Set Fire to Your Flat

A tidy and uncluttered apartment with a nice airy feel.

I hope you like the title and it is not completely click-batey. It goes without saying that I am not advocating arson. Let me explain…

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Inigo montoya (The Princess Bride)

I have stuff. So much stuff. I have books, I have clothes, I have a small army of plastic bags, and I have boxes and bags of random junk. They are things that have come off other things and I might need the thing when I figure out what thing they go with so I should keep it just in case I figure it out.

Move the thing. And that other thing.

Vizzini (The Princess Bride)

Some of the stuff in my tiny flat is under the bed. It was under the bed in the last flat too. So yes it has moved from under one bed to another bed and has not passed through a phase of being used.

A picture of flames.

So why did I talk of fire? Because it has occurred to me that if something terrible happened there is so little that would need replacing. All my writing is backed up online. When my computer died a couple of years ago I just went down to Tesco and bought a new laptop. And my files were all on it within about half an hour. I would need new clothes and new kitchen equipment and not much else.

A well stocked book shelf.

The books would be a sad loss – but its not like I have any first additions or anything. In fact the only irreplaceable stuff would be my diaries and some data on the Wii (Yes I still use the Wii – I am old you see.)

A beautifully tidy house.

When the dust settles and I am safely in a new place I could get new stuff and be sensible about it. For instance I have lots of mugs. So many in fact that if I invited that many people over we would hardly be able to move. So what is the practical solution to clutter?

Tiding up does feel like a military operation.
(Plus I always like to have a reason to share my love of this film.)

There are so many books on the subject of tiding up that if you got them all it would really clutter up a home. I have started by putting stuff into bags. Some of it will be kept, some of it will be binned, and some of it will go down the charity shop. In an ideal would I would shift every signal thing elsewhere and slowly bring it back so as to identify what I actually want. With only one room that is impossible – unless I used an expensive self-storage place.

To say I have a plan would be wrong. Even Baldrick had a plan! The only solution is one bag at a time. And maybe, just maybe, I can make a home that I don’t feel embarrassed to look at. It is so easy to accumulate stuff and so had to get rid of it. Like I said at the beginning though – if it was all gone so little of it would be missed. So I don’t understand why I can’t just get rid of the random stuff I have – even stuff I don’t immediately know what it is.

A tidy studio apartment.
Photo by Medhat Ayad from Pexels

Maybe you too are trying to have a clear out. In which case good luck. Maybe you’re a minimalist in which case I envy your ability to let go. Whatever space you’re living in I hope you are happy – now I am going to move on to the next task on my rather obsessive to-do list.


I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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