Sunday, January 06, 2008


People take different approaches to organising their stuff. One thing is constant - the more stuff a body owns, the harder that stuff is to organise.

We knew somebody once cleared his house regularly. His credo was - if he hadn't used it in the past year out it went.

Stuff can take you over. The trick is if you bring new stuff in then heave the equivalent amount of stuff out. Easier said than done.

Which brings me back to the Auntie Fungus problem. She is one of those people, as is her partner, to whom stuff flies like iron filings to a magnet. Got some unwanted stuff - Auntie Fungus will have that. The end result is that her house contains so much stuff that there is no room for a normal life to take place. Sit at the table to eat a meal? Impossible. The table is stacked high with stuff. Prepare a meal? Not possible. Food consists of uncooked items; the current favourite being scallion sandwiches. Neighbours do provide plated food but that is mostly fed to the collies.

Auntie Fungus has never thrown out a loaf paper in her life. There are tens of thousands of loaf papers stacked to the ceiling. What Hannah couldn't get over was the wall of cushions. Most people use cushions to add a little comfort to their lives. Auntie Fungus builds walls with cushions. Polystyrene carry out containers? Auntie Fungus never parts with these useful items. She'd use them under plant pots if she had room for plants.

I'd guess Auntie Fungus hasn't a clue what is in the boxes and bags of stuff that she has piled high to the ceiling. Somewhere in there, and it may never be found, is her mother's wedding ring. The same wedding ring that caused a massive fall-out with her sister Pearlie many, many years ago.

Stuff. Wedding rings. Loaf papers. Cushions. Nice wee tins. Buttons. Old magazines. Odds and ends of wool. Bits of scrap metal. Old clothes. Patchwork quilts. Books that we'll never open again. Clutter. Yours is shite. Mine is treasure.


hootchinhannah said...

The wall wasn't just made out of cushions it was made from a variety of useful wall-making objects. bert says that the living room is actually massive but at the minute it measures about 4*3 feet.

There was an antique Werther's Original sweetie tin which must've dated back to when Werther's first came out in 1672.

Ronni said...

I will never again be enslaved to "stuff." I married into a family of professional packrats. They had been packratting since the Civil War. We, too, could not live comfortably in our home, due to a surfeit of keyboard instruments. Large, old ones. And we couldn't fit in a couch because we used the room for the two Civil War day beds and the Victorian love seat.

I have put a lot of the antiques in a storage shed. More will join them. The one year rule is a good one. I don't think I'm there, yet, but I am insisting on comfort.

ellie said...

My ex Mother-in-Law was a keeper, she washed the rubber bands from cooked chickens, saved the foil plates from pies and cut up cardboard cereal boxes to write her shopping lists on. Some call it frugal I call it a waste of time and effort. She had a garage filled with other peoples cast off furniture and could have sold rugs to persia.

Hageltoast said...

We had a tennant once who kept all her milk bottles, with small amounts of milk congealing inthem, and kept phoning up saying the yard brushes were gone, she had them all stashed in there. Some really odd people out there.

Nelly said...

Bert's mother had a collection of cardboard boxes. Her thing was to put a smaller one inside each until the inside box was absolutely tiny. Just like Russian nesting dolls only less decorative. And if you needed a box? She'd only give you one reluctantly and it was always a crappy one.

One day Bert took them all out and burned them. She was miffed but survived it.