Kate Livingstone: Clearing out gives time to reflect

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Call me sad but I’m not sure if there is anything more satisfying than clearing out some cupboards and making a trip to one of the district’s amenity tips!

Yes, probably something I like even more than a white washing hanging out on a sunny day as regular readers will know is one of my other ‘pleasures’ in life.

Now this all makes me sound like a fastidious domestic goddess but I’m no Mrs Hinch!

No rather I’m someone who has all these aspirations to get jobs down around the house but usually work/family/friends/social life – not always in that order – take over and I discover that another weekend has passed and I’ve not ticked anything of my ‘to do’ list other than the basic household tasks.

However, with Emma and her crew on holiday recently I made myself some priorities that I really wanted to get done when I had no darling grandchildren to distract me.

Came in from work on Friday night and I hauled everything out of a very large cupboard and told myself that I wasn’t going to bed until I had tidied it out and consigned at least half of the contents to the bin.

As midnight approached and the last few boxes were being put back I realised that there is far too much clutter in my life and emptying one cupboard was only the tip of the iceberg.

However, it was a start and spurred me on to do some more cupboards on Saturday morning before heading to Roughmute with my car packed with things which, until the day before, hadn’t seen the light of day for not months but years – and in some cases decades!

“Honestly, why do we keep so much junk,” I asked my friend that evening as I rewarded myself with a well deserved glass of chilled wine.

“Why do I still have paintings that Emma and Gary did at nursery school? It’s ridiculous. Why I’m no longer here they’ll just throw them out.”

“Oh I’ve got all the work my two brought home from nursery and primary school,” admitted Linda. “I couldn’t throw them out.

“They are so cute. There’s even a little castle that Douglas made out of toilet rolls, it was really clever.”

At that point I had to struggle not to laugh out loud. Her son lives down south now and is very high up police officer who I’m sure would be mortified to know that his mum still has his little cardboard castle in the loft.

But that’s mums for you!