Today is M minus 30 days, so I’ll fill you in on the background.  I am moving from a rather large (and very full) 5 bedroom house into a rather small (and already full) two bedroom apartment. This move could be permanent or temporary, the jury is still out.  All I know is that I have 30 days to sort through a tonne of stuff (most of which is not mine) and decide what we keep, what we toss, and what we pay through the nose to put in storage (possibly forever).

I wasn’t always good at moving.  I was in fact one of those people who you could rely on to always be at the same address and phone number no matter how long it had been since we last spoke.  Then about 4 years ago, something happened, and I have become a gypsy.  The move before this yielded at least 10 storage containers, and in these containers are things that we haven’t missed for four years.  Still however, we are paying to store them in case one day in 2024 one of our kids (and I don’t actually have any) turn to us and say,

“You know what I really need?”  I need a pair of ice skates that are made of rusty iron and leather and tie on to your shoes – you know like they used to have in Canada in the late forties/early fifties”.

“No problem my child, I will get into a box somewhere in Chingford and find them for you.  I am so glad we have been paying to keep them all these years.”

Because it isn’t only furniture and large items that we have kept all these years, but endless nik-naks and bric-a-brac, along with books we will never read, and old birthday and Christmas cards and well I won’t go into it, you can imagine the rest.

So that’s the background.  There are a few other things I should probably mention. firstly, I am not moving into said apartment alone, my (much) younger sister D is coming with me.  She is a terrific girl – we get along really well – who inherited the hoarding gene from our parents, and because they both have it to some degree has it twice as strong as they do. My parents are retired and moved back to the motherland (Greece) just in time for the shit to hit the fan, and so now they are in a country they haven’t lived in for 40 years with all of their (four) children and (five) grandchildren living here in London.  I think the only thing that makes them feel better is the fact that said children and grandchildren are sitting on furniture that they bought in the sixties.

So today as I said is M minus 30 days.  I have already started packing boxes, and sorting through stuff.  At the end of every day I have a pile of things that I feel should be tossed or given away and then the bargaining starts.  When we moved previously, we had a skip in the driveway and I would just take it outside and throw it in the skip.  It used to follow me back into the house.  One or the other of my sisters would say that it could be useful, recycled or that they knew someone who needed it.  My response was always the same:  I had no problem with any of those options as long as they dealt with it.  Needless to say, we ended up with piles of stuff at the end of the move which I surreptitiously threw into the skip and has never been mentioned again.  The level of stealth and covertness that I have had to cultivate is unimaginable and I can now often be found with my face in the garbage trying to strategically place an old skipping rope under other stuff in the bin so that it can go out with the rubbish undetected.

Over the coming days and weeks I will be using this blog to rant and vent and hopefully share some amusing (for people other than myself) anecdotes about this move.  I should also point out at this point that I shan’t be limiting myself to discussing the move…  I reserve the right to talk about other things too!

Thanks for reading.