Why we are decrapulating* our house

This afternoon G took a car load of stuff back to the op-shop. And this is just the first pass. There will be more, I'm sure of it. Grinchy housework day has moved from Monday to Wednesday on account of my work days shifting around. It actually feels better doing it on a Wednesday, less grinchy. I don't know why, but it does. Maybe because after two days of sitting at a desk having numerous and intense customer contacts, a couple of hours dusting is a relief? Anyway once we were past that point of argument that happens because I do some stuff (not all housework related) then have breakfast, then have a shower and then get stuck into some power cleaning rather than getting started right away, it was quite pleasant. Except that as part of our post holiday decrapulation project, G made me go through Grace's toys before breakfast. Anyway it's done now, all the surplus (as in yucky) soft toys and bits of plastic crap have gone. She hasn't even noticed. I don't imagine we'll get away with that for much longer. Still with a birthday coming up, I think it is provident to make space for some new toys. I often feel I'm holding back a wave of stuff threatening to engulf us.

It doesn't help that we both love opshopping. Or that her Nana is a bigger opshopper and hoarder than the both of us put together, times two. Therefore, I've decided to be unsentimental about the stuff that mum gives us. If it doesn't fit or doesn't work, it goes out. Stuff that arrives home from Nana's after visits, goes back to Nana's, otherwise my mum gets more stuff, to have at Nana's. Et cetera. The only exceptions being the hand made jumpers and toys which I am a bit more inclined to keep. We've had some discussions about this but I'm not sure my point is getting through. Indeed, when I told mum that we were having a big clear out, she asked what we were getting rid off with a certain glint in her eye. As if she had somewhere to put more stuff.

This issue of stuff is one that I have plenty of internal conflict about myself. I love certain sorts of acquistion, opshopping, markets, bookshopping, hardrubbishing. Gifts of useful things like fridges. Oh yes. But I do love opshopping, especially country opshopping. It's not that I think that the goods are better in country opshops, it's the thrill of finding new oppys, stopping your journey. And yes, buying stuff. We managed to get in quite a lot of opshopping on our holiday. On the drive down we stopped in Loch which has an opshop that opens on Sunday! Which the opshop lady said was when people passed through. I bought two childrens books, one a lurid fairy tale book and the other an original 1940s copy of The Wanderings of Mumfie, written and illustrated by Katharine Tozer. I'd never heard of Mumfie before but he was a "rather common little elephant" who "waited every day for the postman to bring him a lovely Adventure all tied up in a nice exciting parcel". This adventure is all about how he ends up being one of the toys chosen by Father Christmas to go across the sea of forgetfulness to the world of children. It's very odd, but I couldn't stop reading it. And I love the illustrations.

At the first visit to the Foster opshop I stocked up on material bits, some old buttons and bought yet more kiddy books. And a knitted toy, now called Foster, which Grace chose and tried to shoplift. Luckily it was one of those opshops that are very friendly to little people and they weren't at all fussed. In the picture above, Foster is on left. The other, almost identical, toy (called Snowman) was also chosen by Grace at a local opshop presided over by a lady who seems to dislike children intensely. There must have been a fashion and pattern for these at some point because I've seen others. I didn't like the Snowman at first because he's acrylic, but Foster is wool and very nicely made. And as a pair, I'm warming to them. Grace finds it hilarious and carts them both around.

The next opshopping trip took in Port Welshpool and Toora and Mum came too. I ended up with another plastic coated sewing basket, more material (like I don't have enough), yet another tin and the plastic cat which I spied on the way out. I have a soft spot for cheap older style plastic squeeze toys. When I asked how much, they laughed as if to say who'd want that and gave it to me. G is trying to convince me to keep it in the packaging but Grace loves it too much. And toys are to play with. But I do love the packaging.

And there was much opshopping on the way home. Most of which was spent restraining Grace, or letting her play with the toys depending on the kid friendliness of the shop. I bought heaps and heaps of kids books at Leongatha. Many little golden books, some bigger golden books and assorted other gems. Part of the decrapulation will have to include re-organising all the books. I'd like to have them all properly in shelves rather than in baskets or strewn around the floor. But that seems to work for about two minutes.

*Decrapulate, to rid ones life and space of accumulated material possessions that have become a hindrance rather than a pleasure, ie crap. So you can get new crap, or lead a crap-free life. Or at least spend less time re-arranging your crap. We've been having a polite discussion about who made this one up. I think it might have been G. It's a good word, I think.   


h&b said...

Decrapulate. Uh-huh.
But we won't go into my weekly garbage-collection-obsession. It's unnatural.
We have two of those knitted dolls that look almost the same. Except ours hold bagpipes. And wear little Scottish berets.
Do you want one ? ;)

Shula said...

It's hard being a genetically gifted op-shopper in Autumn (and Spring), when it's time to sort the fantastic finds from the even more fantastic finds.
If we kept it all, it would eventually rise up one night and suffocate us to death.
I have 6 BIG bags (y'know, those zip up checked ones) in the garage, ready to go.
Gotta be done. Good news is, it all goes round again, which makes it easier for me to part with stuff.

daisies said...

i love decrapulate, best word ever and have been been spending a whole lot of time lately decrspulating my house as well ...
my mom and i continually decrapulate our houses shift things back and forth, luckily a lot of stuff does actually make its way out of both our doors, lol though i do find that my younger crap is my older treasure, heh heh ... ah craptacular crap :)

Kris said...

The tension between buying at oppies and giving away to oppies was brought home to me the other day when I was reaching over to grab some cute, pastel ramekins when I realised these were the same, the very same, pair I had donated the week before, to the place where I had originally bought them two years before. And even after I recognised them I thought, "Maybe I'll get them anyway - they're such a bargain". I'd never used them the first go around.
My other weaknes is material, and I can't sew. One day though...

jeanie said...

lol - I have 2 moving boxes of stuff just waiting to go to an oppie - and possibly another household full of "stuff".
My mother is the worst (except she buys it all new!) and just had to move house after 40 years - we thought "beauty, she will get rid of stuff" but darn it, she got a shipping container to store stuff in..

kel said...

methinks the opshop queen tiara may just have to be handed over to you :)
i miss the melb oppies
the clothes in country oppies are well and truly pre-loved :(

Lazy Cow said...

Love the op shops too. It's scary as there are THREE on the walk to my daughter's school, and I have to be very careful or I can drop $20 a day (which defeats the purpose of buying CHEAP). I have the same problem with my mum giving us op shop finds. I'm very firm with her, as she has a much bigger house to store the crap (mainly toys) in. I have a list of stuff I look for in op shops, so I don't get too crazy (but I'm out of control in the book section!) My son pointed out a 4 cup cafetiere in the window of the local oppy that was on my list. I was so proud of him.

VictoriaE said...

FINALLY! I have been waiting to see someone else post a knitted toy find from an opshop! I love opshop knitted toys.
That elephant character is fascinating.
Trying to get rid of surplass toys gets harder and harder as they notice things missing. Especially when they then notice the toys back on the opshop shelf. Nick actually spent his long saved up pocket money recently on a toy I had given to the opshop!!

suse said...

We stopped at that Loch op shop on both the way there and back to (from) our summer holiday. I got the hugest stack of children's books there! It did have a nasty smell though.
And did you go into the three secondhand/antique shops and the quilting shop too? Such an amazing little town - only about 6 shops and 5 of them so much fun! (Where do you suppose the inhabitants of Loch buy pragmatic items such as bread and toiletpaper, d'you suppose?)

Janet said...

We did go into one of the second hand shops but Grace was in grabby, cannot be held or moved along mode so I have no other memory of it. The opshop however, was so toddler friendly that I think I spent all the rest of my browsing time there. Gratitude and relief would have rendered me insensitive to any odour issues :)