Clear out time!

Our loft is a mess. We keep things ‘just in case’. We store old toys, thousands of books, a hanging rail full of coats we have forgotten about and all the boxes stuff comes in, just in case they break and we need to take them back. About nine suitcases, one with one broken wheel (brand new when it left to go to America a few years ago), sit side by side with old shop accounts (seven years old, so they can go – hooray! ) and an ancient Father Christmas outfit, never worn.

Tomorrow, we have some men coming to insulate our loft because it doesn’t have enough insulation. We don’t meet the recognised standards. It could be argued that since we have the contents of a small furniture warehouse and several wardrobes up there, our insulation is better than most, but we don’t conform. Nothing new there then. Conforming is not my strong suit. I’m not noticeably a rebel – far too vague for that.

However, my husband has decided that we will be better off if we are better insulated, so we are clearing out the loft. We have only lived here for about five years, but the accumulation of detritus has to be seen to be believed. I considered taking a photo and putting it on here, but decided against.  It’s too awful to contemplate. Anybody want a prehistoric Sky box? Or a telephone that you have to screw to the wall. Yes, we really do have each of these. And about a hundred box files (empty), old photographs (Oh, look, do you remember….), an autograph book belonging to my sister, dating from school days and several of my (non)masterpieces of art. I’m sure posterity can do without those.

We moved from a three-storey Victorian money-pit where we lived for years. The whole house resembled the loft here and the attic was chock-full as well. Don’t ask me why we collect such a lot of rubbish, because I have not the slightest idea. Furniture had to be sold, dumped or given away. Anything which was not suitable for sale but was too good for the dump we left on the drive with a big notice ‘Free to good home’. Since we lived on a fairly busy road, plenty of people passed by. Peeping out of the windows, seeing them skid to a halt and emerge from their vehicles was quite funny. Their furtive looks showed disbelief. Opening up the boot of the car and stuffing in a chest of drawers was done hurriedly, as if it were a joke and a hand might be clapped on a shoulder any second.

One ancient dressing table had a huge mirror, which meant to get it down two flights of stairs the mirror had to be taken off. John unscrewed it, we carted it down to the drive, where he screwed the mirror back on again. Dumping a small desk out there a few minutes later, a man drew up and asked if the dressing table was really free. It was, but to get it into the car, the mirror had to come off again. John obliged and the guy drove off with the comment ‘I’ll be back for that desk. It’s my daughter’s birthday tomorrow and she’d love that.’

Most of the stuff we’re removing from the loft today will go straight to the local Household Recycling Centre. I do love the idea of recycling, love the fact that some of what we are throwing out as rubbish may be treasure to someone else. And John will have to be very strict or I may see something there that looks as though it might be useful for us. It’s only a couple of months since I rescued a Lloyd Loom chair from a skip….

23 responses to “Clear out time!

  1. Oh dear…are we in trouble here….I found a marvelously carved wood, bed headboard in a skip years ago. It has served multi-room purposes. At present is in the living room serving as a backdrop to an antique Chinese bench. You know…just for fun…
    We should never become neighbours……just a warning….

    • Oh you are a gal after my own heart! I would have had the headboard as well. My husband can’t quite understand. He’s a dear, but he doesn’t always get it. Neighbours? Hmm – maybe we could scavenger hunt together!

  2. I put things out on my lawn with a “Free” sign attached. I live on a country road, but everything that I’ve put out has gone. My husband says that I should sell. I like giving and it’s fun to see someone pull up in amazement that something rather nice is really free.

    • It’s great isn’t it? When we first put the things out, my husband said nobody would stop. He couldn’t believe there was anyone else out there as daft as me. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. :-)

  3. I, too, love knowing that the things we once used will prove helpful to someone else. And we also live on a busy road, so it’s fun to take bets on how long it takes for someone to scoop up our items. It’s usually not long at all!

    • I think it’s great that someone will stop and pick up the stuff – when we first did it my husband didn’t think anyone would want to take it. He was soon proved wrong and couldn’t believe it. Now, I think he’s just as good at getting rid of it, happy to take to the charity shop etc., but is less keen on me picking up other people’s ‘junk’! He thinks we have enough of our own…

  4. I confess – I am a hoarder!!! I love antique stores, secondhand stores, pawn shops and auctions! We have so much stuff that I have allocated a sum of money, in my will, for the house to be packed up, sold off and/or given to charities in the event of my death!!!!

    • Well that made me laugh! What a thought – how brilliant. And I do try not to be a hoarder. My little house is so little that these days we have a one in/one out policy – or we try to. John’s hoping that at least a hundred things out this week end won’t mean I believe the same number can come in again!!!!

  5. This is a very funny post, Pat. It gave me a really good chuckle this morning! :D

    Having just moved house I totally understand what you mean. Where on earth does all this junk come from? I swear it multiplies!

    Best of luck with your ‘clearing out’ day – I certainly don’t envy you, particularly because you’ll need to drag it down from the loft ;)

    • All done! One trip to the Refuse/Recycling place and one trip to the charity shop. Hooray!
      Brilliant. We felt so virtuous and celebrated with a glass of wine.
      Glad you enjoyed the post. I broke off in the middle of clearing to have a drink and to write it. It was quite restful! :-)

  6. What my life became in a NUTSHELL when he moved in with his workshop and household STUFF! lol I have decided to become a Minimalist wonder where he will live :)
    Eunice

    • Yes, I yearn for minimalism, but I fight my own personality traits – think I must have a wartime mentality – save the string, the paper, the boxes, save everything, just in case!
      And then there is the other me, the minimalist me, that throws things away in gay abandon and then the day after they have been irrevocably taken away, I miss them dreadfully and could sit in a depressed heap all day for what I’ve lost!
      No happy medium.
      But yesterday was all good and feel very virtuous today. :-)

      • Awesome! Yes I do not need to walk sideways through the home here so I guess it could be worse but I really want a beautifully clean home though I know without THINGS that bring me JOY from trips where I got all these treasure the house would not only be Clean but Cold but I MUST WALK THE LINE lol I am going away for a silent retreat in March which may profoundly change me just in time to finish painting the front of the house and put in my English Garden :)
        I wish you well we do need to live in Peace with all we have :)
        Eunice

        • Not sure I could cope with a silent retreat either. I’m a chatterbox and I like the radio on while I work.
          But yes, I don’t really want a clinical empty home. Just one where I can find what I want when I want it. One that looks tidy enough but also homely. It is a home after all, not a clinic.
          I hope you enjoy your retreat. :-)

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