SUSIE FOWLER-WATT

Time for that great garage clear-out, says Susie, hope­fully

EDP Norfolk - - Editor's Letter -

...is hop­ing that the ar­rival of a large skip will mean say­ing goodbye to a load of house­hold junk.

HERE’S a ques­tion for you: what does one do with all the stuff one no longer needs at home? Does one: a) give it away, b) sell it, or c) put it in the garage to get mouldy and be­come a perch for the chick­ens?

Un­sur­pris­ingly, we rou­tinely opt for c) – which then means that nei­ther a) nor b) are vi­able fur­ther down the line. *Sigh* But I bring you news of a ma­jor break­through in our fam­ily life: a skip is be­ing de­liv­ered this week! It’s fair to say this has been a sen­si­tive is­sue in our house­hold for quite a while.

We missed a golden op­por­tu­nity a cou­ple of years ago, when we had builders in. They had a large skip for their waste, but ev­ery time I sug­gested we could put some of our clut­ter in it, Alex would start hy­per­ven­ti­lat­ing and get a weird look in his eye. He’s a hoarder, and sees sen­ti­ment in ev­ery­thing, even a de­cay­ing pair of cur­tains from his child­hood.

The only item that made it to land­fill on that oc­ca­sion was a top-of-the-range chil­dren’s car seat that had been Lola’s. A year later, when Hugo was ready for it, I went to dust it down and found it had com­pletely dis­ap­peared. So, we’d man­aged to throw away some­thing we ac­tu­ally needed, but keep vast amounts of tat.

I es­ti­mate that in our garage alone, 75% of the con­tents could be thrown out with­out any­one ever notic­ing. A truly tidy per­son could prob­a­bly get rid of 95% quite eas­ily. Imag­ine a garage that you could ac­tu­ally park a car in. That must be such a treat!

Our vil­lage re­cently had a garage sale. Ex­cited about our chance to re-home some items, I in­sisted we put out loads of stuff. When some­one showed an in­ter­est in a pile of books, Alex de­cided he didn’t want to part with them after all, and the only item we man­aged to shift was an old rug. Ev­ery­thing else had to be put back in its long-term hold­ing pat­tern.

Our friends down the road had a sim­i­lar lack of suc­cess. All they sold was an old pair of trainers be­long­ing to their son. This has not in­spired me to go to a car boot sale, as I can imag­ine the same thing hap­pen­ing there.

It won’t be long be­fore parts of our prop­erty be­come no-go ar­eas, be­cause of the danger of stuff fall­ing and bury­ing you. I am now the one hy­per­ven­ti­lat­ing, due to the stress of never be­ing able to find any­thing in our over­crowded house. Soon Christ­mas will be here again, and we never did find our Christ­mas tree stand last year!

I think Alex fi­nally re­alised that if he was go­ing to re­tain any con­trol over my threat­ened clear-out, he was go­ing to have to par­tic­i­pate. He ac­tu­ally rang the skip com­pany him­self. Hoard­ers Anony­mous would see this as a huge step for­ward in his re­cov­ery pro­gramme.

And me? I’m al­ready feel­ing lighter. There’ll soon be a skip in my drive­way, and a skip in my step!

“I bring you news of a ma­jor break­through in our fam­ily life: a skip is be­ing de­liv­ered this week!”

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