Sort Your Life Out


 Sort Your Life Out is the name of a television programme, an episode of which is being transmitted this evening. It's not what you would describe as riveting viewing. Indeed there's a definite sameness about each instalment when Stacey Solomon and a team of decluttering/organisation experts help overwhelmed households empty the contents of their homes into a giant warehouse where they reduce their possessions by at least 50% before restoring those they retain into some kind of order within their property. 

My digital TV Guide gives it an excellence score of only 1.2 out of 10 which is probably about right. As somebody who continues to make slow but steady progress in reducing her own collection of stuff, I confess that I still find watching it a little compulsive. Moreover that is despite the fact that I haven't even picked up any good tips or ideas. What it does, however, apart from feed the voyeur within, is offer comfort in droves.

I now take solace from the knowledge that I may be untidy but I am still systematic and a long way from needing professional help. Compared to the show's participants, I clearly have never cherished or put any great value on the junk we have given house room to. In retirement, when I have set myself the task of sorting and divesting, the hardest part, just like when working, has been to make the time to declutter properly. It's never good to compare yourself to other people but a programme like this inevitably forces you to do so. Consequently, I now know that I am ruthless and strategic when attacking a life of accumulation; sadly my desire for an easy life can create difficulty responding to a call to arms. It's so much easier to stay calm and potter, joining the proverbial battle only when the onslaught of surplus items overcomes you.

Retirement though has provided the opportunity to categorise or shred those heaps of important papers that used to cry out for filing and more importantly keep on top of them. With the departure of the eldest, floordrobes are an historic memory. Piles of excess (we have a weakness for useful cardboard boxes) have never impeded us parking two cars in the garage and we have generally resisted the temptation to store items in the loft space. 

A surfeit of cupboard space has probably been our major downfall but bit by bit we have worked through it all in the past 7 years and are now about to start a second sweep. If Stacey and her gang  were to turn up wanting to convey then spread the contents of our home in a giant barn to reduce them for us, they would be warmly welcomed. In the meantime our gradual and steady progress continues and I shall watch the programme again tonight, my jaw dropping in horror at the magnitude of the task others have created and appreciative of the opportunity to see what chaos is really like.

Call me smug, if you want.



Marksgran said…
You do sound very organised! I think part of our problem lies in the fact we've only moved house once since we got married. We've been in this house for 39 years so we've never had the need to have much of a declutter. The thing is I don't have much in the house that I don't like. I can tell you where every ornament was bought and who bought it. I saw a preview of the programme you're talking about and didn't think it looked worth a watch but my daughter in law watched it and has now thrown out all my sons holey t.shirts he keeps for 'dirty work'! I told her I have old clothes for that reason too and she said 'its your fault then lol'. Guilty as charged I'm afraid!
Caree Risover said…
Yes, we did one move 22 years ago and although I was always meticulous about giving the children’s toys etc.. away, we still managed to fill all our storage spaces with “useful stuff” in the intervening period. It’s taken the 7 and a half years since we retired to go through them all and in that period I’ve definitely grown more ruthless and determined, which is why I’ve now embarked on revisiting all those cupboards for a second time. Books rather than ornaments have been my Achilles heel but retirement offers the opportunity to read more and finally Im beginning to see their numbers diminish too. One day I would like to feel totally unencumberedl PS I do have a box of work clothes.
Jeanette Lewis said…
It took us a year to de-clutter and purge before we moved in 2016. Five years later, I know we can do another purge!
On a related note, a few months ago (pre-pandemic) one of my book clubs read Plum Johnson's memoir, 'They Left Us Everything' where she describes the process of going through her parents' home after they died. It's an interesting read!
On some days, I threaten to leave everything. On other days I think about death cleaning as described by Swedish author Margarita Magnusson in her book 'The Gentle art of Death Cleaning'. Diametrically opposed strategies! Meanwhile, I enjoy the areas of my house that are organized and clear of clutter and avoid the basement storage room.
Caree Risover said…
Ah yes, the room of doom - we all have one!
Mona McGinnis said…
I love those organizing shows, the before and after. Is it the voyeur in me? After cleaning my mom's house of 30 years of saved greeting cards and 15 years of utility bills, I'm taking a harder look at my space like the closet with afghans that have been used once in 20 yrs. It's time.
Caree Risover said…
Yes, the space is now more valuable than the stuff within it and uncluttered space is liberating ( unless it fills up again!)
Treaders said…
I think I caught one episode of this programme just one time, and while I was expecting to hate her (no idea why) I thought she was actually quite likeable. Not that I'll be watching any more of them of course but I was pleasantly surprised!
Caree Risover said…
Definite comfort viewing on my part (that and a cosy sofa on a dark evening).
Jennyff said…
We called the room where everything got bunged the glory hole. I use the past tense now we've downsized though I have a feeling MrFF is ferreting things into the loft, I rarely go up there.
Caree Risover said…
Love the name but also hope that one day I’ll feel we’ve done enough in case we want to downsize too. In the meantime, I know Mister E is making recourse to the garage rafters with the cardboard collection which is on plain view.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

All Aboard for Pampering

The 3 x 60 Challenge

Late, Even in Retirement

One a Day

A Reprieve


The Danger Zone

Business Networking in Retirement

Not Only But Also

An Unhealthy Relationship

Popular Posts in last 30 days

New Christmas Traditions

Happy New Me

Happy Hour


Boots and Balance

The 3 x 60 Challenge

All Aboard for Pampering

Here We Go Again

Will Power Crumbles

Stranger Danger