I’m not normally one for personal posts, but it was Mental Health Awareness Week recently and I wanted to write about how I’m drowning in stuff. Ironically, I was too overwhelmed by all the stuff to actually get around to writing it at the time, but here I am and here we go…

I like stuff. I like charity shops, bargains, reduced aisles and sales. I get a buzz from a bargain and I buy in bulk, delighting in how much money I’ve saved and congratulating myself for being a brilliant shopper. I’m also quite lazy, so the bags of bargains build up and I add to my ever-increasing array of items.

My cupboards are crammed and my wardrobe is bursting at the seams, so my prized purchases and thrifty finds end up abandoned in carrier bags until I get around to dealing with them. I also have piles (of CLOTHES). On chairs, chests of drawers and washing baskets. I often can’t find what I’m looking for, because it’s buried under all the other stuff that I haven’t had the time or inclination to sort out yet.

The result of this is that I can’t really be bothered dealing with it. It overwhelms me and I don’t know where to start. I also hate waste and wouldn’t want to just bin it all – I’d rather sort it out into (more) piles for the swap shop, charity shops, clothes recycling and ebay-selling, which takes forever. My mum once said:

“I know you want to save the planet, but who’s going to save YOU?!”

She has a point. She also enjoys spouting the old saying, ‘tidy house, tidy mind’, but I suppose it’s a cliché for a reason. My messy flat makes me anxious, overwhelmed, stressed and generally inconvenienced, as I rush around, unable to find anything, or can’t relax for thinking about the never-ending endeavour ahead of me.

I’m also very nostalgic – I still have folders of my scribbled drawings from PRIMARY ONE and I have boxes full of photographs and every student card or bus pass picture I’ve ever had. I like memories, I like documenting change and I like looking back at life, because my memory is rubbish and I feel like having evidence to jog my memory brings it all back a bit better. My boyfriend despairs sometimes, with cries of ‘but you haven’t worn that in years’ and ‘why the hell do you have a colouring book – you’ll never use it!’ and I always reply ‘but I WILL’ or ‘I MIGHT’.

I think it’s all about balance. Maybe I need to let go of some of the old, broken bric-a-brac, or dresses I’ll never fit into. I’ll never stop shopping and I’ll always love memory boxes and thrifty fashion. I think I need to ask myself if I really NEED items before I buy them and I need to work on sorting my flat out, so that it’s a soothing sanctuary, rather than a source of stress.

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