Clearing and decluttering really does take a long time to do. Even worse is when you need to clear out your own house, but you’re spending your free time clearing out someone else’s. In this case, our mum’s house. We’ve still not managed to sell the house – so much for a housing boom, damn the harder mortgage checks coming in as I’m wondering if that’s made a difference as we’re now not even getting viewings. But with car boot season in full flow, we’ve been gradually clearing the roof and anything else that’s easy to empty to save time once the house is sold.
The great thing about clearing a childhood home is you do find lots of old bits and bobs that you thought had been chucked out years ago. My brother and I have been reminiscing with virtually every box that’s come down from the attic…in between incredulity at some of the tat that was stored up there.
Anyone for boxes of made up airfix models from the 50s, or bags of beer mats and matchstick books?! Oh and not forgetting the old board games, bags of soft toys and my old dancing costumes.
As for the boxes of A level exam papers, school books (primary school!), GCSE essays and projects, and numerous text books. That’s a lot of paper recycling as depressingly, text books are out of date almost each year so there’s no way we’d be able to freecycle them now. I did debate keeping some for craft ideas, but I know perfectly well that my craft storage already takes over the utility room and I just have no time to craft.
Some of the best items were:
Boxes of Britains farm models in immaculate condition – a few items given to N now, the rest will be kept for when he’s a bit older
Boxes of and made up technical lego. My brother’s taken this home with him to build up to check all the pieces are there and then will sell it on. Our old boxes of normal lego are also with him for sorting. He couldn’t believe when I said that normal lego would sell.
Boxes of books – St Clares, Trebizon, and Jills pony books, then lots of Nancy Drew books, and various dance book series. I’ve passed some on to my god-daughter as she loves horses and liked the school books. The rest are still to be distributed to friends who’ll make use of them.
My Sindy, Barbie and Skipper – plus bag of lots of clothes, a few bought, but many handmade by my Grandma. The Sindy was snapped up at the car boot sale we did this weekend, as was Skipper, but poor Barbie was unwanted!
My Little Pony – horses and accessories, although I’d love to know where my grooming parlour went. I’m thinking these might get passed on to my friend’s daughter, as my dancing books might – bit old for her at the moment, but she loves reading so my friend said they’d be custodians of my lovely books given I’ve not got a daughter to pass them on too.
Care bears – I was having a twitter discussion with Being 30 the other week about finding Care Bears and Rainbow Bright (mine was obviously given away years ago), so I was pleased to find my 2 plush bears and little figurines
Strawberry Shortcake figures – I can’t believe that these still smell as they did 30 odd years ago!
My ballet shoes – these must have been my last ones before I left. I used to wear leather for everyday class, so the satin ones would have been my RAD classical ballet level 3 exam shoes, plus my 2 pairs of point shoes. Not sure what I’ll do with them, but really don’t want to throw them out.
Uniforms and sportswear. My old brownie and guide shirts/dress complete with all my badges – I couldn’t be bothered to unpick the badges, so they’ve been thrown which I’m a bit sad about. And then my school and uni scarves – one was for my sports colours (can’t remember if it was tennis or squash, but I got socks for one and a scarf for the other), and my uni squash top/sponsored team t shirt. I’d never wear them again if I did go back to playing so in the bin.
So sad to see those memories go. Yes, some I have photos of – school and uni photos, but others are just things from the past with no purpose left.
I have kept one of my soft toys. Not as I expected my first teddy bear that my Grandma gave me when I was born, but my ragdoll Annie that my Grandma made me. She used to sit in my wooden children’s chair in my first bedroom. I took her back to the farm, and N straight away pounced on her for his own. It’s the first time he’s been interested in a doll, but I guess she’s more like a soft toy than a ‘real’ baby doll. So she’s been taken to bed with him alongside his Peter Rabbit and taggy blanket. It’s nice to see him like something from my childhood.
What have you found from your childhood while decluttering? Have you hoarded your favourites or were they thrown out?