Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Clear Out

The task is now - but for the odd straggler lurking in further flung corners of the house - complete. All our considerable collection of music is loaded on to the computer. The question is whether to keep the huge piles of CDs or to send them down the road for some other folks' pleasure?

And, as you know with these things, there are two sorts of people - chuckers and hoarders. Some folk take a great delight in clearing things out - clothes, books, records, CDs, kitchen utensils, wives, children. Gleefully disposing of all the flotsam and jetsam of our lives so as to remain in minimalist perfection.

Others, however, hoard. Collecting everything - gas bills, train tickets, football programmes, spoons. A vast array of life's detritus clogs up the house, the shed, the car's govebox making it actually impossible ever to find anything at all. So a task force is created to clear out and you disappear into the mounds of collected stuff.

What follows are little whimpers of delight. Brief explosions of pleasure at the discovery of something you'd forgotten you had - maybe its a programme for the 1970 Cup Final Replay or The Times Guide to the House of Commons for 1950. But more likely just a programme from the village gala or a tatty guide to some stately home or other. We shuffle through piles of magazines - The Economist, White Dwarf (the really old AD&D ones before it all got Warhammered) and the Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice - before latching on to a box of old records, cassette tapes or matchbox cars.

We lose track of time, we forget the aim of reducing some of this collection, this hoard. But what joy as we remind ourselves why we kept all that stuff. And will still keep it!

Clear out? We tried.


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