The family skip; an update

Skip, skip hire, family home, clutter, recycling, waste disposal

This de-cluttering exercise has been such a success I may hire something a little larger next time. Pic credit below.

The other day I wrote this blog post about hiring a skip to de-clutter the family home. I’ve been de-cluttering on and off for several days and have to say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.

I have managed to clear so much junk out of the house. In doing so, I have also unearthed all manner of items that I’d forgotten about. If they can’t be sold or recycled, they’re getting junked.

I started selling stuff on ebay in a bid to cover the cost of hiring the skip. Having covered that cost, I’m now hoping that I can cover the cost of my youngest child’s forthcoming birthday party.

The other great thing has been removing all the useless items. The damp mattress that has been taking up space in the garage for years? Tied up in roll with nylon rope and going in the skip at any moment. The children’s clothes that got water damaged when we had the misfortune to experience a small flood? Yes, them too, in the skip. That suspicious looking box that hasn’t been opened since we moved house? After a cursory glance and the removal of a couple of small items, the whole thing went in the skip.

I’ve been on a one man seek and destroy mission and it feels so good, cathartic even. Mrs Adams hasn’t been quite as enthusiastic, but she does appreciate the fact it’s now possible to walk through the garage without slaloming around boxes sealed up half a decade ago and left undisturbed ever since.

Although I’m making great headway and removing a lot of junk, there have been some poignant moments. I have come across some items relating to my parents’ marriage. They divorced many years ago and I’m left with the quandary as to whether I should keep them.

I’ve also stumbled across some items that I inherited from a deceased relative who I remember with much fondness. There are many, many items that belonged to him I use on a daily basis but others that I’ve not touched. Is now the correct time to sell them? A few years ago I’d have said “no” but I’ve come to the conclusion this is daft and someone else should have the chance to make use of them. It’s funny how the passage of time changes your opinion.

Something else I’ve discovered; photographs of Helen, our six year old, in the earliest days after her birth (subtle hint; you may want to re-visit the blog on Sunday). This makes me very happy. We had almost no photographs of Helen prior to her first birthday and yet we had loads of her younger sister. This was troubling me because I knew we had them.

When we moved into this house, it was the second move in less than a year and the photos of Helen were randomly shoved in a box and left in the garage. If it wasn’t for me going on a merciless junk-clearing escapade we’d never have found them.

Photos aside, I’m relieved to have disposed of massive amounts of rubbish. It’s enabled me to re-organise both the garden shed, the garage and, slowly but surely, some of the other rooms in the house. The cluttered state of the garage and some other rooms was getting me down. As a stay at home dad I was surrounded by this clutter each and every day and it was bothering me. It’s been such an uplifting experience to reclaim this space.

I should have done this a long time ago. It has crossed my mind to make The Hiring of The Family Skip, an annual event. Sounds like a great idea to me!

Pic credit: Chris Allen, Sourced from Geograph.co.uk and reproduced under Creative Commons agreement.

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4 Comments

  1. October 30, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    I’m in the middle of the Kon Mari method of decluttering, and I just can’t face the paper work and miscellaneous tasks. Books and clothes were easy. But it’s great to get so much space back. What I found though is that I just have to get rid – no selling stuff, because it takes too long, and I end up with things cluttering up the house again waiting for them to be sold.

    It’s interesting what you say about making decisions of inherited or family items. We cleared out our mum’s house after she died. She’d already cleared a lot out over the year when she was ill, but it’s so hard to know what you should keep for memories without cluttering up your place further. We were quite ruthless in the end. I had a few photos, my brother had a couple of bits. But we found there was so much of her memories that weren’t ours, and wouldn’t be anyone else’s, eg numerous photo albums. Soul destroying knowing that we were just chucking away hours of work and editing and photography, but we had to remember it was her memories and not ours.

    I think it’s made me think more when I’m decluttering. There’s no point me necessarily holding onto memories in case family want them, because chances are they won’t when I’m gone.

    Mind you, we didn’t skip. We decided we didn’t want to pay the £350ish, so did a lot of trips to the recycling/tip.

    • John Adams
      Author
      November 2, 2015 / 6:01 am

      That must have been quite a task going through your mother’s house. I’m not doing anything on that scale. I think there is a bit of a mentality among older members of my family that items received in this way should be kept. I’ve kept tings thinking I would one day get to use them, but I never have done and it seems to me that I’m stopping someone else from making good use of them and so I should let go. The memories for me are in my mind and in photographs.

      I have recycled stuff and I am in the midst of a hardcore ebay session. Even so, I thought the only way I’d get this house cleared out would be having a skip outside the front door. That way there’s no effort involved. You just walk out with an armful of broken plastic / mouldy fabric / whatever and throw it in. We also have a v small car so trips to the tip are awkward to say the least.

      I have heard of this Kon Mari method. Not sure it’s for me. I prefer a skip, crowbar and a ruthless attitude!