanks Caroline… see you soon.

  7. […] 24, 2011 About six weeks back when I started the whole de-cluttering project  my friend Tom left some very helpful tips. One of them was […]

  8. […] a funny cupboard containing a hot water system and other storage. As part of the comment stream on this post I stupidly said I would let you know if i found anything dead…… well I did in this […]

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