Clutter, Clutter, EVERYWHERE !

I haven’t thought about clutter much recently, except every day when I am looking for something, —– which is most days!    I haven’t blogged about clutter for even longer, in fact it was 2013.    (You can see the posts by clicking on ” clutter” in the Tag Cloud )

  • Living a simple life is difficult to do unless you are ruthlessly efficient at throwing things away.  EVERYDAY.
  • It requires complete and constant concentration on the question —————-                  ————— “DO I NEED THIS ?”
  • It applies to everything ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.  — The next thing through your door – news papers, letters, flyers, junk-mail,  obviously not people, or at least most people😄  I am not forgetting emails,  but at  least they are up in the clouds until they rain  down one you one day.
  • But also, everything that has come through your door in the past that you did not throw away at the time and now fills up your drawers, your cupboards, any spare shelf space, spare rooms, attics, the garage, all the sheds in your garden and even space in friends garages.
  • You can even hire storage space in a warehouse to keep things you might need in the future.
  • It sounds like the house is untidy — it’s not.    The clutter is hidden away.
  • But it is there, I know it is there and it bugs me  from time to time, when I remember it, or when I can’t find something I know I have put somewhere,but don’t remember where😟


I am going to have an all out attack on my clutter and  clear the clouds of clutter dust that are engulfing me.   It won’t be quick, it won’t be easy, it will take time and determination, there will be setbacks and anguish along the way as  I discard accumulated bits of history.

But I can do it.

I know I can.

Well I think I can.

I will start tomorrow.

Or maybe the day after?


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20 Responses to Clutter, Clutter, EVERYWHERE !

  1. I ask politely are memories a clutter? I drift through your blog, and through your door maybe, and cause clutter! But Hey! I am dreaming of that autumnal day when that sound drifts through the street, of a ‘tingalaire’ ( The Ice van’s distinctive sound to attract customers) with the excited clatter and pitter patter of little feet, and grandpa’a grandmas’, Mum’s and dad’s treating those younger members of the family, and themselves to a raspberry ripple, or a 99 with that chocolate flake, or an ice lolly? Not much clutter here, only that cheerful grin with ice cream of lolly splattered about the lips.
    The next memory is on its way? Not Halloween, and all American dream, but Guy Fawkes, a roaring bonfire, fireworks and a jacket potato-Maybe? But definitely ‘Bonfire ‘Parkin’ (made with black treacle) that mums’ used to past around as the embers of the bonfire die down into ashes. I must go! so much clutter, but so rich am I in the friends and family, that I may share these moments with in my golden years.

    • john graham says:

      I think you have answered your own question by linking your memories of times in your childhood to your grandchildren. Memories are treasures to be cherished and shared.

      Thanks David,

  2. davidwfreeman237 says:

    excuse spelling – tingalaire ice cream van, and then ‘of’ should read as ‘ or’ !!!Trust you got the sense? not just nonsense.

  3. Walt Hopkins says:

    Hello John,

    Thanks for your latest post—and all the other ones I’ve been reading for the past seven months.

    I found your site through Ronni Bennett’s Time Goes By site. On 16 March—seven months ago today—she wrote about the book that I wrote with my friend George Simons about Seven Ways to Lighten Your Life Before You Kick the Bucket. And she set up a giveaway of three copies of the book.

    Here’s the link to save you the search:

    Ever since I found your site, I’ve been meaning to ask if you would like to do a similar giveaway. But I’ve been deep into a couple of other projects—including another book—so my life (as you might say) has been cluttered! 🙂

    Anyway, the book has just gone into a second printing and I’d be delighted to celebrate that by giving you several copies to give away from your site—and one you can keep for yourself to help with getting rid of the Clutter. George and I keep learning about how to do this and that’s what we share in the book.

    So, thanks again for this timely post!



    • john graham says:

      Hi Walt,
      I read Ronnie’s post about your book and although l didn’t win a copy from her I was encouraged enough to buy one from Amazon. It is a great read with some underlying strategies that I have begun to adopt.
      You will see in the next few month my progress with shedding the clutter I have accumulated. I will blog about it as I peal away the layers 😄

      • Walt says:

        Hi John,
        Delighted to know that you got the book! And are adopting some of the strategies. George and I definitely made up some of the strategies while we were writing the book–and put them in if they worked. I look forward to learning more ideas from your blogs–there is always more clutter to deal with! 🙂

  4. i have revisited your cloud of ‘clutter’ dear john, many a chuckle as i reread your reminienisences. Heres one for you from my family arcchieves ‘Tippletigs’ : What is it, what are they? They are my sisters expression having come home from our primary school gym lesson, in the ajoining Methodist Chapel Hall, of a ‘FORWARD ROLL’!. EE By Gum Lad; english and its many words that as a child one picks up as clutter, and may I say as an elderly gent one recalls: I am not quite ready for that green and yellow (Battern Burgh Van, and those men in white coats!!!, or is it Green uniforms today? I am a little hazy. That part of the brain is ready for sectioning-But Not me Just yet?

  5. Jon Cleaver says:

    Clutter. A few weeks ago on a wet Saturday morning, my son arrived trailer attached to his car 08.30. My garage containing over 40 years of memories and clutter was to be emptied. Virtually all day we picked our way into the garage; filling the trailer as we emerged. History peeled back layer by layer, year upon year. Half way to 1984 and a Raleigh bicycle still chained to the wall. Three quarters to 1970 and the old 1942 Morris Morris Eight badge along with a yellow background AA badge, an RAC badge, a metal petrol can 1950s, a line of triangular felt holiday flags, Cornwall, Devon, Brighton, etc. Aluminium poles galore. Ancient Whitworth threaded nuts and bolts. Right at the back, a heart stopping moment, under a velvet curtain cover, was my late mothers “Motzart” upright piano that many moons ago, my mother and next door neighbor, on a Saturday night, would play a duet of songs we all joined in with. Ah yes, it was even a memory for me, when I half learned to play it, but instead succumbed to the call of my mates, to go and kick a football?

    • john graham says:

      Nice post Jon. I am amazed that you stuck at it for a whole day. Three hours is about my limit otherwise I start to rethink, have doubts and begin to claw things back.

  6. Jon Cleaver says:

    Thanks John, even your comment brings back memories from the good old days at EC, called DE-Clutter Days. “If you haven’t used it in the last seven days…”Dump It,” as we all scurried round dragging items from under piles of rubbish trying to use everything, so as not to have to dump it! Ha Ha.

    • john graham says:

      Remember too, we had hundreds of bright yellow box files on shelves everywhere. Whatever happened to the paperless office? After that we ended up with a Porta cabin full of assorted stuff and finally two sheds saving old invoices for seven years for the taxman.

  7. Jon Cleaver says:

    I wonder if they are still there!!

  8. No 14? clutter of the mind: i do not like 13? Here I recall Molly and I with our young family, me in my first job ashore, earning that penny to keep the wolf from the door.
    Molly was shall we say 30 and her Mum and dad had invested in her an insurance policy from the ‘man at the PRU’ that 1d here for a number of years collected every week at the doorstep. Well Mollys Mum and Dad had paid up, the insurance had run its term. Molly received the payout, and decided we could buy our first, and an old car- £160 in 1971 and old Hillman Minx white- a ”banger”. WE enjoyed the rides it gave us from our home in Bedfordshire-up north to all the family in the Leeds area, and trips to the seaside-Margate- Southend were two places.
    The minx had done many a mile and had a leaking head gasket, and we could be seen parked halfway between Leeds and Bedfordshire (Grantham/Stamford) on the A! running down to the river with plastic bags to top up the radiator with water. We now laugh and have memories. When you are young you live life and for the moment! Now as a car owner, we are cossetted by breakdown cover, and comprehensive insurance!!
    Would i redo what we did as youngsters and the family, probably not, not without a fall back position of sorts. But Hey !! I am now that old duffer with clutter, that the children of the family regard as a museum piece , or clutter??? collecting dust, spectacles, teeth, and a walking stick, and of course lumbago, and other ailments.

    • john graham says:

      Whatever happened to the men from the Pru? That friendly face that used to collect a silver sixpence from us each week and carefully note it down in his book before moving on to nextdoor. Those were the long lost days of savings.
      That careful culture has been replaced by easy access high interest payday loans. Now the men knocking on the door are likely to be the bailiffs when you can’t keep up with the repayments. That’s progress ? I don’t think so.

  9. A story the 300
    Just to clutter the screen, I have a shaggy dog story.
    I and grannie were visited by Isla and her mum (our granddaughter). Mum was under the weather: Grandpa and Isla were dispatched to catch the 300 bus up to the town centre, ostensibly to watch the ‘Automaton Frog Clock’ which plays a tune, blows bubbles on the half hour and hour. The children try and catch the bubbles-great fun! Plus some shopping for grannie; smellies from M&S and identity lanyards, and card holders and belt restrainers- for this ‘Timpsons’ was the shop to go to!
    Isla and grandpa caught the 300, showed the old duffers bus pass, and as Isla 3.5 years was under 5 no extra fare to pay. Up town we went into ‘Wissmiths’ a family name for WHSmiths, asked about identity lanyards, we were recommended ‘Timpsons’. On the way out Isla espied an escalator; a request came for grandpa to ride this machine to the upper floor in WHSmiths, Grandpa suggested we gave this one a miss and go for a ride on the one in M&S? (A promise made- Oh Dear!). We went into Timpsons about our identity lanyard? No can do, but they had the belt pull to which you or one attaches the identity card holder. Grandpa declined the sale, and made for the open market. On the way there though the TK Mack’s shop again we made enquires, and no joy! Behold on coming out of TK Mack’s we were by the open market. We enquired at one stall no joy, I then say another emporium of ‘Aladdin’s cave’ entered no one about- turned to come out and a gruff voice; ‘Aladdin asked what is was I desired- I reiterated the identity lanyard and attachments, he roared with laughter, looked at Isla and said you’re in a ‘sweetie heaven for children’, where are your glasses?
    After some ruderary and pleasant banter I was directed to the white van of a key smith! Alleluia! Bingo! Success.
    Now then I had in tow Isla remember that escalator promise, and grannies smellies, well we entered M&S there was the escalator: I enquired was it the lift of the escalator for that journey up to the first floor and smellies- The Escalator grandpa! Came back that excited voice. We got to the top and made our way to the cosmetics, as we proceeded we talked about the smellies, and a gentle voice from behind us asked, what are you looking for sir? A floor walker in that department was listening to our conversation; I was brought up short and had to think! I said talcum powder please? Off course sir come this way, and there on the shelf were three different flavours; ’Pongs’ as I enjoy a good talc down after a shower as well as grannie I asked for one of each, so now you may greet me smelling-Ponging of ‘ rose petal’; ‘magnolia flower’ or ‘lavender’ This was not the end we were as we passed the ladies make up stands in heaven for Isla; What’s this Grandpa/what’s that grandpa, and it took me back to my children, and my sisters when young playing with ‘mummies’ make up. We sought out the samples and went through what was what-Eye shadow Glitzy, coloured, rouge dark and light, eyebrow pencils, face powder, foundation cream and oh the lips stick- which colour. We had a go at them all and grandpa had to do what Isla did! Great fun? We may be invited back, but not grandpa as a role model. We then noticed the time-Our visit to the clock. I asked was it down the escalator of in the lift? Escalator please Grandpa. We made our way out of M&S stopped at the bank for 2 minutes (Grandpa), and onto the clock.
    We were 5 minutes early for the half hour display, patiently we waited with anticipation, and the big wheel carried the golden ball access the bridge, it clicked! The music started and the frog stirred into motion; action blowing bubbles as its head went from side to side, around the frog the fan was moving into place, and all the young children-Isla included where catching the bubbles fell to the ground. This took some 5 minutes. Then when the fan was complete, the bubbles stopped, the music stopped and the bubbles ceased.
    We, that is Isla and I went home catching the 300 bus home to mummy and recounting the experience! What a day.

  10. I enjoy a pub lunch/meal out now and again, one at Stoke Bruene by the canal museum sent me a ‘BOGOF’ offer as an enticement, for what you ask? I return to my youth and that clutter that John is on about, and I suspect many an older generation dreaded, but we as kids thought of as fun! The title of the evenings entertainment was ‘Mischief’. In the Leeds area on November the 4th, in the evening was amongst us kids known as ‘mischief night’!!, and all hell was let loose! Besides the friends and that gentle tap or rap on the front door, running away and hiding behind the hedge or wall, waiting for the resident to come to the door and look for that intruder or guest, and as no one appeared-‘Blaspheme’ as this was probably the umpteen time this had happened. If the resident was a ‘grouchy old soul and would not under normal times let one retrieve one ball? a second attempt was made where the door of that resident was tied with sting to the next doors door handle and a gentle knock at the door- more blaspheming.
    Another but no so anomalous trick was to tie cotton to the door knocker rapp the knocker and again wait for the gentle soul to answer the door-inevitably the cotton gave one away, and one was told in a polite manner to ‘Bugger off’.
    AS molly and I had kids and became parents this ‘mischievous night’ became burdensome, and a nightmare. We were more pleased to endorse the ‘American dream’ of Halloween, and the more gentle aspects of trials and tribulations of under 10’s doing a task for ‘trick or treat?’ and not those precocious antics of my youth, which with fireworks sold to the over 8’s could be downright dangerous and criminal.
    The same for ‘Trick or Treat of the over 10’s they can do more harm than good in the neighbourhood, for all ages of society.
    Am I going with Molly to the Pub? No is the answer, mine and molly’s memories are too vivid.

  11. Another memory of clutter around this time of the year was ‘CHUMPPING’ were in urban districts of Leeds, we lads would forage for virgin wood, and wooden waste from farmland/woods and on occasions if the school had a bragger about the size of their bonfire we would listen carefully to were all their stock for their bonfire was hidden, and have an organised raid. We were as one might say ‘ charming little buggers.’
    So as I grew up Bonfire night/mischievous night and Halloween, had many connatations, which I did not wish my own children or my friends children become involved in.
    Wise after the event???

  12. juantetcts says:

    A clear sign that I needed to declutter is when I considered renting out a storage space for the clutter!

    • john graham says:

      I have a half empty garden shed you could use. You can see the inside if you look up my other blogs on clutter in the Tag Cloud.
      Good luck with your decluttering.

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