Monday, January 04, 2010

Moving junk

Oooo, I slept on my neck funny last night and it’s just getting worse and worse.

Back at work. I have sooooo much to do at home, but here I am twiddling my thumbs in the office. Do people who work from home do this? Sit at their laptop and think they can’t possibly just nip out and put a wash on? I think not. But, there may be another snow day in the offing if the BBC weather service is to be believed so perhaps I can be more productive than I think.

Things to do this week:

Pack up the entire flat – this will hopefully involve a lot of throwing away too
Eat as much as possible of the contents of the fridge and freezer
Minimise the laundry situation
Do the rest of the recycling and drop offs to the charity shops
Order a washing machine and (depending on the vendor accepting our offer for their old one) a fridge/freezer
Send off three parcels for presents for people (two to the States) (and possibly four if I finish the latest knitting project in time)
Read the meters

Things to do after we move:

Read meters and call utilities people
Call BT and have longwinded and ultimately futile conversation about (lack of) moving broadband over
Call Sky likewise re telly reception*
Unpack contents of flat
Take delivery of new TV**, washing machine and possibly fridge/freezer
Get Sky man in to fit new dish and gubbins for sky multiroom
Take a trip in a van to The Man’s mum’s house to pick up a load more stuff
Take a trip in a van to my mum’s house to pick up a load more stuff
Take a trip to the physio to fix my back
Get someone in to plaster over the artex ceiling in the sitting room (why? WHY???)
Sit down and have a well-earned drink (or six)

* I called Sky last week to inform them of change of address and get man booked in to install new dish etc, and they still had our old address because some mouth-breather had put our last moving date in as 2088, not 2008, and not ticked a box somewhere. So of course as 2088 has not come along yet the system still thinks we’re at the old address, and as it’s over a year later the call centre can’t amend the record, they have to ask Sky IT to do it, and apparently that could take up to 30 days. Allrighty.

**Ah, the new TV. One of The Man’s mates came along to help us decide, as he knows all about Making A Noise with sound systems. With the voice of ages, as we walked past Fenwicks’ sale and viewed the bunfight inside, he said, ‘Ah, loads of people spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need.’ True, very true, we thought sagely, heading into the Sound and Vision store to drop a couple of thou with the pimply salesman. I think the irony was lost on the boys. Clearly big TVs and fancy dan speakers fall into the ‘Life’s Essentials’ category.

The parents, like parents the world over I’m sure, are overjoyed at the prospect of ‘getting their houses back’ when we move as we’ll have space for all the stuff we’ve been storing in respective parents’ houses for years. Ha, misguided fools. They said that when we (generic, universal ‘we’) went away to uni, they said that when we left uni to get Proper Jobs, they said that when we moved again, always hoping, hoping, that one day the junk would find another home. When will they learn it will never happen? We take what junk we need and leave the rest, which gradually accumulates and accumulates, merging with our siblings’ junk and more parental junk until, basically, the attic floor gives way.

After the wedding I’m going to hire a skip and one of those dustbin chute things and go up into the attic with my parents and throw away all the crapola that is never used and often tripped over. There are strings of lilac fairy lights from my brother’s wedding five years ago, a BBC Acorn computer, broken chairs, old clothes (lots of old clothes), ancient tapes and CDs, old mattresses, a broken easel, baby toys, a model ship, zillions of crappy books no one is the least bit interested in, nasty pictures, macrame plant holders, old files from the office, toy prams and tea services, fishing kit and just JUNK. Piles of it. Argh!! The trouble is this theme extends to other parts of the house, most notably the office. My flesh crawls walking into my parents’ office, and it’s not just an allergic reaction to the dust (a mixture of real dust, dried mud and clarts), pet hair and cobwebs. There can only be about 12 square inches of actual desk visible. The rest if covered by the PC, two printers, his’n’hers in trays, the desk diary, a phone/fax monster, and several mountains of sliding paperwork and magazines. The pen pot has one, maybe two pens which actually work, not one ever actually having been purchased but all having come free with vet drugs orders or wormer samples or seed catalogues. There is a pen holder in the shape of a hedgehog with a pencil sharpener nose which I remember being there when I was about seven years old, with the collected scunge of ages in the bottom. Ditto two other pen holders (yes, three pen holders and two working pens). There is a collection of rubber bands and paper clips and stamps held together by dust bunnies. The wall is papered with notes and phone numbers all of which are so faded they are nearly impossible to read. The wall shelves bow under the weight of long unused files. I daren’t ever open the desk drawers because if you actually look for anything and thereby rearrange the contents you never get them closed again.

Under the desk there is no room for actual feet. There are assorted boxes of cartridges, piles of jiffy bags (some reused and some new! Shock!) and other packaging, vast leaning towers of eggboxes, boxes the computer equipment came in (throw them away!! All you need is the paperwork!), some other stuff lurking at the back and The Bin. Now we are all supposed to be eco friendly the bin has become the Paper Recycling Bin, which basically means the same stuff goes in it but it gets emptied less often so there is a wire bin somewhere under another mountain of paper. All of the above is distributed among liberal amounts of dust and fluff and hair. Yum.

So you can see I can go either of two ways: either I’ll react against all this junk-keeping or I’ll bow to genetics. I know someone at work whose wife is a professional declutterer and if something in their house has not been used for a year (or if he’s not worn a particular shirt in three months) then it’s out. Scary. But, you can see why this could be a good thing. We do all indeed have loads of Stuff We Don’t Need which we’ve spent Money We Don’t Have on. I am getting better at realising when that pretty sparkly thing with 20% off (or ‘80% on’ as I read somewhere recently) is in fact just Something Else to Dust rather than a functional item that I need. I need to get better at doing a similar thing with clothes (getting better at remembering if I have one almost the same) and books (hopeless – books just have to come home with me). It will be interesting to see exactly how much junk I do own as opposed to things I need and use.

I am so glad we booked a removals man this time….

1 comment:

rosebud101 said...

Wow! That is quite a list you've made! Good luck! I'd love to have a professional declutterer come to my home! It would help.