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The Cull

August 27, 2022

The Cull

This weekend I’m stripping out the boy’s old playroom and turning it into a boot room, somewhere that the PT and I can come into after a muddy walk and tidy ourselves up without dragging the debris of the local woods through the rest of the house.

It’s taken me a fair time to get to the point where I can actually get the wallpaper off the walls.  Given that my sons are now twenty four and twenty six, I seem to have put this job off for a while and the room has become something of a dumping ground during those years.  It’s taken me three weeks of odd hours here and there to get to a point where I can get close to the walls.

There were boxes of stuff for my husband from when his dad moved house last year (there were very strong promises at the time of going through those but that seems not to have happened quite yet), cabinets full of books and the boy’s old toys that needed sorting and boxes of office stuff that had come back for “storage” long beyond the time they needed to be.  I haven’t mentioned the recumbent exercise bike gifted to my husband several years ago that is just taking up space.  That’ll be on ebay this weekend if you feel like bidding!  Golf clubs, odd trainers, even a box of products that should have been in the warehouse, it’s all in that room. 

It was time for a cull.

Cull’s aren’t straightforward, you can go down rabbit holes as I did.  I found myself making several “pop out” super cars from a book one of my sons got for a birthday years ago as well as debating which of the two full sets of Lord of the Rings would we keep?  I decided both, one for each son and then they can do what they want with it.

I find clear outs immensely cathartic but I realise not everyone does.  

However, as I move into my sixties next year I can’t help but think these clear outs have a bigger significance.  In other words, are they “death culls”, by which I mean final clear outs before the big ride to the sky? 

I’ve had several chats with friends about these and there’s a body of opinion that says we should do this while we have the energy as it makes life a lot easier for our children when they get to do the final clear out before they sell our homes.  That all sounds terribly matter of fact and terribly upsetting at the same time, but let’s be honest, that’s what’s going to happen if we think about it.

When it came to clearing my parent’s house the idea that someone would give us £500.00 to take the lot away was a naive dream. In reality, we had to pay someone £500.  Not only that I found it upsetting to see my Mum’s worthless ornaments that she treasured end up in the church fete.  I was upset that I didn’t want them, upset that she had clearly loved and looked after them and upset that I didn’t know their end fate.  But that’s reality, isn’t it?

So, while I’m slaving away with the steam wallpaper stripper this weekend why not give the junk drawer a clear out and see how you feel?  It will take less time than you think but it will also help you discover a few memories – old tickets for concerts, birthday candles from parties in the past, hotel card keys, foreign holiday coins, even collars for pets long gone.  Indulge in a one-hour trip down memory lane and trust me, you will get a great deal of pleasure from it.  Not only will you have a tidy drawer but you will have reminded yourself of some lovely times, poignant times.  Now that’s something those who come after you won’t know, how all those little things touched your life. 

 I saw less aesthetically pleasing ornaments (if I’m honest) in my Mum’s house.  She saw the full technicolour glory of the days when she bought them. 

Indulge yourself – we don’t pass this way again.

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