We took advantage of the snow days and did a clear out. Not the most exciting way to spend a few days but after fun in the snow, and constantly gnawing away on chocolate, to facilitate the rationing of bread of course, it was a welcome distraction from the cabin fever that was setting in – OK not welcome, but necessary in the interest of our sanity and future good family relations!
The great thing about having a large family is that thereâ€™s lots of â€œstuffâ€ to pass on to other siblings. The bad thing about having a large family is that thereâ€™s lots of â€œstuffâ€ to hoard that you might pass on the other siblings, or that you convince yourself you might because you donâ€™t want to part with it.
Itâ€™s not that Iâ€™m a particular hoarder, Iâ€™ll happily discard any of himselfâ€™s newspapers and magazines whether heâ€™s read them or not â€“ and I have no issue â€œlosingâ€ certain horrendous gaudy-coloured football shirts that pass through the wash. Before anyone thinks this might border on spousal cruelty, I do his washing for him â€“ itâ€™s a hazard of the chore!
When it comes to my babiesâ€™ belongings however, Iâ€™m not so great. â€œWe have 6 of the same sized coat hanging in the wardrobeâ€ came the call from the youngest boysâ€™ room. â€œIâ€™ll put 5 of them in the charity bagâ€. In a time Usain Bolt would have been proud of I sprinted to the room. â€œ I need to check everything firstâ€ I said, â€œI know what ones I want to keep and what ones we should give awayâ€ There was also the matter of the pile that was going to the attic for memoriesâ€™ sake and, just in caseâ€¦
As each item of clothing was handed to me, I reminisced about which child had worn it first and decided if it should be given away, passed to the child it would now fit or put in the ever-growing attic pile that I was hiding down the side of one bed. Every now and then himself would show a moment of weakness and say â€œah I remember this onâ€¦..â€. I took that comment as confirmation that I should keep that item too.
I realised as I literally waded through small vests of every colour and size that my emotional attachment to my kids clothing and the very limited storage facilities in my house were not compatible. Something was going to have to give. â€œYouâ€™ve an awful lot of football shirts taking up space in those drawers under the bedâ€ I said to himself â€œand those bloody football programmes too, could we get rid of some of them to make some space?â€. He wasnâ€™t keen.
Ruthlessly I discarded 3 or 4 vests to the â€œnot being kept pileâ€. Everytime a bag for the charity shop was filled, I announced it loudlyâ€“ â€œthatâ€™s five of them now â€“ Iâ€™m making great progressâ€ I said. I figured it would soften the blow when he realised how many bags of â€œI love these too much to part with themâ€ he would have to find a home for in the attic. It didnâ€™t.
â€œWe donâ€™t have space for all of thisâ€ he said. I dismissed the notion, he found space.
Momentarily I wondered if I had actually kept too much â€“ and then I remembered there was a pile of washing waiting to be doneâ€¦.;-)