Over the past four months I've done a lot of moving 'stuff' around. Then moving it back again. I've catalogued 'stuff', I've thrown some out. I've given some away.
Actually, I took a pair of pink fluffy slippers from the top of a pile of 'stuff' one day and handed them to my mother to have. Just before I handed them over I slipped my hand into one to check for spiders, but instead I pulled out crisp $50, $20 and $10 bills in the old colourful paper money. Protected inside the fluffy slipper for so many years, it looked like it was straight from the mint.
I've taken 'stuff' up to the Salvos on Glenrosa Road. However, I've stopped myself doing this lately. It seems I am unable to resist going inside the huge shop, and I come home with more things than I dropped off.
When I first started to sort through the house I planned to make methodical piles; rubbish, keepers, Ebay, Salvos, garage sale, giveaways. It seems the logical process, but it didn't work. I'm not sure why really, in the same way I could never work out why I was still in my pyjamas at 3pm when I had my first baby. Things just didn't turn out.
Firstly, the whole process was too overwhelming. Try to imagine holidaying at Ikea for seven days straight! Also, I found the appropriate pile for an item may change depending on my mood.
Some days I would start the sorting slowly, paying close attention to each item and trying to imagine who it belonged to, how it would have looked new, and so on. Three hours later I would be ruthlessly declaring everything junk, and tossing it all in the bin. Don't worry, I always stopped myself before too much damage was done.
About a month after we moved in I had a mountain of boxes under the house full of things I planned to sell in my garage sale. But every time I walked past the boxes, I'd have a peek inside and take something back upstairs.
One day I looked into a box and fished out a little china bulldog, which I didn't remember having seen upstairs. He was wearing a blue coat with Rob Porter Guinness written on the back.
He was really sweet, and I thought about keeping him, but visions of myself as an old lady surrounded by thousands of dust collectors like him persuaded me to use him for my maiden Ebay voyage instead.
I started him off, the kitsch little darling, at a princely 99c. When I checked the next day he was over $200. By auction's end 10 days later he had sold for $420 and was shipped off to Western Australia.
I had no idea people collected guinness/scotch/beer paraphenalia, but I knew I was onto something. Our house was full of it. The father of the family loved nothing more than a pipe or cigar and a scotch.
I went downstairs and fished out two more awful brown
I sold the pair for $350. Plus, when I fished around I had heaps more Scotch memorabilia. I found a Dewar's Royal Doulton Matchstrike (still not sure exactly what that is) and sold it for $150. I've sold some, and still have a bit more to go.
If you think I'm sounding a bit smug, you'll love this story.
Just recently my husband and I sat down and watched the video footage we've been recording. In it, at one stage, I am standing in the kitchen watching my sister pull things out of the cupboard on the day we moved in. She pulls out an enormous white Dewar's Whisky pottery jug, so large she has to hold it with two hands.
'What do you want to do with this?', she asks me.
I make a grimace face and declare with bravado. 'Throw it out!'
As Dr Phil, or Oprah, or someone like that says, 'know better, do better'.