Why why why is it so hard to throw out stuff?
I’ve just hauled one of my mother’s favourite antiques out to the car – it will go to the dump tomorrow. It’s Victorian, and an awkward shape, and when it was shipped to me after her death with a few other much-loved items it lost a leg in transit. The leg has been re-attached twice, but if so much as a feather lands on it the leg comes off again. Take it to Spain? No. Oh, Mum, I’m so sorry.
She’d have kept it, because she was a squirrel, and because we all turn into our mothers eventually I am a squirrel too. A squirrel packing up after a dozen years in the same house, was there ever a more pathetic sight? I did the giant clear-out once before, 17 years ago almost to the week, and I was bad then, I am so much worse now. Oh, I know why – the older we get, the more memories we’ve accumulated, and the more often we experience discarder’s regret. You know how that works – you throw out the bottom half of the Christmas tree because the top is nowhere to be found. A week later you find the top half under the spare bed. (Yes, okay, if I was a more diligent housewife that couldn’t have happened. Bad example.)
Six months ago I put the house on the market and did a drastic clear out into the garage to make it look bigger. I should just be piling those boxes into the car and taking them straight to the dump because in six months I have never gone looking for anything. I know I don’t need any of it. But no – I’m going through boxes to see what can go to the charity shops instead. Ask me how much I have put aside to take with me?
Don’t ask. It’s not a lot, but it shouldn’t be anything at all.
I’ve moved often in my life – in fact the dozen years in this house might be my longest stay anywhere, ever – and you’d think my belongings would be pretty streamlined. Nope. Auction junkie who can’t resist a bargain, with hoarder genes – disastrous combination.
The movers will be here next Saturday to move goods and boxes into storage and right now I’m having to hope they’re bringing a pantechnicon. Not only that – there’s so much being put aside to go under the bed in the van that it will be teetering near the roof. That’s if the van doesn’t just go spatchcock on me, because a lot of what I’m taking is small but too heavy to box.
I need an intervention.