TRISH TAKES FIVE: New broom gets under my feet
A tidying craze has been sweeping the nation since Marie Kondo advocated her 'KonMari' method for organising our homes.
Can I suggest another way? Avail yourself of a newly-retired man and allow him to delve into the depths of your drawers.
Dougie has only been retired for two weeks and has already tackled our study, bathroom, cloakroom and kitchen. I'm exhausted, following him around with boxes and bags as we dispose, recycle and give to charity all those things that Marie Kondo would say no longer 'spark joy'.
Declutter with Dougie has a certain ring to it. I think he should start a YouTube channel. With any luck he could become an internet sensation. Look what it did for Joe Sugg. Dougie could be on Strictly Come Dancing next year, if he plays his cards right.
I'd like you to know that I do keep a clean house. I'm just a bit messy and rather than throw things away, I stuff them in drawers and avoid thinking about them. These drawers have now been cleared out and I have to admit, grudgingly, it's been worth it.
He started on the study, happily shredding old medical paperwork while I was set the task of sorting through a big box of travel mementos. Leaflets from museums, entry tickets and old maps were chucked out or placed in plastic wallets and box folders.
The cloakroom or 'Cupboard of Doom' was next. Woolly hats, crushed handbags and odd gloves were given the Dougie treatment. There were a few tussles over some items. "Do you really need this old coat?" "Well, it's handy when I put the washing out."
Those stolen miniatures from hotels popped up in every cupboard in the bathroom, along with half-empty perfume bottles and numerous hair grips.
Kitchen drawers housed a selection of prescription glasses going back years and lots of old birthday cards. I did find a silver mechanical pencil that had belonged to my aunt. I left Dougie organising the coasters whilst I slipped away to the computer to find out its history and value.
He also had the affront to re-do my recipe folder. I thought I was organised by merely having a folder. Apparently I should be placing the recipes in the folder, not just piled up on top of it. "When are we ever going to cook Black Bean Cottage Pie?" He had a point.
Dougie is very methodical and he has to finish one job before beginning another. I run out of steam and easily lose focus. Sorting old photographs involves a lot of reminiscing. I see something in a snap - one of Rory's old teddy bears - and go wandering off to look for it which leads me to hunt out other treasured other toys.
I'm hoping this post-retirement craziness will soon wear off, otherwise I'm going to have to hire him out. Fortunately, he wants to organise the garage and shed next. Excellent idea. Out you go! I'll just quietly shut the door behind you.
You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk