'Out with the old' is what makes for a happy new year
I de-clutter twice a year, in January and July. As my son is five and owns a vast amount of toys I have to be ruthless.
If I wasn't we'd be getting invitations to be on some sort of 'hoarders' reality show. I get a skip twice a year. I know I could stick ads on buy and sell sites, but to be honest, I don't know if I could stand answering all the silly questions from people ringing up.
I did once, a couple of years ago, give a bag of clothes to a foreign lady who had posted an ad looking for free stuff. She was very grateful for the baby clothes and presented me with a pot of honey in thanks.
But the next time I answered an ad from a poor 'lady' looking for stuff, this young fellow with a thick Dublin accent phoned me and asked if the free stuff was designer.
When I told him it wasn't, he hung up on me. I don't believe there was ever a lady, nor indeed a toddler, where this brazen chap was concerned, so it put me off giving away clothes to strangers.
Anyway, last week I filled two bags up for the St Vincent de Paul and put them straight in the boot of the car. I find when you put stuff in the car immediately, you're more likely to dispose of it sooner rather than later.
I did have a few designer items that I'd never worn and are too small for me (I've finally given up on the notion that I'll one day be a size 8 again). Maybe I could get something for these on eBay, I thought. Then I can at least buy something for myself in a realistic size (12-14).
I have to say that selling on eBay can be time consuming and frustrating. You take the photos and upload them and write a description and then wait to see if you get any customers.
You get lots of questions, like "do you post to Australia?", "is the shirt in good condition?" and '"length are the sleeves?"
You answer all questions politely, and then one person buys the shirt for five euro and eBay takes a fee, and then you have to parcel it up, queue at the post office and send it off.
Then you hope that the customer loves the shirt and gives you positive feedback so that you don't lose your 100pc rating. I have to say it's a lot of hassle and stress for very little reward.
After selling one shirt, I realise I don't have the patience to be a part-time online shop, spending half my life in a post office queue, so I sent a few emails to friends asking them if they would like free designer stuff.
Within two days all my excess wardrobe had been collected. Phew. I can see my home again. There is no Lego on the ground for me to trip on. My lovely size 6 (what was I thinking?) D&G skirt has been adopted by a skinny pal. I have thrown out all those all old T-shirts that I thought would be handy in bed. Why? Seriously, why do I wear horrible stuff in bed instead of a pretty nightie? No wonder I'm single.
And no more shopping. At least not until January is out.