The best way to recycle is never to throw anything away!

That, anyway, is my husband’s solution to the problems with over-filled rubbish dumps.

“You’d better keep it just in case,” he tells me about anything I want to toss – even if he has no idea what it is.

I hate to say this publicly, but my husband might be right!

There was an item on the news last Thursday warning us not to get rid of stuff because we never know when it is going to be valuable.

Lego sets were mentioned along with Star Wars toys and various other things.

One of the newscasters made a valid point though. She pictured Christmas morning where excited children are given scale models of the Star Wars Death Star and told: “This is for you, darling. No! You can’t open the box and play with it. We will put it away and it will be worth a lot of money in the future.”

The problem is uncertainty, of course.

When my kids were little they had brightly-coloured plastic bowls with large white polka dots on them.

They were cheap and cheerful and I mean REALLY cheap!

When the kids grew, I threw them away.

Several years later I walked into a “collectibles” shop and noticed a small display of these bowls retailing at roughly 20 times the price I had paid for them! I couldn’t believe it!

I don’t want to encourage burglars, but my house could be a veritable treasure trove.

We lived in New Zealand for 30 years and accumulated 30 years of junk.

I thought I was being absolutely ruthless in decluttering when we were coming here. We have been here 15 years – half the time we were in New Zealand and seem to have just as much, if not even more, than we did before.

So: What are these treasures? Well, I do wonder if the blue and white plates and bowls will become valuable one day.

A New Zealand supermarket chain, New World (equivalent to Tesco) offered stamps with groceries and you could buy a range of crockery. Anyone who visits from New Zealand comments on our “New World plates”.

Surely at some stage in the
future they will become valuable – if we ever return to New Zealand and everyone else has already got rid of theirs!

Okay, they might be a possibility. I can’t see it, but then, I never thought the plastic bowls had any value.

But what about the ribbons from the bouquets? What were the flowers and who sent them? Nobody knows but we had better keep them just in case.

Photographs are the worst. When my mother died I inherited not only her photos but her mother’s too.

Looking through them the first time is interesting but now what do I do with them? Hitler has left us uneasy about burning books and I think that I feel a bit the same about photos. You are burning someone’s life.

Programmes: I have programmes from anything and everything my children and grandchildren have been in even if their parts were so small they didn’t get a mention. Throwing those away is saying their efforts were worth nothing. The same goes for report cards – theirs and mine.

Our kids have never lived with us in this country but that hasn’t stopped our daughter, in particular, from using our house as a storage unit. I recently gave away most of her soft toys.

It doesn’t matter – I still have her school and university books, letters she received as a teenager, CD covers with no CDs in them, videos (we no longer have a video player) and clothes that she will never wear again.

She is so much like her father, that child!

Don’t throw them out – just in case!