Friday 8 March 2024

Decluttering by Paula R C Readman, Shroomi Dark Roast Mushroom coffee for energising, focus, and a positive mood

‘Okay, so I’m sentimental about certain things, giving them a deeper meaning. But, over the years, my feelings for such things have changed,’ Jane explained to her friend Lucy as they sat in her garden, on a bright sunny morning, sipping coffee. ‘For years, an old-fashioned coffee pot stood on the shelf in my kitchen. You know the one, I mean?’

 ‘Oh yes, the brown one that sat on the high shelf. Didn't you find it in a flea market, on your travels in France?’ Lucy asked with a smile.

 ‘No. It came from my parents' house. Mum and Dad wanted to downsize, as they were getting older. I was helping Mum sort out all the clutter, and while rooting around in the cupboard under the stairs, I dragged out a box. In it, wrapped in old newspaper was the coffee pot. I loved the shape of it, and believed it once belonged to my grandmother. It looked old and well-used, and the date on the newspaper was 1954.’

 ‘It didn’t belong to your grandmother, after all?’ Lucy said with a frown.

 ‘See where sentimentality got me. I created a romantic picture in my mind of the object whereas, in reality, it was the furthest thing from the truth.’ Jane sipped her coffee.

 ‘Surely, something made you connect it to your grandmother?'

 ‘I don’t know, maybe it was the date of the newspaper. Why would Mum and Dad keep it, if they didn’t have some connection to it? Anyway, I asked Mum if I could have it. I wanted a keepsake that past generations had passed on. The old brown earthen pot had a look of age about it. Mum just shrugged her shoulders and said, ‘Take it, if you want it.’

 ‘So why are you throwing it out now?’

 ‘What’s the point of cluttering up your life with things that are no longer important? Like my parents I need to downsize and move on with the next chapter in my life.’

 ‘Yes, I understand that.’ Lucy glanced in the direction of her house, and then to the skip standing on Jane’s drive. ‘Now my children are teenagers, I could do with having a good clear-out myself.’

 ‘When I think how sentimental I’ve been about holding on to things I thought were important to me, I realize now that no one else cares, the same way I do. In the end, everything will end up in a skip,’ Jane said.

 ‘That’s sad,’ Lucy said. ‘But I see your point. We are all hoarders, aren’t we?’

 ‘I’m not anymore. It’s time I had a good clear out and downsized, especially since divorcing my husband. That’s what the skip is for, so I can make a fresh start after years of his hoarding. A clean slate, both physically and mentally.’

 Lucy laughed. ‘I love your positivity. So you’re coming out with me and the other girls tonight?’

 ‘You bet I am.’ Jane dropped the coffee pot into the skip on top of a pile of her ex-husband’s clothes. ‘Well, if Bill can buy a whole new wardrobe to look young and trendy for the younger woman in his life, then I can make a fresh start too,’ Jane said, emptying the dregs of her coffee mug onto the ground. ‘Would you like to see the new dress I bought especially for tonight?’

 ‘Oh, yes, please.’ Lucy followed Jane into the kitchen.

 ‘Great, I’ll stick the kettle on again. Just another couple of armfuls of my ex’s clothes to go into the skip, and I'll be done,’ Jane added with a laugh. ‘More space for me to fill with new outfits in the future.’ 

About the author 


Paula R. C. Readman is a prolific writer. She shares her life with her husband, Russell, and two cats. She collaborates with three publishers and has penned six books and over a hundred short stories. Blog: or just Google Paula R C Readman, and something’s bound to pop up. 

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