Now that work has finished – what a strange feeling! – the preparation starts in earnest. The kids are still at school so I have hours to clear the house, buy insurance and complete DIY jobs before the tenants move in.

What have I noticed? We have A LOT of stuff and most of it is getting thrown away. Whilst we have taken 4 bags (so far) of clothes to the charity shop (who knew that we even owned that many clothes?!) there have been at least 3 bin bags of rubbish with items that are not suitable for the charity shop (think kinder egg/magazine gifts).

I am reasonably eco/environmentally minded and this waste  bothers me. Every item that goes into the bin (if it can’t be recycled) will end up in landfill. The more I think about it, the sadder this makes me feel. The pile of plastic junk, the graveyard of avoidable  products. Then a friend posted this article on Facebook.

The Gift of Death

This summed it up perfectly, we have everything we need. We’ve been given gifts by people which are of no use and our hands/drawers hold these items temporarily before it ends up in landfill. I feel strongly enough about this that I don’t want this accumulation of unnecessary stuff to occur again in our home.

I’m not sure how I’m going to do this. I understand that it seems ungrateful to refuse gifts that people have given. Perhaps, upon our return, we will become weirdly socially isolated as people will feel uncomfortable about our gift “policy”.

What does this “policy” look like? Perhaps a blanket statement such as ‘we have everything we need, we do not require presents. We’d love to see you on special occasions and will always accept cakes or cookies’.

I am certainly going to carefully consider any new item (including items I purchase) before they come into our home upon our return. I mean, I found 9 tubes of toothpaste!