Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

Decluttering

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Knowing that we will be leaving our house within the next 3 months has made me start to get rid of all the stuff that’s been stored in cupboards, under the stairs and in the garage for the last 24 years.

Ebay, charity shops and the dump have already cleared a sizable amount of unwanted belongings. My paypal account has received over £1,300 in sales of books, CDs, DVDs, clothes and my kids old toys. Who’d have believed someone would pay £16 for an incomplete Subuteo set from 1989.

We’ve recently made a decision to get rid of everything. If we’re going to be away for 5 or 6 years then it means storing our furniture and other stuff which will cost around £125 a month, and most is past it’s best before date anyhow. A simple calculation suggests that it will be better value to sell what we can and give away the rest. What we’ve saved in storage costs will mean we can start again whenever we return.

It’s actually quite liberating to be less encumbered by belongings. As well as being part of the furniture, most of my books tell a story aside from the book narrative, as I usually try and leave a bookmark which reminds me what I was doing at the time of reading… so it might be a flight boarding pass, a receipt from a restaurant in another land and so on. It’s been interesting discovering these mementos… but as I haven’t bought a ‘paper’ book for a couple of years now, it’s been no problem seeing them go.

We’ve also been leaving things on the front lawn with a ‘please take’ sign… Most things have been taken. Unfortunately a 1940s Utility Marked Tallboy sat outside all weekend without a taker. Late on Sunday evening I took it into the back, and broke it up to get into the car to go down to the tip… 15 minutes later I got a knock at the door asking if it had already gone…

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