Little Miss Green declutters

Filed in Blog by on September 18, 2008 9 Comments
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little miss Green decluttersNo, I haven’t disappeared under a mountain of clutter. But almost.

Today I had to visit the tip. Yes, you heard right, the tip, that place I should call the recycling centre. Only I went to the tip part – you know, the non recyclable part of the centre where everything ends up in the landfill.

Oh the shame. Shall I stop now, or would you like the rest of the story?

Yesterday I took my life into my own hands and went into:


It needs to be said quickly, believe me. It was scary in there. So scary I didn’t dare take a photo to show you all.

Picture the scene. I wake up dreamily from my slumber, after a fantastic dream, to the sweet voice of ‘Mummy!’. That lovely voice that is adorable before they’ve fully woken for the day. I slipped into my dressing gown and, in stockinged feet, went to see my angel.

Going across the room to open her curtains so that sunlight could stream through the window showing the highlights in her hair, I trod on something. It was *really* sharp.

I swore. Loudly.

I even pebble-dashed the air in her room with the F word.

I told Little Miss Green that for the next hour we were playing armies. I was in charge and she had to do everything she was told without any arguments. Because when you’re in the army, you don’t argue.

I even threw in a glowering ‘or else’ for good measure.

I told her she was not going out for the day with Grandma Green until it was done.  I added that if it took until 4pm, then Grandma Green would be spending the day sitting on our sofa waiting for her, so she ought to hurry up and get dressed.

For all my years as being positive discipline Mum, gentle words, respectful attitude and ‘I-don’t-want-my-child-to-end-up-in-the-psychologist’s-chair’ advocate, I admitted defeat and just let rip. Phew! Human nature at its best.

Is it really worth it to have a messy bedroom when your day starts with a Mother in that sort of mood? It wasn’t exactly Little house on The Prairie romantic, perfect morning with everyone smiling brightly at one another and singing around the piano in swishy skirts before bacon and eggs. It was more grubby dressing gown that needs a wash, bare feet and a room full of sharp rubbish to contend with. Oh for the days when a few twigs and a spinning top was all that any child required……..

After a hearty breakfast fit for marching armies on we sorted, sifted, groaned, shifted, moved, rummaged and got things in order. We had two bags; one for recyclables and one for non-recyclables. I was heartened to see that no education was needed about what went into each bag and the ‘recyclables’ bag was ten times larger than the ‘non recyclables’

But yes; there was half a carrier bag of assorted naughties despite my best creative efforts:

broken plastic hangers, broken plastic toy bits, and some I don’t even know what they are called, but they were broken plastic something or other. I’ve also ended up with a vacuum full of the tiniest beads you ever did see.

By the end of our venture I declared in my best Army person voice that if anyone bought her beads for Christmas I would give them away. I didn’t care who it was, who I upset, or indeed if I upset Little miss Green herself; our home is now a tiny bead free zone.

Not that I mind beads, if they are used for beading and doing things like, ummm, you know, making jewellery. But Little Miss Green, a law unto herself, uses beads for faery dust, snake food, making wishes with and for feeding her babies with. In other words; they get scattered everywhere.

That carpet was ALIVE with beads; a bit like a flea infestation. Not handy beads you could pick up and reuse, oh no; these are microscopic things that should come with a Government health warning. Not the kind of warning that you are likely to choke on them (it’s probable that you couldn’t and would just pass them out the following morning), but that they slowly drive you insane with their tenacity and ability to reproduce in clothing, bedding and between the floorboards.

Just when you think you have the last one; another family pops up in the carpet fibres or rolls you don’t the stairs like Naomi Campbell skating down the catwalk in platform shoes.

Grandma Green turned up as planned and thankfully the bedroom was restored to order before the doorbell rang. She turned up with a bumper pack of Charmin toilet rolls for me (don’t ask; it’s a family tradition). Little Miss Green took them off her, and bustled through the door calling ‘I hope this plastic they’re wrapped in is recyclable, or else Mummy won’t have them in the house’.

Maybe Grandma Green had a day playing armies too, with role reversal………

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (9)

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  1. Kris says:

    I think the tiny beads that are the bane of your life are probably the ones known as rocaille – just so you know and can think of the appropriately alliterative swearword 🙂

    I’m allegedly a grown up but whenever I have my beads out I spend the next week getting these out of the carpet too.

    I love the imagination you describe though – snake food etc!

  2. I just empty the hoover into the compost and sometimes the resulting compost from the bin is a tad sparkly…..

  3. Mrs Green says:

    Thank you for the technical term, Kris – I shall have fun with that one. Sarah, I feel we most certainly will have sparkly compost this time!

  4. Love it. Thanks for making me smile.

  5. Lori S says:

    Hello Mrs. Green. Love your info about recycling, composting, & overall green living. Also, thanks for the humor. I laughed my head off about the reproducing beads! One question regarding the Charmin. Here in the US we can buy toilet paper from recycled paper. We can get it from some regular grocery stores, like Publix & Kroger, & from Whole Foods. I was worried that it wouldn’t be soft enough, but it’s just fine. We can also get paper towels & Kleenex that is from recycled paper. Do they have such products in the U.K.? Just wondered. Anyway, keep up the wonderful work. You are making a big difference! Lori S.

  6. Poppy says:

    Charmin is Mrs G’s dirty secret 😉

    Yes Lori, we have recycled paper products and we use them most of the time in our house. Nouvelle is one of the manufacturers at the top end of the market, but there areseveral others and the quality varies.

  7. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Jen, glad you had a laugh from it! Hey Lori – it’s good to see you here and I’m glad you left us a comment. As Poppy has already shared (thank you Poppy), we can indeed get recycled paper products for the bathroom and kitchen, but we all have our vices 😉
    If Granddad Green wants to buy me nice soft duvets to wipe my bum in, then I am NOT going to say no!

    Poppy, did you know that the Co-Op have an offer on Nouvelle at the moment? I think it’s 99p for four rolls.

  8. Hi Mrs G – LOL I am so glad you shared this for the Carnival of Trash. I missed it first time round when I was taking my week off. How’s LMG bedroom looking these days? Hope it’s in a good state. BTW I really emphasise re the beads. I’ve had a few spillages from my own collection and seed beads are a blimmin nightmare in the carpet ;-D x

  9. Mrs Green says:

    Hi mrs A, I believe you were on your sick bed when I was stepping on sharp objects. LMG’s bedroom is creeping back towards scary level. Ho hum; she;s creative and imaginative – that’s what I keep telling myself LOL!

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