I AM having a clear-out. And it’s not before time. When we were looking for my sewing machine recently – yes, I’ve got one, but don’t ask why – I was shocked to see the ridiculous amount of clothes I have accumulated.

They are stacked high in the loft, bottom of my wardrobe, corner of my bedroom, study and spare room.

To say nothing of the sale bags I have hidden away in the boot of my car.

Looking at these piles of unworn garments, birthday presents not yet unwrapped, books meant to be read, DVDs planned on viewing, toiletries kept for ‘special days’, I despair. There are bags full of bits and pieces that have been cleared out of my car at various times, brushes – how many brushes does one woman need? – make-up bags, boxes of half used make-up, to say nothing of wicker baskets full of hats, scarves, gloves, umbrellas, etc, etc, etc. Ridiculous. If I grew another dozen hands I could kit them all out in gloves that match scarves that match hats that take up room!

It was when husband-Al said: “You could go on one of those hoarding shows” that my blood ran cold. He’s right. I could. In fact they could do a whole series on me just emptying my wardrobes. Right, that’s it. Another New Year’s Resolution – I never make – clear out your stuff.

Anything you haven’t worn in a year is out. Anything that doesn’t fit is out. Anything uncomfortable – out. Things you have doubles of – out. Frumpy clothes – out. Clothes that you got as presents and effused over when received but never really liked – out. Anything from the 80s, 90s, noughties ( yes I go back that far) – out. Dresses too long, too short – out. Hang on, I’m left with two pairs of jeans three Tshirts and a comfy cardy. Mmmm.

A relook is needed. Gradually the clothes creep back into the wardrobe. On top of the wardrobe.

On the side of the wardrobe. There is still a few bits I aim to get rid of, but I just might get back into those size 12 jeans and I’ve heard padded shoulders are on the way back in, so I’d better hang on to those jackets….

I know I would feel better if I could actually SEE my clothing, and, as it’s only us in our cottage, there should be plenty of room for my collection. I’m sure some women have as much as I do – although I don’t know any – so where am I going wrong?

The trouble is, husband-Al is a hoarder as well. And that’s where the problem lies.

If just one of us loved to hang onto things, couldn’t bear to part with possessions, cherished items that evoked a memory, we’d be alright. But, we are both fighting for cupboard, shelf and loft space.

Not good.

So, as I had promised to clear my cupboards, Husband-Al agreed to attack his garage, workshop and shed. Yes he has commandeered all three.

I watched from my bedroom as he took everything out of his garage. Stacked it up against the garden fence.

Checked if things worked or not. Wound up old ropes. Put all the old leads, plugs and adapters in an old box. In and out he went all day.

Busy, busy, busy.

Then, when darkness began to fall, he put it all back. Mmmm.

But I could hardly moan as I once again secured my wardrobe doors with a beautiful bow – to stop them bulging open – and slid my padded shouldered jackets once again under the bed.

So, we tried. And we will keep trying, but I can’t see us ever living in a minimalist house with blank walls and even blanker shelves. We just seem to like ‘stuff’.

The good thing is that, as we take two carrier bags of ‘stuff’ to the charity shops, we come up with a solution to our problem of too much clutter …….we need a bigger house.