OPINION | Shedding the weight of the past creates a lighter future

Shedding the past creates a lighter future

I'm not saying she's a bad housewife, but I might be implying it.

Ever heard that? Well, I'm not saying that I'm a bad housewife, but I very well might be implying it.

We have two cats who don't shed much, but from time to time I see a tumbleweed of black hair meandering its way across the dusty wasteland of the dining room floor.

The surfaces are alright - most of the time. The kitchen cloth is well used. In fact, it is a favourite of everyone. I use it to wipe surfaces. My daughter uses it to flick at me as I prepare to wipe surfaces. My husband uses it to wipe his mouth after a hearty dinner. Yes. That is what I said.

We live in a large house. The top floor is used to store all the things we can't decide what to do with. It is a museum to our fads and our fancies, a homage to our ventures into various arts and crafts. Mexican sombreros hang from the walls. Fairy dresses that fit none of us explode from a chest in the corner. A tutu in a plastic tutu bag drips like Dali's clock over a tub of jigsaws with pieces missing.

They have been shifted from room to room for the past six years. The collection doesn't get any smaller, but creeps its tentacles a little further every year.

Outside, we have stables with no horses alongside a very large shed that my husband has filled up with his collection. When he runs out of room, he gets a new shed.

Before my husband was my husband, he arrived to join me with his possessions on a train. They kept coming. Box after box, heavy, old trunks, filled with black and white photos, nuts and bolts, people's letters.

And each move, we have dragged more. In our last move, we couldn't fit everything in the moving van and two packed cars, so we waved goodbye to a few large potplants and a small, sad gathering of other things.

With a bigger house and a farm, things have become infinitely worse.

I have resisted the Marie Kondo allure, but it is time. I have been quietly shedding bags of possessions to second-hand shop bins on weekends when no family members are around to see.

At least 20 of the oversized bags have been squirrelled out. No one has noticed. And the collection looks no smaller.

The weight of all this stuff is weighing us down. I finally feel I can live without whisky decanters with glass cancer, lamp bases with no lampshades, electrical cords that fit nothing, bad paintings.

It's time to move on from the past before we injure ourselves looking for something that's actually useful.

Marie Low is a freelance journalist based in Gunnedah, NSW