Skeletons in the attic

gold shoes on empty shelf

Well, the packing has started and the shelves are bare.

Actually, to be completely honest, my shoes are literally the ONLY things I’ve packed so far. Well, the shoes and some hair products, because PRIORITIES, people, PRIORITIES.

I had hoped to be much further through the packing stage by now, but the thing is, before we could start packing up the rest of the house, we had to first of all empty out the attic, and oh my God, you guys, it was like being in an episode of Hoarders. I’m honestly not exaggerating (for once) when I say there was more stuff in that attic than there is in the rest of the house combined. Actually, let’s not beat around the bush here: there was more stuff in that attic than there is in the rest of the WORLD combined. (OK, now I’m maybe exaggerating just a little bit…)

There was a lot of stuff, is what I’m saying. A LOT of stuff. And I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking it was all clothes and shoes, but actually, no, it wasn’t. I mean, there were SOME clothes and shoes up there, and opening up THOSE bags was like opening a time capsule from 2003, seriously. But it was mostly just… STUFF. All kinds of stuff. The further back we delved into the dim recesses of the attic, the further back we went in time, until Terry finally emerged clutching a set of curling irons (with the actual “iron” part missing), which I’m 98% sure must have belonged to the previous owner of the house, because I have NO recollection of them whatsoever. None. Then Terry went back in, and OMG, Lord Lucan! And Shergar! And… is that the Holy Grail I see back there, peeking out from behind the dinosaur skeleton?

It. Was. Horrendous. Like, take all of the angst I poured into my last post, multiply it by ten, give it a splitting headache and a million bruises from bumping endlessly into all the STUFF, stir in a strong sense of claustrophobia from the rapidly-filling house, and let’s call that “Thursday”, shall we?

Where's Rubin?

It’s our own fault, obviously. And the thing is, we’re not actually hoarders, in the true sense of the word. We’re just lazy. And, you know, our house is small. I may have mentioned this a few times. Indeed, it’s the main reason we’re moving. The only storage in the whole house (other than the kitchen), is the built-in wardrobes in the two bedrooms, and they’re both full of clothes, so basically, any time anything ELSE came into the house over the past ten years, and we didn’t know what to do with it, we just threw it into the attic. Well, it was easier than having to actually make a decision, you know?

In the new house, we won’t be able to do that. The new house, you see, is larger than this one, but the attic space is much, much smaller. The house is a three-story one, with the third floor (which contains just the master bed/bath) built right up under the eaves. There IS an attic above that, but although we haven’t seen inside it, we’re told it’s only large enough to hold a couple of suitcases, say, and not much more than that. All of our existing attic-dwelling items, then, would either have to be stored somewhere in the house itself, or they would have to go.

We decided they would have to go.

shoe shelves

Well, it wasn’t really much of a decision, was it? The fact that the stuff had been in the attic all these years without us ever missing it (Or, indeed, remembering that most of it even existed…) is a pretty good sign that we don’t actually need it. There isn’t much point in hauling it all to the new house, and filling all the closets with it, only to end up right back at square one, with no storage for anything else, so this morning some friends of ours came round and helped Terry cart it all off to be either donated or binned. I’d estimate that we’re keeping maybe 10% of what was up there, if that, and we’ve had to be totally ruthless about what goes and what stays. Yes, even me, with my habit of anthropomorphising everything, and crying when I have to throw anything away. ¬†Amber the Ruthless, that’s me. It was pretty hard, to be honest, but it was also rather cathartic. I’m glad we did it, and I’m also glad to know that the lack of attic space in the new place means we won’t be able to slip back into bad habits again.

Things will be different with this new house. I know it’s the biggest clich√© in the book, but it’s a fresh start, and I’ve decided that the main theme for the new place will be organisation. Sexy, huh? Yeah, I know it’s boring, but I really want it to be super-organised: no more clothes spilling out of closets, no more tangles of cables behind desks, so more rummaging through drawers to find something you THINK is in there. And definitely no more overflowing attics, which possibly conceal International Men of Mystery within their depths.

shoes

On the subject of the new house, we’re actually getting to see it again today, which is super-exciting. We’ve obviously viewed it a couple of times already, but that was back in April, and the house has been rented out since then, so one of the conditions of our offer was that we be allowed to see it again, just to make sure nothing has changed radically since the last time. The surveyor’s report came back last week, so we know there are no major surprises waiting for us, but I have to admit, I’m a little bit nervous, because what if we just don’t like it as much this time? What if we walk in and it’s different from how we’ve been remembering it, and not nearly as nice?

I mean, I’m sure it won’t be. But if it is, well, at least we cleared out our attic at last.

Wish me luck…