Hoping for space

Every day is declutter day around here. I’ve married a man who has accumulated a vast array of everything just in case it fits again or might be used again. There is a bewildering amount of stuff that surrounds him; too much, in fact, for the house. We have a lock box on the outskirts of town which is bursting at the seams. It’s full of boxes, weights, fridge freezers, tables, chairs, pictures, clothes horses, hairdryers, torches, books, elephants. cars, worlds and entire planets. I am on a mission to get rid of most of the stuff that we own but it’s a long, arduous and time-consuming affair. As for why there is so much of it, it’s one of life’s mysteries. I’m a would-be minimalist, on the other hand, and love the idea of only owning things that are useful or bring me joy. But how many of us could actually achieve this?

Starting with my own stuff seems like a better way of approaching decluttering than trying to throw out the endless galaxies that belong to my other half. So I went through some boxes today. Dressing up stuff. So many memories in there! There’s a green felt hat that must have been worn for a Peter Pan day. Also a burlesque outfit from a Christmas party with the Leicester Road Hoggs running club where we all did the can-can and then threw ourselves at the ground and rolled around in hysterics. A superhero costume that my son Will wore for Halloween one night. And finally, two 1980s floral Bo Peep bridesmaids dresses that have been in the box ever since my first wedding day 30 odd years ago. There were others but these are the two I’ve still got. It’s hard to part with the memories more than anything else. That August day with the warm sun, green grass, colourful guests laughing and joking on the New Bradwell green, my face aching from the endless smiling for photographs and so much happiness and hope. Obviously we got divorced in the end but let’s not ruin a good memory by going over all that.

Nobody needs this stuff but who throws away dressing up stuff? You really never know when you might need it again. A burlesque outfit is a good shout – I don’t know what for but it’s staying. The superhero outfit can go. Will might want it and if not it’s going to the tip. But the Bo Peep dresses will need to go. They’re massive, bouffy items that, despite the fond memories they evoke, are a drain on the brain. Even knowing, now, that they’re there, in an enormous box, is tiring.

If anyone knows of a theatre company who are putting on a show that involves an 80s wedding, a vintage fan who likes 80s stuff or a child who loves wafting around in large dresses, please get in touch. Or here they are on ebay!

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