I am never going to move house again.
How have I managed to accrue so much crap over the last three years?
Answer: I had children.
It’s not just the big stuff we’ve acquired like a sofa, beds, cots, changing tables, 5 million Ikea Billy bookshelves, baby baths etc.
It’s all the really titchy, sharp, plastic things that find a home in the crevices of the flat, waiting patiently for you to tread on them when you’ve got no shoes and socks on.
I made the error of attempting to pack up my three-year-old daughter’s room whilst she was home.
EVERYTHING is important to her.
I tried to chuck out the ripped back cover of a CBeebies magazine from November 2013. Apparently it’s her absolute favourite page from her absolute favourite magazine.
So that’s had to go in the moving box.
Along with a broken yoyo, which has great sentimental value.
An imitation Barbie from the Poundshop with one leg missing called Rosie.
An instruction manual for Corgi boilers.
And a babygro which, not only has a massive shit stain up the back, but I don’t think was even ours in the first place.
And this is the FIRST box I’ve packed.
I had visions of the next place we live in being Scandinavian inspired.
Clean lines, white furniture and sanded floorboards.
It would be clutter-free with industrial lighting and large leafy plants in big terracotta pots.
Instead, we’re going to end up living in some hoarders paradise that would make a good basis for a Channel 5 documentary.
And it’s not just the ballache of having to pack up four lives into cardboard boxes.
It’s the emotional wrench of leaving the flat.
It’s like when I go to get my haircut.
For weeks I’ll look like Deirdre Barlow circa 1980 so I book myself in for a cut.
But the morning of the appointment, my hair suddenly seems to behave.
Instead of looking like an early 80s perm, it’s sleek, all Yasmin Le Bon.
And I think, maybe I don’t want to get it cut after all.
Maybe it’s fine as it is.
Our flat is suddenly looking a bit Le Bon.
I’m walking around it, and instead of wanting to move, I’m remembering the first time we brought both our babies home.
How my daughter took her first steps here.
How my son has just learnt to crawl.
And then the whole place becomes a Neighbours-style montage of soft focus memories.
It’s time to move on.
I do know that.
That I have to power on through the sentimentality and get cracking on packing up the kitchen.
Because once we’ve boxed up all our belongings, it will just be an empty flat.
When you take the people out of it, it’s just bricks and mortar.
It will become our 80s bad hair day, waiting for another family to come and tame.
And we will have a new home to give a Brian May-esque make over to.