As I slowly edge towards retirement (sooner rather than later, please) and my kids are becoming adults, my thoughts turn to the need for purging. In my mind’s eye, I survey my home and reflect on just how much crap we have accumulated over the past 20+ years we have lived the hell out of this house.
Is it age? Mortality? Is it the desire to simplify? Or do I want my house to look like the pages of a magazine or HGTV show? Is it perfection I seek? Or do I just want to be one of those carefree people who welcome people into their home without worry?
Truth be told, I was raised by a clutterer. Not a hoarder. Just an accumulator. Parts of our house were organized, but behind the scenes were many piles of good intentions. Good stuff. An overabundance of good stuff.
In order to move any further, I’m going to need a plan. A goal for today. But since it seems I was born without that gene, I’m not so sure I have it in me to formulate said plan or make that goal. I know that there’s a lot of help out there, from Marie Kon to Youtube tutorials, books and magazine articles, people who will take your money to organize your stuff, companies for hire who will essentially shovel your crap into the back of their truck and dump it in a landfill.
But it’s our stuff. A lifetime of it. And it’s not going away without a fight, this I’m sure.
I’ll start in the office. The catch-all room. I find a few bags of clothes and shoes all ready to be donated. That’s a good start. Move them to the front hall. Done.
Next, the big stuff. An occasional box of things from a car we got rid of. Or a job one of us once had. Since they’ve been in the room for a while now, the contents have lost their importance. Promptly pitch.
Then there are the things that come into this house that I have no time or desire to deal with. Junk mail. Magazines. Community newspapers and newsletters I swore I’d get to. Wrapping paper. Gift bags. PAPER. Too bad we don’t warm our house with fire. We’d be warm all winter (and yes, I know burning some of those materials are environmentally unsafe).
DVDs. VHS tapes (aren’t some of these worth money?). Old computer games for the desktop. Tons of them. Camera equipment. An old computer. A printer that stopped working for no obvious reason. Pencils, pens and the like (where are you when I need you?!). Odds and ends. Everywhere. No rhyme or reason as to how or why they are where they are. Thank God for desk drawers.
Still more paper. A couple of guitars. A violin. A ukulele case but no ukulele. An occasional guitar pick or string. Not even going into the closet today.
A couple of hours and seven bags of stuff later, it’s time to load the car and the trash can without delay and get it out of the house before anyone of reconsiders its importance. I wonder how long I’ll drive around with it in my car? Nevertheless, feeling accomplished. How many rooms to go?