I am not really into hoarding
at least that is what I tell my self
but all around me stuff gathers
every cupboard,table , shelf , room, every verandah.
I wonder if that is why they invented verandahs and sheds,
just to hold more things.
actually clutter makes me feel a bit queasy
and I have to get rid of stuff to feel better
doesn’t really matter what , anything will do
just to give it away and breathe into the space created.
And so I started on a little spring clean in the pantry
a few mucky shelves of herbs spices pickles vinegars and sauces.
I ask Jess, what about this one?
I’m afraid to smell it, she says,
look mum the lid is rusty,
out it goes.
Kingston helps me,
the old jar of fennel seeds that have been taking up space right at the back for donkey years had to go.
he tips it out into the compost bucket
tip, he says.
he helps me give the jars a wipe before they go back onto the shelf.
he carefully carries jars over to the sink for washing up .
it is a team effort and he takes it seriously
Done , he says.
favourite word even if the thing isn’t done, even if he hasn’t finished his food or had his nap or cleaned up his toys
he will pretend and with a huge smile pronounce it DONE.
when I go up the ladder to the top shelves he is right behind me
Mum was an awesome hoarder
and a collector of kitchen appliances,clothes, shoes ,food, plants and knick knacks.
what is the difference between hoarding and collecting apart from that these days hoarding has been given the status of a mental illness.
and collectors are seen to be people of repute?
is it just a matter of perspective?
Mum had a zillion shoe boxes behind the dining room door
because no more would fit in the wardrobes upstairs.
all labelled ; white sandal, beige heel, blue flat ,black suede heel
there were matching handbags gloves and scarves
all kept in plastic bags, also labelled.
scarf seems too bulky a word for what Mum placed around her neck,
they were flimsy see thru affairs that came in all the colours of the rainbow.
she was a real lady Mum , like the queen
indeed I think she probably modelled herself on Elizabeth R. without the servants and the income.
She plucked her eyebrows and reapplied a thick line of pencil,
using a powder puff she dusted on powder then rouge with thick lashings of red lipstick that stayed on all day.
her earrings and brooches always matched her outfit
and a hanky was available in every handbag.
She used to tell me that I would be a lady when I grew up but so far I have resisted the temptation.
Her other shoe collection was ornamental and there were hundreds of them,
from the tiny limoge slipper to a gold sparkly boots,
in diverse mediums wedgewood pottery wood plastic and crochet.
for years we supported this habit until finally Mum said no more
I have no more room for them
half of them already packed away under the beds.
dad made cabinets that he fixed onto the wall with a light in them to show off a few of them,
what happens to them now?
I don’t want them
takers of space .
She loved them and that means something I guess.
And then there was the soaps, the hundred and one cakes of soap I found in every drawer every cupboard wardrobe linen press.
to keep the moths at bay even though she had been a great one for moth balls
a smell that still makes me shudder
after a childhood spent wearing garments impregnated with that odour.
how much of our hoarding arrives at landfill?
every plastic bag that came into the house was washed pegged on the line and placed in cupboards to be reused.
great idea except they were still incoming .
she saved magazines ,bits of chalk crayon, bottle caps, pen lids, corks , bits of rubber, newspapers, old keys and plugs that didn’t have a home,
clothing no one wore and towels that were theadbare.
washed out tins, containers and broken odds and sods.
everything had a purpose and could possibly find a use again another day.
she was right my mum,
reuse recycle reduce.
uh oh that is where she met her nemesis
that word reduce.
Mum hitched a front row seat on the super highway to consumer heaven and
became a hoarder.
that putting away for a rainy day has a lot to answer for.
so here am I
trying not to be that, trying not to do that, trying to live another idea and still clutter finds me.
still it adheres to my space and hangs on.
it is s good thing that I have a love of chucking stuff out even If I think I might want it.