Thursday, 27 April 2017
Treasure-Hunting at Home
People have so much stuff, so why do they keep amassing more? Part of the reason is that they have an impulse, which is born of a deep anxiety about lack. Partly, those companies selling 'stuff' have spent billions on working out how to push people's buttons.
Most people exist in a state of chaos because there is nowhere to put all their possessions:
They have so much clothing! And yet, they wear a fraction of it and return to the same few items at the front of their wardrobes and closets.
They have so much food! Yet it rots in the fridge and cupboards, and they do not even know it is there. Then they run out for a takeaway 'treat'.
They are over-run with toys for the children! But the children are unhappy, dissatisfied and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stimulation around them.
They have boxes and boxes of craft materials and it all stays in the boxes unused; while they get another fix of retail therapy.
They spend as little time as they can in their homes because the clutter and disorder claws at their peace when they are there.
One could go on, but you get the picture. It is all very sad, because these poor overstretched, overmarketed people are making themselves sick and anxious every day. They are not enjoying their daily life - or anything they have purchased (for more than a momentary high - followed by the inevitable let-down)
Life-coaches will encourage them to grit their teeth and get organised. But... there is no need to be so hard on yourself. For the housewife there is a happier solution.
I call it 'Treasure-Hunting at Home'.
You don't have to make a schedule, remember. Just make spending time in your home a priority. If you treasure-hunt at home, you will soon want to spend so much time at home, it will be hard to coax you away!
You can begin where your desire takes you. It is not a question of scrubbing out, chucking the lot, and having a massive spring clean until you are exhausted and want to run away again. This is a NEW way that actually works.
Maybe you want to start with the food in the kitchen. That is where I would choose, I think. Would you like to treasure-hunt in your baking things, or the pots and pans cupboard? Take your time and don't give yourself a guilt-trip. You are going to be gradually getting to know what you have and how to use it. Each small area you deal with will give you more peace, contentment and the feeling that you have accomplished something for the long-term.
You will almost certainly find treaure in whichever area you choose to hunt. A saucepan or crockpot hidden away at the back. A long-lost pudding basin which will make you some steamed puddings - you don't need to buy a steamer just use what you have. I can tell you how to steam a pudding if you don't know how. What will you find?
Baking cupboard: Throw out the very old packets, but there is probably something that you will enjoy using now that you have found it. Make a jelly with that gelatine. Make a soup with the pearl barley you had forgotten about. Put on your shopping list the fresh vegetables that you will need to go with it. A great idea is to use 1940s rationing cookbook recipes. In Britain, during the years of rationing, they were extremely healthy, and despite what you might hear, most meals were delicious and there was no waste. I know because I cook that way mostly at home.
Clothing is a great place to treasure hunt too. One drawer or cupboard at a time - find those hidden treasures. Pull out those long-lost shoes and give them a lovely shine-up. Then they can go in a box with their identity written in large letters on the front. Each cardboard shoebox will stack nicely on top of the other with the label facing you. How nice it will be to see them and easily choose which to wear. You don't need to go and buy a shoe 'system' or clear plastic boxes.
Of course, you can treasure-hunt anywhere now you see how much fun it is. The main thing is that the longer you spend in an area, the more you will become comfortable and familiar in it. Try not to rush therefore. Soon enough you will find yourself actually enjoying the things you have bought and forgotten about - and if not, you can give them to the charity shop. Organisation is a kind of by-product of the treasure-hunting. It will begin to fall into place (no pun intended), and new ideas will come to you over time too. When you see how much you have already, and begin using it, the desire to buy more will diminish. You will be looking after and enjoying what you have.
Let me know what treasure hunting you have done today and how much you have saved!