Thursday 4 June 2020

More declutter experience

I spent the back end of yesterday afternoon clearing things, and as you would expect it took substantially longer than I'd envisaged. We keep too much... of everything. I'd picked three areas - yes a bit random, but that's the way my brain is fitted. Magazines, a drawer and the side of the bench. The magazines mount up - RMs, CMs and the occasional purchase of BRM and Model Rail. The ads I don't want and there is often only one article that I want to keep, so these are sliced up, the to-be-kept bits put into clear file pockets and ring binders and the remainder is recycled. 

The drawer took the longest as it was the most eclectic and emotional. Five old pairs of glasses, six bow ties (in four colours) and three watches for starters. The glasses got binned, the ties were thinned out and the watches kept for when I find someone who wants watches. There were historical items: an address book (well two to be precise) dating back to my teens at least. Notably there were one or two sets of details that are still current, but most are not, and in many cases the people themselves no longer exist.... bin. Similarly a notebook where I wrote weekly details of a touring schedule. Briefly interesting to see how much I earnt (subsistence payments and travel payments varied) and also what I'd spent. Though how useful to me, or anyone else, is knowing the cost of a coffee in Middlesbrough twenty years ago? This is the sort of stuff that historians pour over to piece together the lives of those that have gone before us, and me putting this in the bin is why they have such a hard job of it. A short period of my life documented, now lost to the Newhaven incinerator.

A start on the desk was next and a box of business cards many from people who I can't ever remember working with; why I asked for, or was given a card. A sort through of the current (and living) their usefulness to me now. As expected the vast majority joined the address book. 

The modelling stuff is more difficult as it's hard to predict what will be useful or needed in the future. A whole cupboard of stuff and two hundred books... another day.


  1. Since I've moved, life seems mostly to consist of sorting stuff out...while there was a big sort out prior to moving and an even bigger one prior to ExpoNG last October (that table piled high with books) there's still a lot of stuff and I seem to keep acquiring more.
    Yesterday a recently widowed neighbour gave me GWR Journal Nos. 1-36...I'll look through them then pass them on. While there are some articles of interest to me, I will scan them rather than remove from the mags as it seems a shame to break up a complete set.
    I tend to find the odds and ends the most difficult things to deal with, often things I probably neither want nor need but might come in useful one day...

  2. I've also just had a large rationalisation of magazines taking out useful articles, although only the more commercial type ones, I've kept any MRJs or NG&IRMs complete. Problem is that like you I have no idea what my interests will be in the next few years so I can't bear to bin the remaining magazines! I did wonder what happened to the rather nice little Parliamentary coach you built, I had a good read of the Froxington article and I still can't work out what was wrong with the layout!

  3. My decluttering is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge used to be. By the time I get to the last shelf in the shed, it's time to start at the other end again. And then as soon as I do get rid of something, I want it again next week. Hopeless. I recently acquired 3 bulky binders full of Model Railways Magazine from the early 70's. Full of plans and how-to articles. How can you throw those away?

  4. Years ago when my interest in railway modelling waned so as to be pretty much non-existent I got rid of pretty much all my stuff and a complete set of MRJ of the first 6 to 7 years went to recycling! Going to hell for that one I guess. Along with RMs and MRCs.

    Since returning to the hobby I have bought certain classic and to me meaningful editions of each of those via E-Bay. One MRC from either NZ or Australia.

    Nonetheless this afternoon I have been decluttering my study and cutting out articles of interest before binning the mags themselves. The only ones I don't treat this way are the MRJs.

    I've got to the stage in life where I find crap a burden and I'm taking action.

    We moved to our current house about 18 months ago and work on it and the garden have been an ongoing trial. Yesterday for the first time in decades I achieved the 'Elysium' of lofts, boarded, shelved and H and S compliant and largely free of crap. The light is at the end of the tunnel.

    And Chris as wistful as losing a record of part of ones life may be, at least you haven't been consigned to the 'other' Newhaven incinerator yet. And long my that situation remain.

  5. The more you try to declutter, the more stuff you acquire! Many of the comments ring true.