Reasons why Fran may soon be forced to live outside

Let's have a conversation about clutter because, please, tell me, it's not just our house ....

Surely other people, too, stand back when opening cupboards in case of avalanches.

Surely others open drawers then ram them shut again, pretending they never looked.

Surely others smugly tell friends they have planned a whole day of de-cluttering only to open one wardrobe door, lose heart within 3.5 seconds at the sight of enough unwanted cloth to dress the whole wide world, shut the door again, and make a Victoria Sponge instead.

How does it happen? Only two of us live in this house. How can two middle-aged people, with no children living at home, still be in danger of being edged out of the living room, down the hall and out of the front door into the street by a invading force of inanimate objects?

Let's talk about linen. I could talk about crockery, or stationery, or unused window blinds, or spare lamps, or books, or books, or books, but I'll talk about linen.

We have bed linen we use all the time - our day-to-day sheets, duvet covers and pillows/pillow cases. Next, we have linen we use some of the time, for the spare beds when guests come. However, we also have linen we use None Of The Time. Here is a list of some of our unused linen items.

a) Children's blankets we've kept for sentimental reasons. I guess if we ever get a rescue dog, which we'd love to, these tiny blankets would be useful for its bed. But any dog worthy of the name dog would probably be embarrassed by the pink/baby blue lacy edges and the bunny patterns. 'Woof, woof, what the heck do you call this? Did the rescue centre SAY I was a cross-dresser?'

b) Some old pillows we've kept even though we've bought new ones. Should one of us need to sleep sitting up - for instance, should we develop lung conditions - extra pillows could prove useful. But these old ones were bought in the 1980s and are so thin they would offer as much support as a chapatti or an OS map (unfolded).

c) Old pillowcases. The only possible reason for keeping these is in case I want to go to a fancy dress party dressed as a domino. I refer you to this recent post if you didn't see it

d) A piece of vibrant yellow-green-orange-blue African cotton a Ghanaian friend gave me in 2001. It's enough for three tablecloths, or a duvet cover, or 23 pillowcases, but it's so bright and colourful that it would stand out as almost rude in our house which is furnished and decorated in beige and muted reds and browns. People would think we'd had Jackson Pollack round. Its only current use is that it's so bright, when we open the airing cupboard where the linen is kept, we don't need to put a light on.

e) And then there are towels: mahoosive round-the-body-twice towels, towels smaller than that, towels smaller than that, towels smaller than that, towels smaller than that, towels smaller than that, and facecloths. Some of these towels are so ancient, you can peer through the thinnest parts of them as you can through ring doughnuts . Also, however much Lenor you glug into the washing machine, our oldest towels still emerge as rough as pork scratchings. As I say to Paul, 'If I wanted to exfoliate myself past my epidermis and down to the dermis, I would fetch a cheese grater.'


Rover was making it clear that he wasn't happy about the Peppa Pig blanket


What is your house stuffed with? Or are you a ruthless, heartless de-clutterer who threw the baby blankets out before the child had even said its first word?






Comments

  1. Just don’t go there. I am Mrs Minimalist. Other half is Mr This Will Come in Handy One Day. Drives me insane.

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    1. Out of the two of us, I am definitely the more ruthless. But, as you can see, that's not very ruthless at all ... Please come and live with us.

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  2. and then there is all the stuff which lurks in the laptop clogging up its memory.
    I'll sort the linen cupboard!

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    1. Arrggh! I didn't even think of the laptop!! Mine is really slowing up these days - I suspect there's a pillowcase somewhere inside it ...

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  3. Now that I'm retired, my first big project is to purge and clear all the clutter out of my computer room/library/storage room (all the same room). So I feel your pain a little bit. In the other rooms of my dwelling, clutter is already non-existent. For example, I have one pair of sheets and pillowcases. Who needs more than that? You take them off the bed, wash them, put them right back on. I was thinking of perhaps getting a second set, but it strikes me as excessive.

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    1. The very fact that you have a computer room/library/storage room amuses me! Good luck with the purging!

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  4. I do not have clutter and I am not a hoarder and I only have one cat. But I do have a collection. Some might call it clutter but they are quickly shown the door. Of course items fall on your head when opening the linen cupboard, it's the only way to find anything.

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    1. I love 'I only have one cat'. I'd really really like someone to leave a comment saying, 'I have 429 cats and really must have a clear-out.'

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  5. This made me giggle, and wince. I have all of the above plus craft stuff, sewing stuff, painting stuff, brio, lego, duplo, camping stuff and hundreds of "please-madam-you-tidy-later" boxes of assorted junk collected up by my sweet cleaning lady so that she can do her job and clean underneath. Oh and I'm moving in 6 months and everything we own has to fit into less than 25 cubic metres... (I think Lizzie might have 25 cubic metres of clothes!)

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    1. You are going to have a very interesting six months ;)

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  6. I am half you, half Invisible Woman. I have notes the children wrote me 20 years ago and enough tea towels to wipe up the world. But then I have decluttering days where I throw out so much that the dust man (sorry, refuse collectof) gives in his notice. Great post. I LOLed 😁

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    1. Oh, I haven't even mentioned our 'nostalgia suitcase' which contains children's drawings, hospital wrist bands, Junior School exercise books, significant birthday cards ... I haven't looked in it since we moved here (nearly 10 years) but intend to - very soon - at some point ..

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  7. Surplus pillows, extra duvets, dozens of towels, yes. But when it comes to pillowcases, I'm hardpressed to find two that match. Must be in the cupboards where I daren't open the doors.😁

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    1. It sounds like a great idea for a short story ... 'The cupboards where she daren't open the doors.' MWAH HAH HAH HAH HAH

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  8. Not ruthless or heartless, but I am a declutterer. I did keep the baby blankets and handed them to my oldest daughter for her babies. she felt no such sentimental attachment and handed them on again to friends when they were expecting babies. I have a very few of the things from the kids school days, but apart from that the only things currently cluttering my home are mine. Very little linen, since I don't have a cupboard to put it in, it's mostly stuff that I could probably do without and eventually will during the next declutter.

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    1. Handing the baby blankets on to your daughter is a lovely idea, River. I didn't even think of it. Oops. Bad Grandma.

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  9. I am fairly ruthless but still I find little nests of stuff that threaten to grow and overpopulate....time for a trip to the thrift store.

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    1. I know, right? They definitely breed when you're not looking!

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  10. I have too many sheets. I did clear out the airing cupboard ( cupboard which has the boiler in ) and put several sheets to go to the charity shop. After ten minutes I put them all back into the cupboard.

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    1. Ha ha - that's exactly the kind of thing I do too. I think, 'Oh, when have I time to go to charity shops?', abandon the idea and put it all back for 'another day'. (For 'another day' read 'never ever ever'.)

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  11. You say you have clutter like it's a bad thing!!

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    1. So, you're saying, all I really need is a different perspective on it all!

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  12. We began to de-clutter. We were enjoying getting rid of things. Our daughter & grandson then needed to move in , and you should see the amount of clutter they brought along!

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    1. I can imagine! Ah well ... another time!

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  13. Only one set of linens!!!! Goodness. We need quite a lot because every now and then we have lots of people staying. My problem is towels that are perfectly serviceable really but a bit scruffy to hang in the bathroom. I used to keep them for school swimming towels. Now I just keep them in the cupboard because it seems wrong to throw them away.

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    1. I do sympathise. I don't know whether your local recycling service takes textiles ... ours does, so towels that really are beyond use (as in, not really a towel any more) can be got rid of that way.

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    2. Cut them into quarters, zigzag stitch the edges and they are perfect cleaning cloths for baths, showers, floors

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