Very un-originally, I moved from South West London with my husband and two children and three goldfish because we wanted to swap the hustle and bustle for a calmer , semi-rural existence.
We rented for six months in a new house where the landlady inspected for dust with white gloves and with a straight face she handed us a DVD of the inside of the oven. The fascinated DVD, which sadly, is not on general release, showed us how clean the oven should be when we moved out. If ever there were warning signs to head for the hills – that was it.
After 6 months of being terrified of making any mess, I won’t mention the iron burn on the carpet or the crayon cat scribble on the wall…we bought a family house – that’s the good news, the bad news is we had to pack up our belongings – again.
On the plus side, moving is a great excuse to de-clutter especially with the mountain of pink and blue plastic fantastic my children had accumulated. My two children, have far too many toys languishing in their toy box. I had a plan, I decided to wait for both of them to be at school, while I sorted out their toys. I mean how hard can it be?
I used to think one teddy was enough, but I was reliably informed by a pre-school teacher, that when holding a teddy bear’s picnic, you need more than one teddy to attend – something I had never thought of. So, I kept Big Ted, Little and Medium-sized Ted, but couldn’t justify average sized teddy so he flew into the charity bag.
I also discovered a box of tiny, white baby grows, which had been worn when my babies were just a few days old. I know it’s ridiculous, but I wasn’t ready to let them go – yet. Toys I had less attachment to, but these perfect, tiny, cotton baby grows held some very special memories.
After rooting around for a few hours, I was delighted with the mound of toys I had accumulated, pencils with no lead, toys with annoying sounds and a pair of wonky fairy wings. Other rejects included scary plastic dolls with no souls and books that had never been loved and a collection of touch and feel books ..That’s not my…mosquito, Amex card, fault! I proudly packed the toys in a bag ready to go to the charity shop and felt quite satisfied. That is until my daughter Lucy came back.
With hawk-eye precision, she made a bee line for the bag: “Are these for me, just me?”Every and I mean every toy was gleefully and ceremoniously pulled out of the bag, each with a new compliment. “I was wondering where this teddy had gone, I LOVE him. He is my most favourite.” She even thanked me for sorting out her toys. My secret top-secret mission to de-clutter was blown.
Oh dear, what’s a mum to do? Lucy hadn’t taken any notice of these toys – until TODAY! So, I did the only thing I could do, with a clear conscience and heavy heart I sorted out my own bursting at the seams wardrobe. There was one thing I managed to throw away and that was the oven DVD!