Since I was born I dont remember being in a lockdown situation, maybe I am lucky; however I had a lockdown whilst at university for 3 days, but I dont recall anything from that time except feeling hungry and walking to the fence of our university accommodation to speak to the villagers living outside the compound to buy eggs and bread from them. The rest of the three days we stayed at our university accommodation (I am sure we did things but seriously I don’t remember what these were).
When covid first started we had a semi lockdown, we could only go to supermarkets. it wasn’t that severe then, and now with the second lockdown after a year and two months, I started thinking what should we do? can this be a sign that we will have many more lockdowns? should we just watch TV, read the umpteen whatsapp messages, talk to relatives and friends on zoom and so on or should we do something constructive?
Well, let’s see. I had few things that I hadn’t done or kept postponing them till I had the time. Ok the time had come and here is a list of my things:
- Organise my cloths: Give away what I don’t need and keep the rest. Not sure if I had mentioned this before, but I did go on a diet and had dropped my size at least by three sizes. I tried some of my cloths on, and literally they dropped down even after zipping them (skirts and pants mainly), but these are things that I loved, and still love. Shall I take them to the tailor? maybe, or I should just find a home for them? done, they went to a home.
- Organise my kitchen: Even though we just moved to this house 10 months ago, but the kitchen always needs updating. So we (my husband and I) went through the cabinets and removed anything that we haven’t used. I am very particular about certain sets as they were given to me by dear friends or I had bought them and never used them. Those I had kept, but every mug that we got from different countries or given by companies as promotions, went to the box. Also since we actually started to cook !! we changed the pots. Normally I would keep the old ones in case I needed more pots, this time I added them to the box. This box (at the end it was way more than a box, and took us three trips to the car) went to charity.
- The pots and plants: I am a keen plant person, maybe I was a tree in my previous life!! I gather plants and seeds and grew them and try to revive them and so on. This time I thought ok let me see what I should do. I managed to reduce what I have indoors to fewer pots by just potting the ones that are similar in bigger pots and mixing and matching the others. For the garden pots i did the same, bought bigger pots and mixed and matched. I still didn’t hang my garden ornaments, that I would do soon.
- Come to my books: well they fit my bookshelves so I didn’t get rid of any.
- Furniture?? in actual fact I have just enough furniture in this house, I don’t need to reduce or add anything at the moment.
- Now I turned to my laptop. Over the years I had accumulated thousands of documents. I have bank statements of 4 banks stored in a folder called statements? do I need them? I checked with the auditors, and they confirmed that they have them too. Why do I need them then? I pressed the delete button and it’s gone. Then there is a folder called projects that never materialised. This folder was originally for projects that I started but didn’t work out, for example teacher recruitment (when I did the project there was nothing like that, spent a lot on the website and hired a team, at the end we realised that most schools and universities send their teachers to recruit as a type of Perks) so that died, and like this project there are many others. I pressed delete and that folder is also gone. I organised my emails into folders, saved the old ones in folders on the laptop instead of the server to save space and made sure I only kept the emails of the people instead of the newsletters and. now I have a shiny and organised laptop.
- I have on my phone Notes a million items of things to do, like articles, recipes, call doctors, call banks, do this, do that and much more. That took me a very long time to do. Somethings I don’t even remember what they mean, but instead of thinking about it or trying to remember it, I just delete it as it wasn’t meant to be. I think from now on I must do the item ASAP instead of just adding it on a note or reminder.
- The APPs that I don’t use, also got deleted. I was torn between continuing Duolingo or not. I kept it ( (I am on level 5 french, I must reach the end, mustn’t I !)
- The most difficult task was the accessories. I cannot even come close in telling you how much I have, but I will give you two example. I love owls, so over the years, I got necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets all made with owls from friends. I can literally make a painting of a tree and stick all of these owls on it and have a tree of owls? wait, thats an idea, I must do that. also I Love pearls and same thing happened, I have so much pearls (again necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings) but I love them. What did I do: I put them in different pouches and stored them separately, to find what I want to wear straight away.
I remember in 2019 (just before packing my things and putting them in a storage) I read by total coincidence a book by Marie Condo about the Art of tidying up. She is ruthless, and so was I. I literally gave away 3/4 of what I had. But what I had kept (to fit into my two bedroom Duplex) didn’t fit; again I did the same when I was emptying the boxes. Now I became an expert in throwing away things, and have decided that I will only keep what I will use.
Please take this lockdown period to organise your life. it will keep you sane.