Kate Livingstone: Spring is time to declutter our lives

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I don’t usually have a lot in common with film stars but it looks like Russell Crowe and I have both been filling our spare time with the same sort of 
activities.

No I’ve not been stepping in front of the camera like said Australian hunk – we’ve both been ‘spring cleaning’.

However, the items he has been clearing out are more likely to capture the public’s imagination – his torso armour from Gladiator, Master and Commander violin and, well, what can you say about his Cinderella Man jockstrap!

While he is making cash from his clear out with his ‘Art of Divorce’ auction, I’m hoping that charity will benefit as I 
attack my cupboards in a 
clearing frenzy.

I’ve filled more black bags than I care to think about, mainly because I don’t want to begin to imagine how much money I’ve wasted.

As regular readers of this column will know I’m one of life’s hoarders.

Everything from clothes to carrier bags are kept “just in case” they might be used again.

Despite protestations from my daughter to get rid of things – usually when I’m desperately trying to close a cupboard door, I’ve managed to hold on to so much stuff that I’m sure will come in useful one day.

However, I started to look at some things that perhaps I should be thinking about getting rid of.

My darling daughter decided she could give me a hand, but I really think it was to ensure that I actually did have a clear out and not just take things out of the wardrobe and put them back.

Which is what was happening when we had this conversation.

“Mum you really don’t need to keep my school blazer,” said an incredulous Emma, “I haven’t worn it for more than a dozen years.

“And before you even suggest it, I don’t think it will suit my two when it’s their turn to go to high school.”

“But I remember the day we went to Dillon’s to buy it,” I replied.

“Then we went to the Wimpey and you had a milkshake ...”

“Mum! How can you remember all that?”

“I just can. It’s the same with these baby clothes,” I said as I removed a box from the back of the wardrobe. “I remember the day I bought the wool to knit this matinee jacket. I had only found out a couple of days 
earlier that I was expecting you and it was the first thing I knitted.

“Perhaps this is one thing I should keep,” I said as I wrapped it up again in tissue paper.

I’m sure Russell Crowe will have had lots of memory from his film memorabilia but nothing will beat the ones I have at the back of my cupboards.