Who knows where it comes from, but it has been a smelly summer.
Trips to the dump, trips up and down to the loft and in and out the many dusty, dirty crevices of our house.
But still it keeps coming. Who knew you could accumulate so much junk, so quickly?
We are drowning under the deluge of the daily rubbish that clogs up drawers and cupboards but deciding what to keep and what to chuck has caused all manner of domestic consternation.
We managed to agree to keep the passports and birth certificates, but when do you bin sentiment and become really ruthless?
I see no issue in ditching the cinema tickets from a third date – first trip to the cinema! – but can't bear to part with the hospital band I sported during the birth of my children.
Upon such thorny subjects lie the disagreements over what is junkable and what is keepable.
I put it in the recycling. The Man sneaks it out and puts it on the other pile.
The one on the dump run gets the last laugh.
Someone keeps sneaking a child off the junk pile because, at the last check, they were both still here, despite offering serious nuisance value.
But it was books that were my first love. I have always been able to escape with a good read.
This summer I have been at risk of losing myself in the piles of books that have towered in just about every room. But we are falling out of love because they just will not give me my own space.
They are taking over, their thick spines mocking a former life, when devouring a book in one sitting as rain battered at the windows was the perfect way to spend a day off.
There is a therapy, apparently, in decluttering.
It will be refreshing to see the (original) colour of the carpet in every room, but with children protesting their deep attachment to 'cherished' toys that have laid long forgotten in the dank corners of a toy box, it is a job that is taking far more time than was ever intended.
The satisfaction of seeing the finished article seems like an appallingly long way off, since the more we shift the more stuff seems to slide into its place.
The sweat and toil will be worth it - we hope.
And woe betide the first one whose name appears on the sharp brown box of an Amazon delivery...