How Much Junk is in Your House?

Posted on January 26, 2012

For one evening every week, I am girlfriend and children free, so I have been spending this time going room by room on a clutter removal project. My house is only a little two up two down but it is remarkable how much utter crap I have chucked out and even more remarkable the crap that was here when I arrived that I have only just thrown out or had repaired. When I bought this house in October 2009 it had been painted white throughout to make it look clean, when in reality, it was a shit hole with leaking pipes and knackered carpets amongst many other niggles.

Bedroom one: This featured a set of aluminium blinds that were here on arrival and until Wednesday, had got on my nerves ever since the day I moved in. As they couldn’t be opened properly they remained closed for the duration, in the process making my bedroom look like a cannabis factory to a passer by. Ripping them down has transformed the room, it is the first time it has witnessed daylight for at least two and a half years. Moving on to the fitted wardrobe I discovered the following items on the upper shelf;  A cardboard box for my Ipod docking station, a box for a Canon printer, a set of broken hair clippers, two unused belts, an over sized pair of cricket trousers, two shoe horns and an acoustic Yamaha guitar that has not been out of its case since it took me two weeks of incessant practice to learn the opening six chords of “Smoke on the Water.”  On the hangers I discovered two shirts I have never worn plus six I never will again, the hanger also featured three pairs of either ill fitting or poor quality trousers. On the floor there was various bits of broken hangers, a pirate copy of Slumdog Millionaire and the broken Canon Printer that belonged in the box above.

Bedroom two: Not much to mention here as it is only small, but large enough to feature two jackets in the cupboard that they boys had grown out of at least two years ago and a broken computer screen and an old bathroom cabinet under the bed. This room also featured the same style blinds that were in the main bedroom, they too have now been removed allowing the room to see daylight and for me to see the back garden from this angle for the first time.

Bathroom: Recently refitted so nothing of note except some ancient Granny type room spray left by the previous owner, why it was still there is a modern mystery.

Landing Cupboard: A set of unused sheets,a  broken camping chair, a leaking tent, a biscuit tin, a punctured airbed and an old grannies tartan picnic blanket (never used).

Living room: Naff cricket trophies (George’s) various shit DVD’s plus an eclectic bunch of useless items in the sideboard including; Half a pack of cards, various Viz annuals and joke books, some really crap clip frames, a roll of double sided tape, various broken phones and unused phone holders, old birthday and Christmas cards, a golf spike removal tool, various sized golf tees, God know’s how many electrical cables that connect to I don’t know what, a few bottle tops and an empty fruit pastilles tube (the bin must have been too far to walk to.)

Kitchen: This is where it get’s really interesting. In the cutlery draw I found four wine corks a further two bottle tops, some aspirins, a set of mystery keys, some nail clippers, some electrical tape….oh I nearly forgot, there was some cutlery in there as well. Under the sink there was two empty cans of furniture polish, a Brita Jug (never used) an empty tin of shoe polish and various rags beyond use. In the cupboard reserved for herbs there was cinnamon, fennel seads, cardamon pods and cayenne pepper that have never been opened and some Oxo cubes two years out of date.

Next door in the various cupboard there was some flour (never opened) white wine vinegar (never opened) no fewer than three containers of (opened) mustard and three packs of pasta (all opened). I am not quite sure what ambitious recipe I forgot to put the wine vinegar in, but it is apparent I buy mustard and pasta without auditing the cupboards first, the same applies to rice, pepper and salt all replicated in different cupboards. I also have a fettish for cumin (three jars in total)  a tell tell sign that cumin features heavily in my complex signature dish of chilli con carne.

The pots and pans section was interesting too, when I first moved in I decided that from that day on I would steam all my vegetables to be healthy, sadly this resulted in three burnt out pans that in an act of denial I had refused to throw away. There was also an alleged non stick frying stick pan that flew in the face of trading standards and had long since been given up on, an unused egg poacher, a rusty baking tray a broken cutlery dryer, unused, sharp and frankly dangerous instruments for the food blender, five clothes pegs and an instruction manual for the fridge. If you need an instruction manual to use a fridge you have serious problems.

I moved on to the bits and bobs drawer, one that could barely be opened it was so crammed. This featured unused burgundy shoe polish ( I have no burgundy shoes) a bottle of night nurse, eleven various used batteries, a golf glove, some more golf tees, more wine corks, more clothes pegs, broken pens and pencils, more unknown cables, an unknown battery charger, a remote control for my old telly, a dusty packet of Old Holborn tobacco, a lid from a coffee jar and various loose nails, paper clips, staples and screws. Bizarre stuff…am I mentally ill?

In the fridge there was some unopened plum jam George won in a 2010 Christmas raffle, more mustard (I love mustard) some pickled onions and cranberry sauce from the same raffle, various half used garlic bulbs and an empty Marmite jar I must have assumed was full. The amount of utterly useless crap I threw out of my house filled my wheely bin, my recycling bin and a clothes bag. My home has been transformed by a new ruthless me, it feels great. I always thought that I kept my house quite tidy, but in reality I have to face facts and accept that I have used every drawer or cupboard as a bin.

To anyone moving in to their own home, here is some advice…………..go minimal, but go with a bit of quality.

Things to avoid; Clip frames are wank, clothes from sales are also wank and won’t be worn and cheap cooking utensils are a pain in the arse to clean and make cooking an ordeal. The attic is the only home  for sporting trophies, DVD’s/CD’s,  unread books and industrial blinds used by the old owner. Either the attic or the bin.

Things to do:

  • Buy a minimal amount of good quality clothing that will last,  cheap shoes look wank, they don’t last five minutes and they clutter the house up. If something has never been worn since purchase, ask yourself why, then send it to the clothing bank.
  • Cheap pots and pans equals shit pots and pans, quality non stick stuff is essential. Get a good griddle, they are ace for fry ups etc.. Don’t show off by buying a spice rack, just buy the herbs and spices you will use.
  • If something electrical doesn’t work, throw the fucker away, it wont mend itself. The same applies for unidentified cables or broken headphones, they are always tangled up anyway and they take up a lot of  room.
  • If you like music buy an Ipod and good quality docking station( Bose are good) they a marvelous way of avoiding cumbersome CD storage in shit looking 1980’s racks.

This last bit is critical and I have to admit it was taught to me by Diane, thankfully before I made a costly and painful balls up. You spend a lot of time at home sat on furniture and lying on beds, so spend as  big a you can afford on furniture and you will only spend once. Cheap crap will not only be uncomfortable, it will also be knackered in a year. Like shoes, cheap furniture is not a money saver, far from it. It can also fuck your back up.

Good luck!



1 Reply to "How Much Junk is in Your House?"

  • Sally
    January 27, 2012 (9:03 am)

    Well Done Bob!!! No electricity in my part of Broughton this morning and the morning off work..think I’ll start de-cluttering my office, sadly I have way too much stuff which I will be chucking out to either catalogue it or fit it in my bins..but I have to start somewhere! Thanks for the push!!!!.

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