The problem with having spare rooms, is that they are inevitably used as dumping grounds for stuff that needs to be stored somewhere out the way. However as they aren't in daily use, there is no impetus to carefully put things away and bags of 'stuff' are often just thrown in and the door quickly closed.
We have two rooms like this, both of which are used as repositories for things we can't decide what to do with. It complicates matters that when various offspring flew the nest, they couldn't quite manage to decide what to do with things either, so underbed storage, bookshelves etc are crammed full of 'stuff' belonging to them too.
However, today I set myself the task of making inroads (literally) into the smallest room, which I used to use as my hobby room. This was before the piles of stuff got so out of control that it was possible only to take one step into the room then stop, turn round and come back out again. There was THAT small an amount of space to manoeuvre.
In the right frame of mind I'm usually quite good at clearing out, so I took several black sacks (for rubbish), a couple of boxes (for Freecycle stuff) and a load of carrier bags (for charity shop donations).
All was quite straightforward until I unearthed a huge hoard of soft toys.
Am I the only one who cannot bear the reproachful look of a soft toy who is about to be consigned to a carrier bag?
A few......... a very few, were relatively easy. Anything very scruffy, with limbs missing and stuffing hanging out was quickly euthanized.
So far so good.
The ones which were just a bit tatty, but had no real prime emotional attachment were also fairly straightforward to deal with.
But then it came to the ones which had a real pull on the heartstrings. Very special ones which either I'd had as a child, or which my children had especially cherished.....or both.
I lined them all up on the bed and gave them a thorough inspection. There was nothing that a damp sponge and a needle and thread wouldn't fix so I couldn't instigate a cull on the grounds of infirmity.
I texted my daughter to ask about the status of Jemima Puddleduck, an ancient aardvark and several other candidates eligible for parole, only to receive the following immediate reply:
"Do not, repeat DO NOT bin anything cute."
I should have known better than to ask...............
Nevertheless, I have at least revealed a sizeable patch of carpet and removed several boxfuls of Freecycle stuff so I'm feeling reasonably virtuous.
Can't yet reveal an 'after' photo as the room is a work in progress, but here, to my eternal shame is how it looked before I started............It was most certainly, what my grandmother would have called, a 'guddle'.