Too many things, too many places to put them

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Oh, for the time when I could leave the house with a shirt on my back, a fiver in my pocket and a song in my heart.

These days I have to remember my wallet, my keys, my personal phone, my company phone and laptop, the charging cables for my company phone and laptop, my office pass, a pen and notepad, my lunchbox, and at least £1.40 in loose change just in case my lunch isn’t filling enough and I need to refuel late in the afternoon with a Yorkie or some Cheese and Onion Tayto Rough Cuts.

The number of items I have to remember when leaving the house has reached crisis point. It’s got to the stage where I’m forgetting at least one of my essentials on a daily basis.

Imagine if I wore glasses. The chances of me seeing anything from one day to the next would be considerably less than 20/20.

There are two types of forgetting. There’s forgetting and there’s clean forgetting. Anyone who has ‘clean forgotten’ something demands a certain degree of sympathy given that the thing they were supposed to remember has been simply erased from their mind. Whereas by saying you’ve just ‘forgotten’ something, in light of the altogether more powerful ‘clean forgotten’, you can expect your fair share of admonishment due to the implication that there was some degree of remembering before the act of forgetting.

While part of my forgetfulness is probably down to advancing years, I’m blaming the majority of it on having too much stuff and too many places to put it.

For example I used to put everything I had to remember first thing in the morning on my bedside table last thing at night. I refer you to the list I made in the second paragraph and you will no doubt have observed that the paragraph itself barely contains the items, never mind my bedside table.

So what I’ve started doing is depositing important bits and bobs on shelves, benches, tables, ledges, drawers, pockets and boxes as and when these storage solutions present themselves to me. I do this consciously and give myself a metaphorical pat on the back, even though part of me is straining to issue a warning that I might not remember where I’ve put these items in a few hours’ time.

On Sunday afternoon I spent more than 45 minutes looking for my company mobile phone. I tried ringing it but then realised I didn’t know the number off the top of my head. I remembered I’d written down the number on a Post It note, but rather handily, I’d left it in work.

Because there’s two imps in the house my search took me beyond the usual locations to places where little hands oft wander. I searched under the bed, in bins, in the washing machine and behind the sofa. Having drawn a blank and blamed Lucy for the phone’s disappearance I was preparing to send her to bed without any supper when it dawned on me the phone may be in the pocket of the hoodie I’d been wearing that morning. By jingo it was and boy did I laugh, but only after apologising profusely to Lucy and her mother who’d been left on her own with two wailing children as I plundered through the house for my missing phone.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s column. I had a much better idea for a column about Skeletor as a positive role model. I’d sketched out a detailed plan on the back of an envelope, but I’ve clean forgotten where I put it.