Huge thank yous, always, to friends and family (and the lovely Sally Quilford!) for their support and encouragement in my attempt to 'become a writer' ... but this post is dedicated to my friend Lucy, who physically sat me down at my computer, more than once recently, and who calls round or phones me every day, demanding to know what I've written!
At least I will now always be able to say: I wrote a post for my blog!
Things have been very busy here this week, as I am completing my traditional New Year's Decluttering Mission. I like to start the new year with a fresh, clean slate (metaphorically!) because I know having a messy house is not condusive to writing ... there is always something to distract me. I didn't manage to finish it before New Year's Eve so am aiming for the first new moon of the year.
New Moons are excellent times for fresh starts! Check out the wonderful Yasmin Boland's site for lots of interesting ways of making the most of a New Moon, including making New Moon wishes. Yasmin provides the dates and times of New Moons, and lots of other interesting information:
In Native American Earth Medicine, this is the Renewal Time, a time of 'refreshment and renewal' and is associated with the North Winds of 'purity and renewal.'
'... that which appeared to have departed is reborn and will begin to wax again and the turn of the Wheel of Life will soon indicate the new life which is now promised.' (Kenneth Meadows, Earth Medicine)
The problem with decluttering is that it looks worse before it looks better ... I now have boxes and bags of stuff everywhere, but lovely clear drawers and cupboards to put it back into! Well, some of it. Some is destined for various other places, and some of it I have no idea what to do with at all, mostly towering piles of magazine and newspaper articles, scraps of fabric and ribbon and random things I just know will come in useful one day. But this year, I have been particularly ruthless and have a large pile of things for the charity shop and another for a car boot sale ... one day!
But come Tuesday, I will be able to welcome the New Moon as my first fresh start of 2008!
Some tips I have found useful when decluttering:
Tackle one room (or one area of a room) at a time. Don't move on to the next one until you have completely finished or you will find yourself endlessly moving things from one place to another.
Ask yourself if something is useful (has been used or worn within the last year, to account for seasons), or is something you totally love.
Clear the decks! Empty a drawer or cupboard, clean it and then put back only what is definitely useful or loved. Use boxes or bags to sort everything else into categories you find useful: To Throw Away / To Give Away / To Mend / To Sell / To Store Elsewhere.
It's a good idea to invest in a variety of storage items, but I find sturdy cardboard boxes stored neatly under a bed, and old biscuit tins, hat or shoe boxes in cupboards (or even out on display if they are pretty) are just as good.
Find a new home (a new building, not a relocation to another room!) for everything that is worth handing on.
Throw everything else away ... be ruthless!
And on that note, I am now going to tackle my writing zone. I may be some time!