Thursday, 8 February 2018


Hi Guys,

This is the fifth and last catch up entry.

After this more longer than usual entry, which I started last December and only getting back to now due to ill health.  Then we shall be back on track after my year long break in 2017.

So sit back with a cuppa tea.

May as well throw in a much belated Merry Christmas.  As usual we celebrated a low key Christmas Eve.

Would have done this entry earlier, but have had three move in last November for a few months to come, which made the home front a tad topsy turvy. 

So!  Onto the catch up part...

Did I mention "The Attic"?  



I believe I had.  A while back.

Either way, I had not mentioned it again, as doing so, made me feel even more overwhelmed than I already was.  And I needed that like a hole in the head.


I got tired of saying to all and sundry, I had what was under the carport, the double garage across the road, the back shed, the side shed, the mezzanine for a couple of years at a friends factory in Richmond "AND" the Attic!

Just way too much information for any to take on board, let alone understand the sheer volume I was dealing with.  Hence, I gave up mentioning the Attic, along with the mezzanine and double garage that were dealt with some years back.  Since then been dealing with one area at a time, more solidly being under the carport that finally is done and being zoned out as a dumping ground.


I set about last October/November to get the last deluge down from the Attic to an almost manageable mound by now.  Not quite, but almost.  

I had a few helpers coming every few days apart to help to make the pace go faster in order to achieve more to accommodate my visitors.

As I was going through the motions of opening them, it was like looking through a time capsule.  I felt I was back in 2007 and my life had come to a sudden halt.  Well, it had really.  My life went into a totally reverse direction and just now coming in line with the year 2017, ten years on.  All very spooky. 

It was time to go through this last part, set aside and deal with it all and to use the term 'move on'.  Pun intended.

However, I found many items that I had been looking for.  

There was even a bottle of champagne that had mistakenly been packed back in 2008.  A bottle that my dearly departed big sis, Sylvia, had bought me that year for my birthday.  Have tasted it and still not turned to vinegar.  So toasted her, being that I am now ever closer to the end of my decluttering journey and her champers was a wonderful way to celebrate.  

This purging business, due to the sheer volume, had  begun to really get me down.  I had just had this wonderful overseas trip that broke my routine that I was in.  I wanted to get through as much as possible of all these last boxes and as fast as possible in order to take another mini break knowing that when I return to this project that I will be well and truly finished with the sort and purge stage and started onto the next stage of selling the better items to pay the many broken items around the home that I can not afford to fix.

But, as for the trip, that was much needed for my mental health and in the end don't mind that my routine had been changed and slowed down.

As for the long list being:~
No kitchen door handle.
Paint peeling in the laundry.
Paint peeling in the bathroom.
Need the bathroom shower door replaced as the glass is broken in one of the three sections.
Toilet door handle broken, (and since fixed).
Toilet light not working, (and since fixed).
Entry hall light not working, (and since fixed).
One bedroom light not working.
Lounge overhead fan just recently stopped working.
Antenna needs updating.
Air conditioner needs a service.
Bricks coming out from one of the window sills.
Roof tiles need fixing.
Gutters need to be cleared, (had paid people to clean out, but didn't do it properly).
Outside windows need to be washed, (again paid others to do, but not done properly).
Porch sensor light needs fixing, (and since fixed).
Need a few more solar panels added.
Need an overhead fan or air conditioner in the front bedroom that is like a sauna in summer.
Fridge needs new door seals.
Trees need to be lopped or pruned, (some done since).
Weeding and mulching.
Raised small garden bed for herbs, (not essential, but would love to have all the same).
Carport fully cleared of the last remnants lingering.
Side gate made.
Etc.  Never ending.

Have done what I can, as I can, do and afford to do and at times have had help with other essentials such as a new letterbox, but it all adds up.  Can only do what I can with what little to nothing I have.  As I look at it, at least I have a roof over my head.  What I have to sell wont even cover all of this, but it will help.

Even though that mini break broke my rhythm physically and mentally it was just what the doctor actually did order emotionally.

Hope you can view my video of the time I spent right on the beach front of the pacific ocean at Laguna Beach.  I soaked up all three days and two nights.  Morning, noon and night.  Even got to watch a lightening storm far out to sea one late evening sitting on the balcony.  Nothing like TLC from some of the most wonderful caring friends to give one that much needed lift in one's spirits.  Thanks to one in particular and a handful of others.

After my return from America, I attacked the Attic with my son and a friend of his as they were finding it tough to find a suitable third house mate to reduce costs.  So, in my wisdom, I offered them a place to stay to get back on top of things as they wait for another rental opportunity next year if that would help them out.  Offer accepted.  

This was just the prompt I needed to get the bedroom and lounge room sorted.  Otherwise, the Attic would have only been looked at some time in 2018.

Nothing like unrealistic and tight deadlines to get moving and I felt positive after my mini break I could get it done.  

Hindsight is such a wonderful delusional thing.  I bit off more than I could chew.

Suffering for it, but still glad I rose to the challenge.  And now I have fallen in a heap from over doing it.  Have to listen to my body and pace myself accordingly.  Now I have an enforced few months rest before I can get on with the last part of this decluttering in earnest.  More on that later after this last 2017 catch up.

I did manage to get to a certain point and the 2 lads and one pusscat are now in as of last weekend and we are all in a complete state of chaos.  Third lad is a cat, Garfield.  Slowly, but surely, the home is coming back into shape.  Not ship shape, but shape of kinds.  The idea is they will get a shed this coming weekend and place their furniture and white goods into till they are ready to move on.

The useful shed.



This will store much of their furniture to save on storage costs making the inside more liveable with me all that much closer to where I want my home to look and feel once again.  Like a big warm cozy hug.  However, Christmas and ill health have way laid my plans for now.

This all pushed me to the brink and wont do that again.  Deep down I was aware that I could fall down with this crazy deadline, with the last remaining items in the Attic would still have to have been dealt with anyway.  In hindsight, I should have chosen the tried and true, slow and steady approach.  I maybe one step closer on the timeline scale, but have now caused another delay due to the big push.  I do not want to leave it for my children to have to deal with like I have had to.  Of which, distressed my Mum to no end that she left it all to me to work on.  And get it done I shall.  Just might take me longer than some.

Note to self:  heed own advice.

Then it was onto dealing with said boxes. 

First was the second last session with Wendy in the bedroom.  Another chocker-block car load gone again.  And more to charity.

Second was with Sonya and moving the boxes to one area of the dining room in order to help make the living areas sort of liveable till the shed was done.

Third was with Sue who helped me cull all my books, which I had in abundance, as I love my books, by 60 to 65%.  Massive cull on my part.  Only keeping the best of the best, the oldest of interest and those that I just cannot part with and the remaining novels and vintage books went to charity to sell.

I now only have around 40 to 50 mainly smaller boxes left to go through.  Oh, what a feeling!

Still haven't gone through them and had organised to do so in January with another to help me, but due to falling ill, I had to cancel, much to my distress.

This is what happens.

Life happens.

There will always be stops, starts and splutters.

It truly does test one.

This is the time I have to remember my own advice and that is to just breathe and know that it will get done eventually.

Better alive than dead, from pushing one self too hard.

Here are some snaps of those who helped move the last of my boxes out from the attic for the final onslaught.





These four worked like trojans yet again.

Here are some special items I rediscovered along the way.

Japanese teacups and my vodka shot glasses from the famous Moscow GUM Department Store that back in the 'cold war years' was rather old, but not too run down, in the Red Square,  by St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin and the last one my big sister gave to me after her 50th birthday as she really was not her taste whatsoever and I just loved it.  My big sister thought it only fitting for this piece of bakeware to be used by me for reasons that shall remain our secret.


In the meantime, I was approached to be the subject of an article to highlight the plight of those with clutter/too much stuff, using me as the main story in a magazine known for it's crossword puzzles and loads of prizes that is sold mainly via our supermarkets chain stores, called 'That's Life'.  

I only agreed to do it as long as the ultimate message was positive about those who find themselves with the issue of being in amongst too much stuff/clutter all of a sudden or not.  

The person who wrote the piece, wrote it in the first person.  I allowed her a very generous creative leeway.  Not all she wrote was accurate, but mostly what she wrote was close enough with the positive spin I preferred.  I understood that she was making the article of interest for their demographic of readers.  The one thing she certainly got spot on was it was death and grief that sent me down this path in the first place.  The other main inaccuracy that I could not correct was my age as the article had already been published.  I am much younger than the 67 they made me, 61 at the time, in fact.  However, it did mean I look bloody good for my supposed inaccurate published age!

I wish to say thank you to that person who remained true to her word and did submit a positive story to the "That's Life" editors, who found the article of enough interest to publish.  Apparently, my story hit home with a few in their office and made them realise how easily, as one gets older or physically ill, to get into such a state.  So thank you to those at "That's Life" for publishing a more positive spin on what is usually a story treated in a more melodramatic style.

Here is the article that was published.  It is a photo from my computer screen so not of great quality, but you will get the drift all the same.  The person who wrote the piece made some creative changes as I stated before.  The only request I made was to be positive and encouraging.

Not easy to put one self out there to discuss this issue as many are so ashamed and feel forced to hide what is happening, which in turn stops them from receiving the very help they need to get on top of what is going on.  And for this reason, the cycle continues.  I just hope that by putting my story out there that it will in some way help those on the spectrum of this issue to receive the help they so need in a timely manner before it does get any further out of hand.  Had I had the help I finally got 18 months ago, I would had a whole different outcome.   That is my quest.  To help others in a positive way.

Due to that it would hearten me to no end to feel that my story makes a difference to anyone out there in this big wide world of ours, who have found themselves in the midst of their very own struggles with 'stuff' or 'inherited stuff', even a some small measure.  No matter why or how long one got to that place, knowing there is a way out, can make all the difference.  And also, knowing you are not the only one to ever have found themselves this way really helps one over those many hurdles of the enormous stigma attached.  

My hope is for no more shame.  No more judgements.  Impossible maybe.  But, worth a try and by putting my story out there it may just be the domino that will start it off on the road to a more helpful proactive way to be where you want to be with less personal clutter.

Then by saying 'yes' to being apart of this article, then it will have all been worth what I have so far gone through.

Change of pace now.  Here is a snap of one of my third housemate, Garfield.  Such a handsome devil.

Life is finite.  We are here to enjoy the moments that we can, while we can, in amongst the inevitable infinite problems and horrific moments that will always come our way.

A sense of humour is essential.  

Patience helps and that is the one I did and at times still struggle with.  

Helpful non-judgemental friends are even better, but may be in short supply, as in friends.  And we must keep in mind that those friends you do have all have their own lives to lead and issues to deal with.  We all do.

Once I am over the major works of this decluttering I plan to get back into Archery.  I still have my compound bow and most of my kit.  There is a club nearby that I know of and the time spent outdoors would do me the world of good.  I should be able to see the target with my one good eye.  If not, then it will be even more interesting than when I did archery more than 20 years ago.


However, as I have since found out from personal experience, if you take the time and go slow, as slow and steady does, it does keep getting the job done and eventually (no matter when or how long) you will cross that winners line.  Run your own race.  Not someone else's.  

In my personal race, I have been the tortoise and not the hare.  I would have preferred to be the hare earlier on, but due to health and life events, I ended up being the tortoise, which in the end has turned out after adjusting mentally to that fact, has not been as bad as I initially felt.   I got to find out along the way how many care about me, of which, I otherwise, would never have known.  A blessing in disguise.


There are silver linings if you look closely.  Very closely.

This time around, I am going to finish with a few humorous cartoons or photos I have found in regards to clutter or stuff or hobbies or collections or whatever you call it, as it never hurts to laugh.  Tongue in cheek of course, and never hurtful.  Usually, I don't take myself too seriously in order to keep me in check, mentally as well as emotionally.

I hope you find these as much of a chuckle as I have.

I find coping with all that I have had to, that laughter has truly been the best medicine and allow myself the permission to let the joy shine to salvage my sanity from the ruins of the past to rebuild a more joyful and promising future.

Will sign off now as I have added quite a few favourites here.  

Ciao for now,

ps. ~ All are tongue in cheek and not to be taken seriously with some more to make one laugh as that is the elixir that can help one through this journey.




What can I say, I love lots of things, especially laughing.

Have a lovely day!

Still breathing in more ways than one!

In the meantime, looking up for inspiration.

NB:  Below a few more favourites just for good measure.


Einstein's desk below:-

  say no more!


Even though I have been told that I am too nice like it was a bad thing, I wont change that now.
I like making others feel good and do well.
I will not allow outside negativity to get the better of me ever again.
I chose to live a life that matters with all the friendship, love and laughter I can muster.
And continue my journey to care and share,
to the end of my days and then some.
Just Anita.


Ain't that the truth!





just quietly, between you and me only, a good place to get to one day is to be fully...