I am a terrible hoarder.
I've mentioned that before. Naturally, I am sentimental about anything my children have ever touched (except maybe their nappies and the boogers they frequently wipe on me). But I am also sentimental about crazy things.
Really crazy things. For instance, I went through a stage of feeling sentimental about my hair. Cleaning my brush of the hair it had collected over time and then throwing it into the bin was excruciating. The idea that in amongst the decaying food scraps and general filth of a trash receptacle would be my lovely tresses, once a part of me and still bearing my unique DNA, was almost too much to bear. Actually, I was about eleven years old so the thought process was probably simplified to, "My hair is touching rotten food. Ewww." The fact that the hair was no longer attached to my head hardly mattered. Such was the extent of my crazy. It was, thankfully, short-lived. I'm not a total wack-job.
Beyond sentiment, I hoard things I consider 'too good for every day use'. I am reluctant to break the seal of newness on things because of the way it renders them not new. I am an absolute shocker for keeping things for 'a special occasion' and then discovering they have not retained their original quality. Fifteen years later.
For instance, I can tell you that the Peppermint Foot Lotion from The Body Shop will not smell pepperminty forever. And the consistency of the lotion will change when the ingredients start to separate. Sure, I got the lotion in a lovely gift basket when I was fifteen but seriously, Body Shop, maybe it's time to up your game.
And then there's the whole green issue. If I can recycle something, then tossing it from my life becomes almost breezy. However, the idea of adding to landfill keeps me up at night and so our garage is full of things we may need to use one day.
The useful box of crafty stuff for the kids is overflowing with toilet rolls and pictures lovingly torn from old magazines. The crafty stuff I can never be arsed to get out and set up for the kids because they're so fucking messy with it. The crafty stuff that, when I do set up the craft table for my fucking messy kids, I recycle AGAIN by picking it off the page my kid has glued it to and putting it back into the useful box. But that's only the artworks I deem not treasure-worthy. The treasure-worthy artworks get stored in the overflowing treasurey-artworks box.
So, here in Australia, the people of Queensland have been suffering terribly on account of the flash-flooding in that part of the country. It has been tragic.
And it has made me think.
What the hell would I save?
In the event of a natural disaster such as has occurred in Queensland, would any of the shit I agonise over even matter?
If ever there was a time to downsize, to simplify, it is in the wake of this horror.
The spring cleaning that took place over the holidays recently was, I have to admit, more a tidying, a sort of rearranging of junk, rather than a brutal, everything must go kind of affair.
So that's what I aim to do. Get brutal.
On the hit list:
- toys that have many tiny parts that I am forever picking up or standing on
- essential bottles of beauty product that I have used once
- clothes that I am definitely going to fit into any day now
- every toilet roll after the 3 millionth. NO-ONE does that much craft
- the broken bangle (plastic and cost no more than $10) that I have been meaning to glue together now for more than four years
It's time to get brutal.
The victims of the flood disaster are really hurting. Donations can be made here.