Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Birthday Musings: Part 2. The Declutter


Stop...Stop!

Please don't phone the police!

It's not burglars!

Honestly...it's not!

It's simply the work of a three year old boy and his 39 year old accomplice, who really should know better!

You'd think I'd learn by now wouldn't you...

Never to do...the annual pre-birthday declutter...........on my own!

...especially when the King of Decuttler and strategist extraordinaire is out-of-reach and far far away on a three day residential course in Buckinghamshire.

Let's face it...he is the expert in messy bedrooms. I, on the other hand, am crap!

I really don't have the head for it!

Never have!

But I was a desperate woman, preparing for another exciting birthday in the life of the Junior Waste Saboteur and embarking on Mission Impossible, which was to create space for some new presents to land. So it was time to sort out the toys and rearrange the furniture. The only other time this happens with such conviction is Christmas!

However, the flaw in this plan is that whenever I move around the furniture, I reveal the beastie that lurks in the bedroom. I know it's there, but if I don't look it will go unnoticed...and therefore it will cause me no distress.

But when I go hunting, I need to have my wits about me and make sure I am sufficiently armed to tackle the real nightmare that hides under the bed and in the shadows of the bedroom. If you're a parent who also struggles against chaos, you'll understand what I mean.

It looks like this.


ARGHH!

To the uninitiated it appears pretty harmless.

But the truth is that it's an unexploded bomb awaiting disposal, a casualty bay of things missing in action and a collection of wasted opportunities.

With a background in library management, you'd think I'd be good at sorting and putting things in their place.

Well if it's got a Dewey number on it and is part of an age-old classification system then I am. However, the problem is that the broad categories of broken limbs, random jigsaw pieces and unidentified plastic objects are enough to send me running to the hills with my finger in my ears singing la, la, la, avoiding the truth of the matter and the inevitability of landfill.

But at least I can deal with things that look like this...


Yes, I know I chose carefully, but aside from the fact that it's a much loved bin lorry, the other thing I like is that it comes in just four easy bits, which once put together can be handled as a specific toy with a real purpose.

It's not that I dislike things like jigsaws. They're great and give the brain muscles a good flexing, but you can get too much flex when the odd piece goes astray.

Then there's Playmobil! Why did I buy that farm set off eBay, with all those fiddly bits, when my eldest boy was just three? Talk about peaking too soon!

Life would be easy if it was just Books, Lego, Cars, Trains and Kid K'Nex.

I'd know where to put them.

But I suppose it would be boring for a boy who soaks up learning through play, like a sponge with water. However, to his credit, his imagination knows no bounds and he can do all sorts with a cardboard box and a sweeping brush!

The great news is my mission to declutter was successful and that I've collected a few odds and ends to pass on to good homes, like little T's nursery and the fair-trade cafe in Bury St Edmunds.



But we've also said a sad goodbye to a bag-load of cuddlies, who have gone to a really good abode through Freecycle.




Anyway the surprise for everyone, including Mr A who gets home today, is that this woman on a mission finally pulled through and within a couple of hours of blood, sweat and tears, managed this miracle...



Oh, how I wish there was a course in the Management of Stuff. Having had kids, it'd be of much more use than a masters degree in Library and Information Management.

But at least, with the room now in a state of managed control, I can breathe easy, which is great news because the party is tomorrow.

Yey, time to celebrate.... in more ways than one... before I move onto the next area of the house...the kitchen!

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9 comments:

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

You didn't show the Teddy Bear the door did you? I hope it goes to a good home...

Joyce said...

I always had such a hard time getting rid of stuffed animals- I'm way too sentimental about them. You did well, mom!

Mrs Green said...

Oh darling; you're a bit of a star today. I need to do a serious declutter as well. I have done the porch and now 6 pairs of dd's shoes are waiting for the charity shop, but other than that I've been budy doing other stuff.

Well done on your achievement!

I find decluttering takes so bloomin' long now because no longer can I just toss it in the bin; I have to think about where it's going..........

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi Peter...it was hard but that Teddy did leave home. He's gone to a place though. To a lovely lady called Fran who I found through Freecycle and who needs soft toys for her school fayre.

Hi Joyce - I know just what you mean. I rescued about 10 toys out of the bag of stuff that Mr A collected. It is always tough because of the memories attached. Of course there was no way I was getting rid of the first teddy that we bought in Switzerland or the snakes from the zoo.

Hi Mrs G - Thank you...I have never been able to cope with the declutter exercise because I simply hate throwing things away, so the whole thing takes me too long. I've put a few things in the landfill bin, but I've still got a box which is acting as a holding bay...just in case that jigsaw turns up or we find the body to the missing limb. x

Gareth Rae said...

Snap!
I've just blogged on the very same subject. It's never easy ... but what a sense of achievement it brings.

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi Gareth Rae - Glad to know there are others that suffer the same affliction...have just popped over to visit and my home is very lived in too. Love your note on your blog about William Morris. I completely agree with what he says...and that's part of my trouble ;-D

Baba said...

Oh good for you!! Like Fr. Peter, I was a bit sad and concerned for teddy and his friends, but am reassured that he has gone to a good home......
Do you charge for your services....I have one room in particular that needs a major de-clutter and some investment in space saving storage solutions.....any ideas?

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

Hi Baba - I really think you need the services of Mr A, not me. He is the real professional. I'm just crap at letting go of the crap..all too much like hard work for me...and I still haven't got over it. Perhaps we should come and see the evidence.. x ;-D

Baba said...

Oh Yes!!! Come and see!!! I'd be prepared to show you the room of horrors if it meant a visit from the internationally acclaimed Mrs A and her team!!! :)

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