Camen Design

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The following was written by my wife Eve and republished here due to Posterous shutting down.

Too Much Stuff in My Flat

I am planning to move house early next year. It is already doing my head in.
I came to the UK with a big rucksack full of CDs, books, and food (anyone from Slovakia will understand) and a 20kg of clothes and essentials (like shoes and… shoes) packed in a suitcase. I had £120 in my pocket. I had no idea what I was doing.

Now I have STUFF. I have enough furniture to furnish a flat twice the size of mine. I have books and CDs and DVDs and knicknacks that would stock up any charity shop rather nicely. I have two sets of cutlery, two sets of crockery, and clothes in every size from 12 to 22 — just in case. I have duplicates and triplicates of essential clothes. I have about 100 pairs of shoes, most of which don’t fit at all and never will. At any point in time, there are at least 10 bottles of shampoo in my flat, and at least 5 bottles of conditioner (must remember to buy some more). I have no house plants — not for lack of buying, but it seems I have a special talent at killing them off (I keep the pots).

I live on my own, yet I have six Champagne glasses, three Coke glasses,eight tumblers, six plain glasses and numerous mugs to boot. I have not used these for at least three years — if not longer. I feel like less than a person for not having two sets of wine glasses — in two sizes, of course — but seeing as i don’t drink wine, I really cannot justify it. When my friend Lea came to see me and we opened a bottle of red, I felt ASHAMED for serving it in tumblers. The other day I took out a lamp I bought about 6 years ago, to use it for the first time — and broke it by dropping it accidentally. My man commented: ‘one less thing to pack’.

I have no money. Because the minute I get my hands on any, I go buy more STUFF. I sell off stuff (slowly and painfully) on ebay, only to buy more stuff. I think I have about 20 bras in my own size, and another 20 in various dodgy sizes from before I had a clue. I say ‘I think’ because they tend to pop up here and there, being greeted like long-lost friends reunited.

While it is unrealistic that I could live witha rucksack-ful of possessions, I have a hunch that I have more STUFF than others. I came to that through clever deduction (and not at all through embarrassment when seeing my friends look around like little kids in the Natural History museum — wide-eyed and with awe and fear of knocking somethign over).

I still have no idea what I am doing.

I have this vague feeling that I should start selling and giving away this junk (who in their right mind needs six t-shirts of the same colour and size?) but cannot quite decide where to start. I can see how tragic this is. Sometimes I think — if a fire started in my house, what would I want to save? — and come up with only one thing — Meggy (my elderly gerbil). Maybe I should take her tank and start a fire.

So when I read this guy’s post here and cried bitter tears through almost hysterical laughter, I have vowed that I shall get a handle on my STUFF before I move in March. Mark my words.

I think it is safe to panic now, seeing as I only have four months to go.