The Great De-Cluttering


The massive middle section

The house has been in chaos for what seems like months now. First the old windows were ripped out and replaced, then the kitchen was ripped out and replaced. There was a lot of ripping out and replacing going on. Nothing was where it should be, boxes of who-knows-what were piled up randomly, dust was everywhere and the cats were so stressed out, they needed counselling.

Noel must have been affected by the solvent fumes because as he stepped over all the leftover plinths, flooring and architraves stacked in the spare bedroom because he announced that we should prolong the chaos and have built-in wardrobes the full four-metre length of the wall. That would be some storage space, Noel could even sleep in there if he misbehaved, not that that happens very often.

On the plus side, 17 years’ worth of clutter could be cunningly hidden behind floor to ceiling sliding doors, on the minus side, all the clutter would have to be sorted, moved and moved back. Plus we were looking after the contents of a friend’s flat as he took a cycling sabbatical and that too was stacked up in the spare room.

He argued that another month or so of not being able to find anything would be worth it, we’d be de-cluttered. The cats weren’t so sure and I had my doubts, especially as we seemed to have so much stuff. Good grief, where did it all come from and why did we keep it? Do I really need every birthday card I ever had (that’s a lot of card) and every newspaper cutting I’ve ever written, hell, yes, that’s proper history, that is!

We got to be on first name terms with the guys at the tip, our trips there were frequent. Leeds City Council has a superb re-cycling set-up ensuring the minimum goes into landfill, we are now experts on what goes into which skips. The local charity shops also welcome us with open arms and a cup of tea, though heaven knows what they make of our eclectic tastes.

Our personal joiner (as we now like to think of him) did a superb job, though it was touch and go getting the three huge doors up the stairs and manoeuvring them around the corner into the room. At one point I thought we’d have to move the wardrobe to the landing which would have been a bit of a squeeze. But then it was done. The clutter decanted and the doors closed.

Now, about the wardrobes in our room, they’re looking as if they’ve passed their sell-by date. I feel more chaos approaching….


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