It lurks just out of your gaze; the land of the forgotten. You know it’s real and you’ve been there but not for a while. It is a wonder to kids and a bane to adults. The cold and dark waits for you patiently as you walk past it’s door everyday; just waiting to be opened and lit by the flickering torch. In it lives your past, all your memories and hopes and fears. As you turn the handle and open the door the creak is like the gentle whine of an abandoned dog waiting for its owner to return. Looking up at the ladder, you venture once more into your loft.
Of all the parts of your house it’s one that rarely crosses your mind yet it holds so much of your past safe and hidden away. From old school books and boxes of goodies that there is no longer any space for it’s your own secret museum to your life – with the built in Christmas trees. And that’s why we’ve all been up there of late – hiding away the festive baubles for another year as you realise you are, for the umpteenth year running, putting up more than you took down in the first place. The tree, the lights (that you’ll no doubt replace for some spurious reason next year anyway), the decoration s and that LED Santa you “impulse” bought in B&Q this year to go with the Rudolph you bought last year and the Snowman from the year before.
For some it’s just a dumping ground – a place which looks after all the things that someone will say about it: “That’ll come in handy – just keep it just now!” It’s the hidey-hole for the people that just can’t bear to throw things out – the hoarders and the misers unite in worship to the space above their heads. They don’t look to the heavens they are thinking about how much more they could squeeze up there. Out of the two of us Jill is definitely the one who keeps things beyond their point of use “just in case” whereas I am more ruthless and will throw away things without any real sentimentality. Obviously the most important things stay but having a coffee table we bought several years ago that is now all marked and scratched is never going to be used again and needs to go for a trip to the skip. Jill knows now to get a black bag and throw things out otherwise I’ll get annoyed and just grab a black bag and savagely reduce the pile without any worry.
Thankfully in our current house our loft is small anyway so the majority of the things up there are things that we use at least once a year – and that should really be the yardstick by which your loft exists. If it’s older than a year, has not been used, but is not of sentimental value then it’s time to bin it. Fill the car up and off you go – same goes for the shed/garage in the summer too. I hate having stuff that no-one uses about the place cluttering up cupboards and drawers. The wife and kids better not stay still for too long then…