Condition: Spring Cleaning : A common condition that affects mainly women .
Causes: Sudden onset of sun striking windows , thereby highlighting several months of grimy dust. May also be brought on unexpectedly by reading Ideal Homes/ Good housekeeping or similar publications.
Symptoms: Sudden flourish of activity involving the purchasing of unnecessary cleaning products and storage boxes, urge to fill charity bags full of unwanted clothing and underused kitchen gadgets.
Side Effects: Restlessness, guilt, hyperactivity, breathlessness, irritation, fatigue.
Cure: None known
I have spent the day bleaching last year's grubby garden furniture cushions, sorting through 25 years worth of photographs and de-griming the teens' bathroom. Not content with this, I then went on to clear out the entire top cupboards of my built-in bedroom wardrobes and attempt a de-clutter of my scrap room. I am a glutton for punishment. The photographs nearly did my head in. Each and every one involved the following decisions - keep, chuck, store, scrap, insert into album etc.
I am utterly worn out with the effort of it all - not the physical effort , the mental anguish of it all. The straw that broke the camel's back was what to do with all the baby bath toys which I'd stashed under the basin thinking that out of sight was out of mind. Not so. One duck and Mr Wheezey, the water spouting penguin have gone into the attic.
And as for the photographs ....
I had to laugh at the rather macabre Polaroid of myself, sister and father looking long faced and suitably distraught at the Funeral Home where Mum had just been taken. I think we may just have been leafing through the coffin brochure attempting a decision on whether to go with the Old English Oak with the solid brass handles ( cripplingly expensive ) or the veneered version with the stainless steel knobs . For the life of me I can't remember what on earth compelled us to take a photo of the sorry scene. Why on earth would I ever want to be reminded ?
This along with what seemed like a million other memories have now been consigned to piles on the floor from where they will
This spring-cleaning ritual has become a recurring feature of my life for the past 20 or so years. It is an annual phenomenon which only seems to afflict me. The rest of the family seem capable of by-passing it completely. There is no known cure, other than maybe to simply stop buying the 'stuff ' in the first place.
Maybe today's selfie - taking, snapchat - swapping, text-exchanging generation have something to teach us hoarding oldies. Life is transitory , fleeting and utterly disposable.