Sunday, 26 May 2013

No more hoarding, secret or otherwise


Being alone in the house this weekend gives me the ideal opportunity to get rid of stuff that certain members of the family never look at, but are nonetheless strangely attached to. I do not want to unpack boxes containing broken tennis rackets, incomplete jigsaws, or random bits of sanding paper. Ever again.

It must be roughly eleven years, eight months and twenty eight days ago that I have spend a day and a completely solitary night in my own house. Both the children are away at camp and loved one W. is - as so often these days -  in the Netherlands. No time to feel lonely though. I need to get cracking.
So although I can have a guilt free lie in,  I rise bright an early. The basement is first on the list. Unhindered by family members with a bit more passion for collecting than their clutter killer mum, at least half of the contents of the basement disappears into the garbage container outside our house. Ugly picture frames, containing ugly pictures: gone. Piles of books that I never want to read again: gone. Forgotten collections of football cards: gone. Cardboard shop filled with plastic fruit and veg, an assortment of different sized screws and paint brushes, lamps without shades and shades without lamps: gone, gone, gone. And noone there to stop me. Marvellous.
On to the living room, where W. has shoved three plastic boxes, containing his work archive, into a corner. I am tempted to empty the boxes, but decide to leave them be for the moment. I also leave W.'s collection of Lee Child's work, although it scares me to think that you would actually want to read those dreadful books for a second time. But hey, I own three packed shelves of cook books, that I intend to hang on to for the rest of my life. Luckily there is plenty of stuff left to go the binbag route. Iron bead artwork for instance, or a really old and dried out paint set and of course tons of dvd's.
Then, in need of some fresh air,  I decide to load all the broken appliances that we have collected in Switzerland, in the back of the car. A neighbouring expat recently told me that you can throw them in a container - at no cost - somewhere near the station. I am in too much of a throw out frenzy to stop for futilities such as looking for an address of this 'container'. Instead I just drive off, not being helped at all by the fact that my village has two stations. An hour later I am home again, silently unloading the appliances in the garage, feeling really grateful for the fact that W. and the kids are not around to comment.
A bit deflated, I decide to move on to the guest bedroom. Loads of stuff lurking there. Rolls of wrapping paper, plastic wallets and enveloppes,  more books, admin dating back to twentieth century, ancient duvet covers and towels and enough knitting needles to provide all the women in my village with a pair. I am filling bin bag after bin bag.
Untill I open the wardrobe that contains my fabric stash. How lovely it is to look at the colours and patterns and to feel the different materials. When I go through the collection, I can not bring myself to throw away even the tiniest scrap of fabric. And why should I. One day I will make something lovely out of every single bit of material.
If not, some tv presenter will have to talk me out of my house, when, years from now, I have filled the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, attic, basement, living room and toilet with fabric. There might be a secreat hoarder lurking in me, after all.