A side effect of decluttering and being aware of how much stuff people have has turned me a bit green. Not in colour, or with envy, but environmentally aware. There is so much stuff in this world. One client employed my services when she and her small family moved house. I would run with her once a week and bored her with my endless stories of how to declutter, what I was doing, how my business was going, why I was so passionate about it. Eventually, she tired and said ok, let me help her. As they were moving house, she didn’t need me to go through things with her although we had a quick session in the wardrobe, not to mention above the wardrobe and in the suitcase full of ‘I can’t part with’ clothes. It wasn’t that quick. And I left her house with a car full to the top of plastic bags full of things from the kitchen, the living room, books, her daughter’s bedroom and most importantly the master bedroom.
Then I had a message a few days later. ‘I’ve found a plastic bag full of things that I forgot to give you when you came over.’ She offered to deliver ‘it’ to mine, because although my USP in London is that I have a car and can remove stuff, she also has a car. I wasn’t around and my long-suffering but impatient husband received it. ‘Please can you just open the door and let her in? It’s only one bag and I’ll put it in the shed when I get home.’ When I got home, imagine my surprise when there were 7 bags, an African blackwood piece of art, and 3 boxes of books. Special, valuable books from a marketing course, each worth at least £20, some more like £60. I was impressed at their complete declutter and their new home is beautifully minimalist. I simply don’t know how they fit all that stuff in their home. It was one of the tiniest two bedroom homes, even by London standards.
As I slowly work my way through her things that I’m desperate to get through before Christmas, another list of things I need to do comes to mind. Christmas presents, for friends and family. It’s got nothing to do with decluttering but I know I need to get them something that has minimal impact on the environment, something they can throw away afterwards that won’t sit in landfill for 200+ years. And I go online to buy 12 bamboo toothbrushes with bamboo bristles (you can get them with nylon bristles, but then, what’s the point?). And a pack of environmentally friendly toothpaste to go with it. If I can’t change the world, I will try to do everything I can to minimise the impact, whether that’s finding a new home for second hand gear or forcing environmentally friendly products on my friends and family.