Disposophobia is the word for compulsive hoarding. Now, I’m not saying that I am a chronic case, but I recently found out that I own eight hairbrushes. Eight. I also possess almost thirty wine glasses and seventeen lighters. Neither me nor hubby smoke. I have a bowl full of corks from special occasions that I cannot bring myself to part with.
We are moving soon, which has obviously necessitated the obligatory pre-move sort out. I am rather a fan of moving house and if I had my way, would do it once a year, every year. I like the (attempted) downsizing, the clearing of clutter. The promise that this time, everything will have its place. Everything will be in order. It’s the grown-up equivalent of a new school year. The domestic version of new exercise books and sharp pencils.
Obviously, in order to reach new-home nivarna, a certain amount of ground work must be done. According to my mum ‘apparently’ moving house can require up to one year’s preparation, and you should try to bin/sell/donate/recycle a dustbin bag full of items per week. I’m not quite sure where she found this guidance but it explains why my parents try to resist the pull of moving house by decorating their current (lovely) one in a manner akin to the painting of the Severn Bridge – once one room is done, another is started.
With three weeks to go to moving, I thought I’d try the express version – trying to dispose of a bin bag’s worth of stuff every other day for the next two weeks. A general rule is that anything that hasn’t been used since relocating to Prague is in the ‘at risk’ category. As we went through a similar process last year, this is proving fairly tricky. I have taken to wandering around the apartment grabbing anything that isn’t nailed down and saying “what does this do? Do we need this?’ Every time I move from one room to another I pick something up and put it in the “To Go” crate. Maybe this is the opposite of disposophobia? Although inexplicably, I am remain insistent that we need to go to IKEA in order to purchase new items… No home-move could be complete without an IKEA trip (which, in case you were wondering, is just as dreadful a way of spending a couple of hours in Prague as it is in Croydon).
I’m excited about the move (although worn out by the preparation). Our new neighbourhood is very lovely and, being a good seven minutes further from the centre of Prague, far less touristy than our current area. I have grown tired of bumping into map-gazing tourists and beer-swigging song-singing stag do’s. I am bored of paying over-the-odds for a cup of coffee, and dodging the beer-bikes and segways on the way to work. A friend asked if my move means I am ‘going native’. Not quite, I explained. The new location is Vinohrady, which is the half-way house between tourist-ville and Prague-proper. It’s unashamedly expat-central – a bit like Earls Court is to Australians I suppose, only more central and without the grating accent. (I jest. Sort of)
So, don’t come round until we move – you may get thrown out, recycled or packed away neatly and put on the ‘just in case’ pile. I do look forward to welcoming you to the new apartment though. We’ll be having a house-warming soon. Please come and help us work our way through the wine glasses and keep the cork collection going strong…