Spring has arrived. The violets and primroses are in flower, tiny buds are forming on the hedgerows and the fields are drying out. Best of all, today the sun is shining. (Heavy rain and overnight frosts are forecast for the rest of the week but I’m ignoring that.)
With the advent of spring there was a need to clear the decks and set about a little spring cleaning.
Every room in the house was cleared. No room escaped. No cupboard left untouched.
My aim was “Keep What You Love”. Not in a Marie Kondo type purge that I may later regret (though I do like her clothes folding technique) but more of a Jane Goldney @Lempobee “I’ve done a big ol’ purge of china dishes and nicknack-y things and it feels good.”
We cleared out broken items beyond repair like the kitchen chair which had two dodgy legs, despite previous and copious applications of wood glue and screws.
We scrapped all those things that had been kept ‘just in case’ but in fact had either been forgotten or proved not to be as useful as we’d thought. Out went scraps of fabric left from clothes made over thirty years ago that had been saved for a quilt that will never be made or cables from computers long since gone.
I got rid of things that I didn’t like. Even if they were a wedding present. Or made by the children when they were small. Or I’d spent weeks and months hand knitting them. I may have muttered Keep What You Love a few times just to remind myself. There are a few things that could more truthfully be described as It’s Not That Bad Really.
There was ethical disposal (recycling and charity shops), less ethical disposal (forcing ‘useful’ things into the arms of family members) and fun disposal (smashing broken crockery) and it was all rather liberating. No more guilt now when I move that ugly jug to reach the loved ones; no subtle manoeuvring larger guests away from rickety chairs.
Everything that we’ve kept is there to be used and to be enjoyed, so no more saving for ‘best’ or shutting away to keep safe. I’m applying the same philosophy as I did to the knives that used to belong to Gran. I was told they had to be hand washed, but with four small children I ignored the advice and after more than twenty years of everyday use and dishwasher abuse, the knives are (mostly) fine.
Possessions sorted and still in full spring fervour, furniture was moved so that an alarming quantity of cobwebs and dust could be swept away, along with various pieces of Lego, pens and other detritus that had fallen behind and below it and the whole house was dusted, swept or washed. I fear that some corners hadn’t been this clean for years.
The reason for all this hustle and bustle was not just because it’s spring or that I’ve suddenly changed into a happy homemaker, complete with floral pinny and a duster always in my hand, but because we moved house. Just next door. Into a barn.
This barn, though rather more habitable now.
With scope for developing the garden. On a Keep What You Love basis, the container will have to go as will the farm machinery you can see through the doors and a proper doorstep might be better than using that old pallet.
We’ve only been in a couple of weeks so I’m still at the stage of wondering where I’ve put things. Or whether I kept them or threw them away.
Are you a hoarder or a chucker? Nostalgic keeper of the less than lovely or do you only keep what you love?