Hiring a skip can be a hugely satisfying and enjoyable way for any pensioner to get rid of decades of rubbish from their home.

Traditionally, skips are delivered several hours before you get up, demolishing any wall surrounding your property and being carefully sited to completely block access to the garage.

With the exception of hazardous items such as wind chimes, Michael Bubble CDs and home-made muffins, anything can be put into a skip – although some care should be exercised if filling with rotting animal carcasses or legwarmers.

Large items should be broken up before loading, but where this is impractical – for example, with bank vaults, Henry Moore sculptures and home-made muffins – they should be placed at the base of the skip and hidden with carpets, duvets and shell suits.

Giving a little thought to the actual loading sequence will enable the skip to be filled to its maximum capacity without the need to balance your broken grandfather clock on top of your broken oil heater on top of your broken water butt.

Once you’ve phoned to arrange collection, you can confidently expect the skip lorry to be reversing through any undamaged part of your wall within three minutes, and an experienced driver can also manoeuvre his vehicle so that the chains used to hoist the skip swing through your ground floor windows and concuss anyone hoovering, painting a picture rail or feeding a caged bird.