It's finally over!
The last box has been emptied, its contents sifted through and questions such as, 'Why did I keep that? What was I thinking of?' answered with, 'Well there must have been a good reason. I know, I'll hang onto it - Just In Case.'
You see, I haven't really emptied the last box. Only the last of the ones I intend to open. As always when the packing started, I proceeded with the usual good intentions of a mammoth clear-out, ditching all the useless and the redundant, downsizing to the essentials of around 1000 books, 600 or so DVDs, around 450 CDs etc.
But I failed to allow for Just In Case.
Just In Case is that little voice that stays your hand at the very second you are about to do the sensible thing and throw that wobbly occasional table into the back seat of your car, along with all the other useless stuff destined for the council rubbish tip.
'Hang on a minute,' it says, 'what if you get an unexpected visit from the entire victorious Welsh Rugby team? You'll be glad of that then. Best hang onto it. Just In Case.'
I surveyed the collection of glassware accumulated by my husband and I before we found each other and our lives (and clutter) joined together. Not only do we have duplicates of everything, we have triplicates, quadruplicates, octuplets.
Myriads of wine glasses jockey for position with a sea of highball glasses, beer mugs...you name it. If we lived three lifetimes and broke a glass every day for a generation or more, we could never use them all. There is nowhere to put them, so why keep them?
'I know, I'll send a load to the charity shop,' I decided. I even had the ideal box to put them in. Until...
'Oh, hang on a minute, what if one of the removal men drops one of the boxes containing all the best glasses? I'll kick myself if I have to go out and buy more when I could have hung onto these. I know, I'll keep them for now. Just In Case.'
Time and again my good intentions were thwarted by Just In Case - who seems to have morphed into a real-life villain (male of course). Justin Case is alive and well.
And that, dear reader, is how, far from actually emptying all of them, we have ended up with a shedload of sealed boxes, stacked like a row of slightly wobbly skyscrapers. There they sit, in splendour, behind a closed door, never to see the light of day. Until the next move of course, whereupon, my downsizing fervour will no doubt reassert itself and I will proceed, grim-lipped, to do battle once again with Justin Case.
|Justin Case - the enemy of decluttering|
I can see him, rolling up his sleeves already, his arms extended and his hands beckoning. A leer cracks his face from ear to ear.
'Bring it on!' he urges, as I cower helplessly in a corner.