My weekend cottage is now empty and clean and ready for the new owners.  But….. my house in the city is now FULL of clutter!  In my last newsletter I promised I would tell you how I dealt with it all.  I discovered de-cluttering is a long process with no ONE solution. This week, I will also talk a little bit about the stress of living in chaos or clutter.

I had big dreams about completely decluttering my house and making a little money on the side, but I have spent the last 2 weeks discovering that is a dream.  On Friday I put some items into storage that I want to keep and don’t need in the short term.  I singled out two valuable items of furniture that I no longer use and this morning took them to the Auctioneer. And I spent a weekend on facebook messenger trying to sell about 10 items, but only managed to dispose of 4!

Then, the line of least resistance, giving it away to charity.  One friend emailed me about an NGO that urgently needed 2nd hand goods, so I arranged for her to deliver two large bags on my behalf.  Then another NGO where I have been volunteering for the past few years became an easy outlet for clearing.

I have always heard people say that living in a cluttered environment reflects what is going on in your life.  Well, I have to confess that for the past 3 or 4 weeks my life has felt pretty out of control.   Now that the 2nd house is emptied, I can perhaps get on top of the task of decluttering and easing up the stress.

Why all the fuss you might say? In a previous newsletter I referred to living in the country and going off-grid as one of the ways to reduce expenses in retirement.  Well, I wrote that blog about my own plans.  In fact we are actively looking for land at present.  I now realise this is at the root of all my stress, because I do not know where I am going to be living and when it will happen – which explains why I am holding on to possessions that I do not need right now, but might need in the future.

Ironically, I attended a workshop on stress last week and discovered that the worst stressors are the ones we feel we cannot control.  I had this light bulb moment that the insecurity of not know where I will put down my roots in the next year is causing immense stress.  I have since put the screws on my business partner and we have upped the search because, as I said to him – I cannot live like this indefinitely.

Watch this space for more developments on becoming sustainably self-sufficient in retirement!

Best wishes