Rachael Sugden's column: The Outsider
WE'VE got an appointment with a a removal man at the weekend, to find out how much it might cost for someone else to hulk all of our miscellaneous possessions to the new house.
If we decide to splash out, it'll be the first time we've done so. Over the years husband and I have moved a fair few times and each has been a traumatic experience involving umpteen trips in loaded cars followed by a stressful day (with a few friends in tow) hulking the larger items into a hired van.
This time, I want us to pay for the hassle (and effort) to fall at someone else's feet. Particularly as I've started going through all the "stuff" we've acquired over the past decade.
When we moved to our current home, seven years ago, it was to downsize our rental, from a two- to a one-bed, in order to save for a deposit.
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We specifically looked for somewhere with a loft, in order to keep our two-bed's worth of furniture and "stuff" while saving.
So there's one whole double bedroom in flat-pack pieces in the loft for a start.
Then there's the dozen-or-so boxes of books, CDs and DVDs that we've not seen for seven years, that came out of the old house and wouldn't fit in the current one, but that will, no doubt, be heading with us to the new house.
Husband's quite excited at the thought of rediscovering some old favourites. I think we should give the lot to charity. But no, he won't hear of it.
Then there's the camping kit (all acquired in recent years as we sought to save money on holidays) and the extra TV and stereo, sports equipment and winter-holiday gear. All things we couldn't part with, all of which need to come with us.
The realisation that our house is visibly packed to the gunnels with stuff (from overflowing kitchen cupboards to a Welsh dresser loaded with china and wardrobes bursting at the seams) in addition to all of our "hidden" treasures, is daunting to say the least.
And then there's the garden. Old house didn't have much of one. Current house is filled with pots and planters, garden furniture, a fire pit and (that haven of clutter and "essential" items) a shed.
In the shed is every item of garden equipment and machinery you could need to run a landscaping business, plus numerous tools, a trampoline (in pieces), a freezer, shelves of "car-care" products, paint pots and brushes and other items of decorating kit.
I'm inclined to dump the lot. Husband can't bear the thought of wasting anything that may, one day, become useful or useable.
So, if the removal man's quote doesn't come to less than tuppence, it's likely we'll be slogging the few miles to the new house without professional help. Although I'm increasingly inclined to think that if husband wants to move it, husband can. I'll arm myself with a clipboard and give directions. Frankly, there's way too much stuff to want to do anything else.