Something comes over me in the springtime and I can’t resist the urge to have a ruthless clear out, so I can have a proper clean and reorganise for the new season. Now, with the first smell of autumn on the chilly air that always reminds me of Bonfire Night, and the crispy red leaves I pick up for the kids on the way through town, I’m loving having a proper autumn declutter and tidy up.
I’m thinning out everything from our clothes, jewellery, toys, books, kitchenware and even getting rid of a couple of surplus pushchairs. The more space a thing takes up the better the reason I come up with for keeping it needs to be to. I’ve been drawn to simplifying life as much as possible since we stepped into the dream a few months ago. The dream itself is all about simplicity on a big scale. It’s about putting the priorities at the centre of our lives and letting go of a lot of other needless clutter. The dream has made us ask ourselves what we really need, and now we know what we don’t need. We already knew we didn’t need ‘stuff’ but with the thought of moving all of our ‘stuff’ from one country to another, I’m wanting to get rid of as much of it as possible as soon as I can. So it’s begun. 9 bags of stuff have been separated out from the rest of it and I’m only on day two.
It feels amazing after an over-booked, over-stretched Summer to have the time to do some deep tidying, and to enjoy the hard work that leaves my desk smelling of Mr Sheen, and the floor around my feet clear of bags of papers and assorted stationary and the contents of ‘day out’ bags. It helps me to look ahead to christmas and to making the house the best we can for that one day when we all stop and come together and appreciate what we’ve got. Ben and I feel strongly defensive over the British summer. How can people complain it’s been so short when we’ve had glorious sunny spring and autumn days and nights? I’m ready for it to be autumn. I don’t feel hard done by by the summer. It’s not like I was ever going to just sit and sunbathe in the garden anyway.
I’m ready for conkers and chestnuts and pine cones and for sparklers, for baubles and twinkling lights, hot chocolate and mulled wine. I love living in England for the defined seasons. The magical thing is, where we’re looking to move to in the French Pyrenees, the seasons are even more defined and pronounced and more beautiful. We’ll be in reach of snow every single year. We’ll be able to see the seasons coming in from miles around, and we’ll spend more time outside, in touch with nature, and so in touch with what’s growing, what’s good at market, the movement of the animals in the foothills and the mountains. Each season is as exciting as you make it. But I can’t imagine ever growing out of being excited about the change, the newness, the opportunities and occasions each one brings.