My clear-out may turn into 40 days of family discord

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Amid the media flurry about new year and resolutions – which indeed I took part in last week by saying I would not be making any resolutions – I’m already breaking mine.

You see, I came across something that tickled my fancy. Forty Black Bags For 40 Days – How To Unclutter Your Life.

This appealed to me as I’m a hoarder. I know this. But worse, I’m not a duster.

This means that unless we have people coming round that I haven’t seen for a long time, my house features towering piles of possessions covered in a thick layer of dust, unfortunately proving that I don’t need half the stuff I have as I never touch it. Half the stuff? Most of the stuff actually.

The 40 days clean-out appealed to me – manageable chunks of one bag a day. I didn’t bother to read the article or the instructions because I don’t want to know what won’t be classed as a black bag – like the normal kitchen/household detritus that gets thrown out regularly.

Of course my husband – who reckons he’s uber tidy because he recycles books when he thinks I’m not looking – is delighted by the prospect of shedding some layers.

I’m sure that right now he’s counting out the bags and walking around the house taping them into positions where he thinks the best culling of my treasured possessions can be achieved.

If that’s the case you can be sure that, as my retribution, several will be posted on his various man drawers and on the piles of tools scattered around the house which have no fixed abode because they might be needed at any given point.

Hmm, I sense this might turn into 40 days of family discord. My daughters went ashen when I told them it was happening, panicking that it would be 40 black bags each.

And I have yet to let my mother know that she is barred from ‘dropping off a few things’.

I learned the art of hoarding from her and she has three houses dedicated to it – hers, mine and my brother’s where all-important junk is sent for extra storage until she can bear to say goodbye.

So, 40 days to rip the family apart, but at least at the end of it we’ll be clutter-free.