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I Like Stuff

Posted on: Monday, 23 April 2012

When you're about to move, you need to start looking at things carefully. So says my mum, anyway. You need to have a clear out. 'Can I live without it?' you must ask yourself. 'Do I want to pack it and ship it? Do I want to pay to put it in storage*?'

*pester parents to keep it in their garage for me.

I like stuff. I always have. From the age of 7 or so I curated an impressively extensive collection of animal figurines which continued embarassingly far into my teens. If only I'd had the foresight to hang onto it; my dressing table is really missing out on a chipped squirrel. Really. I was physically pained by the donation of a stuffed hippo (enormous, useless) to a hospital play area. I almost made my mum go back for it...but didn't. I'm telling you; a life lesson was learned right there.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm emotionally attached to things. Silly things. And I'm obsessive about lists and bits of paper and...well, crap, really. Crap in a really neat pile, though. Love a bit of a contradiction, me.

I go into other people's houses and marvel at how minimally they manage to live. But I just can't manage it myself. Where are their (really neat) piles of crap? Where are their envelopes with doodles and To Do lists scrawled on the back? Where are their ornaments?

We had Harry from a removal company around last week. I walked around the house with him pointing out things that we loved, things that we wanted to take. The big things, I realised, we're not so bothered about. We're leaving the (hideous SCS) sofa (bought with a hangover on a Very Bad Day - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) and the armchair. We're leaving beds. On the other hand, though, we're taking a brown anglepoise lamp that Adam's friend fished out of a skip (thank God!) and some duckling ornaments that I bought at a carboot sale for 40p when I was ten (I LOVE them). We have postcards stuck everywhere. Things hanging up and that. It's all about the bits.

This fixation with STUFF is perfectly exemplified by the fact that I bought a typewriter at the weekend. A fecking TYPEWRITER. And a wooden sledge (to put TOWELS on in a BATHROOM, all right? It has a perfectly valid function, OK?). And a little yellow milk jug with a lovely little handle (but then I put the other two milk jugs into the car boot sale pile in the cellar, so again, totally FINE). And I loved them all. I was delighted with my purchases. I left the Antiques Bar near Leamington Spa hugging myself with joy/like a loon thinking of my booty (booty in the piratey-treasure sense of the word. Ho ho.)

But even after a mammoth kitchen-clearing-out-session (Bedders: Shall we wipe out the cupboard bottoms? Laura: Are you my mother?), there's an awful lot of sorting to do. What to keep? What to store? What to ebay? What to chuck into the car boot sale pile? I'm really, really trying. Honestly. I told you about the milk jugs, didn't I? I get the feeling it's going to be a loooong process...


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