When I was a child I had to keep my things tidy. We were not well off and so I never remember a surfeit of things around - my parents only bought what was necessary and Christmas and Birthday presents tended towards the useful. But birthdays always included and cake and a party for my friends - jelly, evaporated milk, tinned fruit, sandwiches and a cake - and I never felt deprived and always felt loved. Not like these days when everyone seems to have everything in the way of gadgets, children seem to have all the latest toys, clothes bulge from wardrobes.
But a survey today (admittedly of only one thousand people) suggests that we really are hoarders. Top of the list comes unneeded paperwork - bank statements, old receipts,and next comes old mobile phone chargers.
I read through the list - do I hoard things or do I still follow my mother's maxim - if you don't need it, throw it away or give it away? Any untidyness in my room always resulted in my mother calling me 'Clara Clutterbuck' and insisting that I go and tidy the room immediately.
On the whole I think I resist the urge to hoard. I find it hard to throw away - or take to the charity shop - books. The easiest option is for me to buy another bookcase. My wardrobe is pretty full but I do wear the clothes in it and once I have gone a year without wearing something I have it dry cleaned and take it to the charity shop. As for unwanted gifts (another thing on the list of things hoarded) - we have a village coffee morning on the first Saturday in the month and they are always on the look-out for raffle prizes - a jolly good way of getting rid of boxes of chocs you really don't want to eat, toiletries with a perfume you really don't like, bottles of wine when you no longer drink red wine and similar things.
As I said in a post the other day, the farmer neither wants nor needs anything for his birthday tomorrow so you can imagine that he has absolutely nothing lying around the place. Mind you - go down to his shed and it is an entirely different story. His bench has fifty years worth of bits and pieces that 'might come in useful one day', The annoying thing is that often they do just that. How he finds them in the general jumble I don't know but he can lay his hands on the smallest nail if necessary. You can tell what his bench looks like in that one year a robin nested among the things on the bench and he told me to tiptoe in and look at the nest and I couldn't see it!
I have just remembered something that I do have a stash of - jigsaw puzzles. Last month I gave away a dozen to a charity for a car boot sale - only another fifty or so to go (then I shall have to clean out under the stairs.)