I have a list as long as my bloody arm of things I need to get done by yesterday. I’ve already been in England for a month and it seems as though all I have done is Tweet away, cook & eat delicious English food, and walk the dogs.

Most pressing: my New Year’s flyer and mail out need to be finished, along with a large chunk of my book, three features need polishing before being filed asap, and I need to sort out all the crates of my things that currently fill the attics of the family home.

Of course the latter is the least urgent, so guess which of the above I’ve been obsessed with all week? My excuse is that I’m hoping I will be in a position to ship a container out to America at the end of January. After three years in New York, I still haven’t sent out my major possessions from England and am starting to get twitchy about not being properly settled out there.

Sure, I have most of my clothes, & vital things like shoes, copies of Vogue, kitchen knives and portfolio in Manhattan, but my thousands of books, art deco cocktail cabinet, good linen, my entire batterie de cuisine and collected bits & pieces still languish in many random containers and a vast assortment of those odd Indian plastic check laundry bags.

Of course, having absolutely no concept of the passage of time, I ran out of time packing up my London flat & had to finish in a hurry. I know I threw all manner of junk in those bags which is now stashed away in the attics for the mice to eat and the pigeons to crap on. After three years with just the basics, I’m loathe to cart a whole load of random stuff over the Atlantic, and so am gleefully chucking things out & donating to the local hospice shop.

Take the contents of my once proudly stocked & housewifely linen cupboard: I do not want all those sheets & towels that I kept for ‘just in case’ any more; I know that the homeless hostel in Kentish Town always needs them, so off they all go on Monday.

In my organising frame of mind, I decided to finish emptying out the big attic above my old bedroom. After a mug of my mother’s rocket fuel coffee this morning, I spent four very unheated hours unwrapping newspaper bundles of childhood junk, and scampering like a bloody monkey up & down the wobbly folding ladder from the attic.

I managed to clear out so many cardboard boxes full of broken toys, pulp novels & stray bits of jigsaw last looked at in 1985 when we moved here, that I ended up waiting ’till my mother went grocery shopping to throw the boxes out the window in my bedroom into the flowerbeds below. I just cldn’t face lugging everything along the landings, down stairs and through the house to the skip which arrived yesterday. God I love skips.

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9 comments

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My new year's resolution is to be more organised. Get things done quicker and be more proactive. I have been sat in my PJs all day and it's only the 2nd of Jan! Am off to clean now though, you've been my inspiration!

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How rock and roll throwing stuff straight out the window, that must have been most invigorating.
Happy new year!
WEM xx

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I lived out of two large suitcases for six years and it was the lightest and most free I ever felt in my life.
I'm convinced that not weighing yourself down with stuff keeps you young.

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My boyfriend and I are trying to keep our lives streamlined in anticipation of moving to New York sometime next year.

It's quite good – prevents all sort of unnecessary purchases!

Poppy xox

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There's nothing like a clear out. Gosh your stint reminds me of my friend J and her move to NY. We worked like dogs/elfs to clear and clean. She now lives in Washington.

Good luck with it all and a Happy and Prosperous New Year x

PS love you had to wait until your muv was out of sight…

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FD: Good luck!

Ah yes, WEM, it was ENORMOUSLY enjoyable! Not sure why it occurred to me, but best idea in ages.

AnneMarie – I've done the 2 x cases thing all year, and it has been great, but I need a proper home now.

Poppy: great plan! I highly rec so you don't end up going spare as I did.

MDS: She wld have had a conniption if she'd seen what I wad doing! No win – if I'd tracked the dust and debris through the house she'd have gone spare; if she'd seen where the boxes landed she's have gone spare…therefore cunning ninja plan…LLGxx

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I'm quite impressed that your mum's attic can fit so much stuff that you actually need a skip! That amount of stuff would make the roof cave in on my parents' house – and aren't they happy about that. I'm reknown for having a lot of stuff… And I blame it on having moved around in the world, just like yourself, and ending up with three of everything! :o)

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I have spent the last 72 hours of my life decluttering and culling like there's No Tomorrow. I've taken 2 carloads to the salvation Army and I'm still going. I've blogged about it. I think everyone's on the bandwagon at this time of year. You have a Cult Following in Australia. xx

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Well done with your ninja antics! xx

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