Ann Rickard discusses the four 'Ds' - Death. Debt. Divorce. Downsize.
Ann Rickard discusses the four 'Ds' - Death. Debt. Divorce. Downsize. CONTRIBUTED

De-clutter the four 'Ds' - death, debt, divorce, downsize

DEATH. Debt. Divorce. Downsize - the four biggies to de-cluttering.

Listening to a radio program on the subject, I found myself nodding in agreement. Clearing a household of stuff after a death or divorce, or because of debt, is traumatic indeed.

Then there is the downsizing, the one I relate to most, as I've just gone through it. It's forced de-cluttering. Unless you have to, you're not going to get rid of decades of accumulated furniture, accessories and junk.

Anyone who has reached a good age (over 40, even 30, let alone 60) has accumulated stuff. It lurks in cupboards, wardrobes, drawers and generally makes itself at home in every nook of your property.

But when you move from a four- bedroom home to a two-bedroom apartment, the junk simply has to go.

First, you must grit the teeth and hire a skip.

Endless trips to the tip and op shops follow, as the piles of stuff mount up as cupboards and drawers are emptied.

"Why have we three graters, two woks, five juicers, 12 sheet sets... and what the heck is this?" you'll say as you cull.

Determination is called for. You simply cannot keep the three crystal vases given as wedding presents in 1968. There will be tears.

When it is over and the last clothes bag is off to the op shop, you will feel younger.

The freedom of living in a smaller space with modest belongings can't be overstated. It's marvellous to open a drawer to find just one of everything.

So even if you're not facing one of the four Ds, why not declutter anyway?

Have you had to declutter your life? Share your tips and experiences by clicking the red "ADD COMMENT" button below.

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