Thinking outside the box

A ladder leading up to a loft.

I braved the loft at the weekend. Going up there to find something or, more likely, to go and get something else out of the boys’ way lest it be destroyed, really ought to be no more than a five-minute job. It never is, however. I always get distracted while I’m up there.

Last time my prolonged visit was due to temporarily removing the ladder so a large box could pass through and a subsequent episode in which I ended up stranded. Kate couldn’t pass it back up to me immediately as she was laughing too much. This time, the procrastination was created by a minor epiphany. We always keep the large boxes things come in for when we eventually move house. This pointed to the fact that we have amassed a hell of a lot of stuff since we moved in.

We arrived one month before Dylan was born and there’s a direct correlation between the amount of cardboard and the fact we have children. Seriously, it’s like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark up there!

It’s a good job that, despite owning three containers that were once home to car seats, we don’t actually own a vehicle. The space outside our house is pretty much reserved for the friendly folk at Parcelforce. I think I could probably recognise all of the drivers in our area, such is the frequency with which we see them on our doorstep.

This got me thinking about how much money we must have spent since becoming parents. In short, I’ve got no idea, but it must be well into the thousands already. And this bearing in mind the fact that we have never spent beyond our means. We have also received plenty of hand-me-downs from my sister who had kids first.

The inside of a warehouse.

I resorted to the internet to try and find out how much a typical family spends and found this news story, which I must have missed last week. In my defence, it was published on Kate’s birthday and I’d taken her out for the day.

Apparently, the average cost of raising a child to the age of 21 is now £222,000. Ouch. Just as well I only took her and left the boys with my parents! The survey makes certain presumptions that don’t apply to everyone. I know a good few of them aren’t correct of us, anyway. But that’s still quite a slap in the pocket. Not that I would ever begrudge spending a single penny of it though.

Even so, I think I may have to revisit my epiphany loft – which is like the Janitor’s epiphany toilet in Scrubs, in many ways, minus the trousers at half mast – and think of some ways of saving money here and there. Essentials are essentials though so I’m sure the friendly faces of the aforementioned delivery drivers will remain a regular and welcome fixture.

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.


  1. TheBoyandMe

    Our loft is a nightmare. Every year or so I get my mum over to look after The Boy, and I go up there with Mr. TBaM to organise and sort it out. Every time I am shocked into how much crap we have: we’ve kept all The Boy’s toys and clothes because we want another child and it may be a boy; I’m not a classroom teacher at the moment but may be one day again, so can’t bin all of that; I’m not prepared to bin my old stuff from before we married; I don’t want to bin toy packaging boxes because they add to resale value. Basically, there’s a lot of crap up there!

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