We have a cupboard in our house. If I refer to ‘the cupboard’ everyone knows exactly which cupboard I mean. We fondly refer to it as the “cupboard of no return”. That name has evolved over time due to the fact that anything that goes in, rarely comes out but also whenever I go to find something in the cupboard, I often don’t return for a very long time.
I’m hoping that we are not the only ones with such a cupboard but it is the sort of cupboard that you don’t look in very often. In fact, it is a door that is only ever opened in times of absolute desperate need, if you dare or if you are looking for something that could only possibly be in that cupboard. At that point, you silently and inwardly groan and the prospect of having to go in and find it.
It is certainly a cupboard that serves a purpose. A floor to ceiling built in cupboard, it is full to the point that you take your life into your own hands when you open the door. I can pretty much guarantee that when I do need something out of there, it will be right at the back or bottom and this will require removing huge amounts of stuff. And to remove anything is a little bit like playing a game of Jenga. You take out one thing carefully and slowly, holding your breath. The only difference with this game is that when everything comes tumbling down, it is usually on your head. Well, my head as I seem to be the only person in the house brave or stupid enough to go in there.
When we bought our house, I loved this cupboard. I had an idea that I might turn it into a small pull-out office. I had read about it somewhere and I loved the idea of setting up shelves and a desk. That never happened. As more children arrived, the more things ended up in the cupboard. We put a shelving unit inside to try and manage the mayhem but even then, things were stuffed on top, down the sides and wherever else there was a space.
It has essentially become a toy cupboard, filled with many games and toys that are rarely used but still loved enough to have a place in the house. There are old books and magazines, teddies and puzzles and piles of LEGO instructions that belonged to my eldest son. Car racing tracks and games that belonged to my younger sons and then balanced precariously around the edges there are dolls and doll accessories, a wooden treehouse, a few random Christmas presents from years gone by that have never even come out of the box.
There are some treasures in there. A much-loved teddy with a knitted union jack jumper that will remind someone one day of a lost but not forgotten grandparent. Puzzles that were bought by another friend that we lost along the way. A sword and bow that a clever person made especially for a dressing up day at school. A Harry Potter dressing up costume that became a World Book Day staple for three years. Collections of football trading cards still get dragged out pored over by sport-mad boys. Brightly coloured Go-gos crammed into washing nets, still grubby from being taken to school. A Cars racetrack that shoots cars at high speed around the track which two little boys were obsessed with for months and months.
But the time is coming where the “cupboard of no return” needs sorting. I need to take every single thing out and ruthlessly organise the contents into things that we have to keep and things that can be rehomed. My daughter, now seven, wants a wardrobe of her own and as she is the proud owner of the smallest bedroom, the cupboard might be our only option. The thought of the job ahead fills me with absolute dread but on the plus side, when she grows up, I might get that pull-out office after all.
In the meantime, if anyone needs me, I will be in the cupboard with a roll of dustbin bags.
Copyright: loganban / 123RF Stock Photo