Operation Dumpster has commenced.

My husband and I are both Cancerians. Astrology believer or not, it seems we display many of the characteristics of the sign, of course, I haven’t analysed myself against the others so I can’t be certain.

Astrology.Com says: “You surround yourself with sentimental objects from the past, including souvenirs, hand-me-downs and keepsakes. Cancerians are remarkably good at accumulating things; indeed, you can be unwilling to throw anything out.”

After reading the news about a woman in the UK who was literally buried under the rubbish in her home, it would be fair to say that I was struck dumb by terror. Or this one about a Chicago couple who were found after 3 weeks under the trash in their home.

I share a small house with my husband, two sons, one daughter, two cats and two dogs. Let’s just say my feet and shins are immune to Lego, small plastic garden rakes (if you have a child, I am sure I don’t have to spell out the damage these little suckers can do – read my previous post on the topic) and other household menaces originating from Toys ‘R Us.

I have a book fetish. I have also run out of shelves. Books litter every surface and great mounds of them threaten to topple and crush anyone or anything unlucky enough to be caught beneath.

I also have a thing about tin cans.  I have plans to spray paint them and use them to put things in. I don’t know what things, but things, useful things.

My husband has a computer, electronics and hardware fetish. Screwdrivers can be found within reaching distance anywhere in the house.

Computers, hard drives and CPU fans from bygone eras fill cupboards, boxes and drawers. Nests of wires, cellphone chargers and other bits of electrical wiring are actively breeding more bits of electrical wiring.

My sons have a Lego and marble fetish. This leaves potentially life threatening items littering the floor, inhabiting spaces behind cupboards, under couches and strangely enough in my duvet.

And plastic insects that seem to inhabit the refrigerator, my make-up cabinet and other places designed to terrify me.

My daughter hoards anything related to Barbie’s footwear. She hides these under her bed, under my bed, in my shoes and anywhere where she thinks no-one will find them, step on them and cause themselves irreparable harm.

She is wrong.

Terrified at the prospect of being found dead under a pile of cheap romance novels, pre-school artwork, empty tin cans, pieces of wire and dead computer I rebelled against the programming of the stars at my birth and embarked on Operation Dumpster.

My family took one look and the crazed light in my eyes and promptly decamped to go sailing. It’s safer for everyone that way.

The guys at the dump site also gave me a wide berth, but fell on the spoils like it was Christmas.

Because really, my oldest child is 6 and I really don’t need 4 newborn car seats, two booster seats, two pushchairs, a pram and some other unidentifiable baby stuff.

I even got rid of the Bumbo to which my daughter is ridiculously attached. I can now rest assured these gentlemen will rehabilitate them and flog them off to other people.

Bye-bye went the California King Size cotton futon mattress I have DHLed across America, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Yes, I DHLed it. Let’s not go there. It was with suffocating relief I waved goodbye to that horribly uncomfortable piece of furniture.

My husband regards all artwork produced by our offspring as potential Van Gogh masterpieces.

I am under no illusions. I pared it down and recycled the rest. I boxed all the art, schoolbooks and stuff and hid it away.


The chap at Plasticland saw me coming and instead of backing away he was the first all weekend who recognised a woman on a mission when he saw her.

I came home with a selection of big black plastic boxes.


Photographs, 18 years’ worth of advertising samples, notes I passed at school, my first valentine card – all now neatly stored away.

Yes, I have the notes I passed at school – filled with teenage angst and misery.

I plan on fishing them out for my high school reunion and embarrassing the hell out of a lot of women. Payback my darlings.

Lots of swirling vortexes and references to Kurt Cobain in that lot. We were Emo – just without the feelings.

I have a box of books ready to go to Rotary.

I’ve restacked the school second-hand shop singlehandedly and I spray painted my tins and put marbles in them.

Marbles breed like electrical wiring only more proficiently.

My house looks Spartan now. I love it. I still have an enormous amount to tackle and I am relishing the weekend ahead.

My husband has gone from somewhat supportive, to mildly antagonistic to Googling nervous breakdowns and trying to find me a facility where I could wreck less havock.

I think he has put in a bid for a strait jacket on eBay – at least I wouldn’t put it past him.


4 thoughts on “Operation Dumpster has commenced.

  1. Fantastic post! I totally understand your need to purge. I am a book hoarder and I agree about there being something wrong with an empty bookshelf. I just recently got ride of about 2 bookcases worth of books and am now down to one nearly full one, and I can’t wait for the next library booksale so I can get some more. I am hoping to sort through my clothes next as I realized after we moved cross country about a year ago that I never wore half the clothes I owned.

  2. Loving your post! I have been slowly trying to lighten the load lately, but sometimes for every two steps forward I go three backward (my other half is the pack rat). Happy Monday! Here’s to cleaning up the Clutter in Our Lives – ha:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s