A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Wood For The Trees - Part 2

When our daughters moved out and went to university last September, we looked at the accumulation of child-related paraphernalia in our home and thought only, "Why do we have all this stuff exactly?" The realisation that the paddling pool, Swingball, trampoline, assorted rackets and balls were now redundant and taking up 75% of the available space in our shed was a very sad one indeed.

After the girls left home, I may have tackled their bedrooms with gusto. This was tat that was right under my nose and the need to declutter was overwhelming and long overdue. I have blogged about this strangely cathartic process here

The loft however remained untouched. Pretty much a case of out of sight, out of mind. I'd lost count of the number of times the hatch had been flung open and extra contents added to our mound of belongings.

Although I've decluttered the house at least once a year since we moved in, my Beanie Baby generation daughters have at least 100 of the furry cuddlies stored in vac packs up in the loft. We have enough Sylvanian Family sets to start a village, plus a ton of Harry Potter Lego, Duplo, building blocks, family games and books. We also have a massive rocking horse (but I may have smuggled that over to my mothers and hidden it in her loft). And don't get me started on all the coursework that's found its way up there after my daughters have spent the last 15 years in education.

As the loft was groaning under the weight of our stuff, it was time for action. We plan to move house during the next couple of years and that means only one thing: sorting out.

Mr A is guilty of keeping all sorts of random c**p. We have a broken video recorder, a camcorder that hasn't worked in forever and every single Terry Pratchett novel ever written. There's also a stash of items that he describes as, "Might come in useful at a later date."I have my doubts.

I had a sneaky suspicion that most of the hoarding up in the loft wasn't actually down to me. Yes, I'm guilty of not being able to part with a small selection of baby clothes, a couple of cot mobiles and congratulations on the birth of your twins cards, but all I could remember putting up there was my wedding dress, assorted dolls from far-flung places, some vintage Ladybird books, a model of a Porsche, my collection of Whimsies, a certificate for a writing competition I won back in 1974 and that was about it.

As soon as I'd let that thought slip from my mouth, there was a collective gasp from other members of the family. Each of them adamant that they were not responsible for hoarding the most. And so, last week Mr A and myself spent a very long evening up in the eaves, dividing treasured family possessions junk into distinct piles: Me, Him, Olivia, Sophia, stuff-to-go and family belongings, such as Christmas decorations, sleeping bags, suitcases etc.

I have a feeling that the evidence speaks for itself:

Olivia's stuff!

Sophia's stuff!

Assorted tat belonging to both of them!

Beanie Baby vac pack no 1
Beanie Baby vac pack no 2!

Christmas decorations
Suitcases and sleeping bags

Mr A's treasured assortment of belongings!

And last, but by no means least, my stuff...

We've already done a couple of trips to the tip for those items that had no right being up the loft in the first place. And sold, or donated most of the kids' belongings from the shed.

The only question is: how did we accumulate so much stuff exactly? Now that our daughters are all grown up, we have no need to keep any of it and so, I will hold on to a selection of mementos from their childhood and offload what's left.

It's a sad realisation that we are a family with children who are all grown up, but here's to life made simple and new beginnings.

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton


  1. I'm sure it felt good to clean it out, but a little sad too. Hard to part with things you've had for a long time. I like your attitude though...here's to new beginnings! :)

  2. We have so much of our kids stuff in our basement you can barely move in some places. Four years of stuff middle child accumulated while she lived in an apartment, some she is giving to the teenage boy (he moves into his apartment in another week), some stuff she is taking to her new place. It's just insane! Hubby has a five year rule, if he doesn't use "whatever" in five years then it is donated or tossed. Myself, well I'm not a collector of anything so I'm in the clear. :-)

  3. Oh no! I am too a sneaky hoarder. Of clothes. Like loads of them. I did a huge clear out of six bin bags the other day. There was stuff in there from the early 90s! However I do like the fact you are at least keeping your stuff in pretty reddy pink boxes. Organised hoarding is the way to go! xxx


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