Spring cleaning 

Spring cleaning

Two days ago I couldn’t step outside the house without getting an instant ice-cream headache because it was so cold – but spring arrived yesterday and I managed to put the bins out without a ten-minute psychological build up and a duffel coat.

It also signalled the annual round of musical bedrooms – in which we try to find that extra bedroom we know is lurking there somewhere beneath the mountains of plastic happy meal toys, half-complete board games and soft toys including two life-size lions and a meerkat the size of a three year old – I’ve stopped wondering why they ever appealed!

We didn’t find the extra bedroom, but we did move everyone round. Our house has bedrooms of wildly differing sizes including one that’s half the size of Sex and the City Carrie’s shoe closet – large and very much coveted – so in the interests of fairness each year a different son or daughter takes a turn to make it their own. In the process we liberated the house of five bin bags full of rubbish and eight more to Oxfam. We discovered stuff we didn’t know we’d lost – like fizzy duck, the vibrating chick that has decorated every push chair we’ve ever had, six (yes SIX) pairs of swimming goggles and every copy of the Beano since 2008.

I can now see the carpet and we actually have space to play the games we have kept (Mastermind or Simpsons Cluedo anyone?), but more importantly it looks as if I haven’t passed on the family-hoarding gene. None of the kids were remotely bothered about getting rid of stuff. I was the one fretting about giving away the matching set of plastic Shrek characters. “Mum, mum – they may match, but we’re still not going to play with them…” “But it’s a talking gingerbread man…” I wailed.

But the kids wouldn’t be swayed and I forced myself to, “Step away from the ‘Keep’ pile and put it in the Oxfam bag now…”

So how’s your spring cleaning going? Have you given away anything you might regret? I may have to pop down to Oxfam in a bit, just, you know, to check on things…

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