Monday, October 15, 2007

"When items go a long time unused, unloved and uncared for, they become stuck, stagnant energy that actually physically drains you of your energy." *

How is that I live in what is essentially a six-bedroom house, and have not one empty room in which to pile crap so I can move the boys into their new room and worry about the mess in the other room later?

And how did we accumulate so much crap? Hmmmm? I got rid of so much stuff when we moved four years ago – I streamlined clothes and toys and all sorts of paraphernalia. And here I am, today, with more stuff than before.

I know some of it is that we seem to be the dumping ground for H’s family’s stuff that they don’t want anymore. Much as I hate the china cabinet, it does a fine job holding my china and table linens. I appreciate the hand-me-down clothes; the hand-me-down toys, really, not so much. And I actively say no if it involves anything motorized...and still..

Some of it is that I am a child of a child of the Depression so find it extremely difficult to get rid of anything that might even remotely come in handy someday. Which is why we have three Winnie the Pooh comforters, two Bob the Builder comforters, and several extra random bed comforters, including one down one, plus myriad extra sheet sets and blankets, folded up in a cabinet in what serves as our guest room. And three boxes of glassware and mugs in the basement. Next to about four different car seats, and piles of porch furniture cushions.

Not to mention the cut-glass punch bowl with sixteen matching cups that was my mother’s, that I cannot bear to let go, even though I have never used it, not even once; the canning kettle I have used exactly once; the ice cream maker (which I actually use occasionally but takes up a lot of space); the old coffee pot that still works; the blender that SUCKS but matches my mixer and food processor; the hanging glass rack that might be cute if we ever get around to punching that hole in the dining room/kitchen wall; the three glow-in-the-dark skeletons Primo and I trashpicked for Halloween decorations; and a boxful of a variety of leftover paper goods (three Thomas the Tank Engine plates, a pack of Bob the Builder napkins, etc.).

I cleared out what will be the baby’s room closet yesterday (the catchall for our winter coats, my maternity clothes, and H’s “extra” guitars (don’t ask)). I now have two more bags to go to Vietnam Vets – since H’s old suit has not been removed from that closet since I unpacked it into there four years ago (thank God, since it’s really ugly – he is a handsome man but his mother used to buy clothes for him, God help us all); ditto to several winter coats, a pile of size-small maternity clothes, and the four size-six skirts that I had been holding onto. I simply threw away the three bent curtain rods, the lid of a wicker basket that has long since been thrown out, and a pile of papers.

(In the plus column, I found that pair of pumps that I needed to wear with the dress I wore to the bat mitzvah in June. I kept them. They were the only thing I had missed.)

Into that closet will go the clothes – sorted by size and labeled in office-paper boxes I have been bringing home from work in droves; once the fourth baby outgrows the clothes, right to Goodwill, or the Parental Stress Center, or somewhere NOT my house. Same with the extra pack-n-play (how did we wind up with two?), the dozens and dozens of baby blankets, the two mobiles, and the baby bathtub you use for all of two or three months. I also plan to donate the boys’ sneakers they’ve outgrown, the gazillion baby hats they never wore, and all those sleepers that button up the back. The old computer monitor can go. The boxes of photo frames, stacks of old Martha Stewart magazines, and crates of LPs can be Freecycled.

Notice I mention not one word about my hundreds of books, however?

I am a hypocrite of the highest order.

But I feel better already.


* Ariane Benefit


blackbird said...

I always tell myself that I'm saving things for our 'weekend' place.
I'm not sure we'll need that crib though...

Sarah Louise said...

Faced with the window men (who have not shown up yet) working in my apt, I have had to face the amt of crap I have...

way too many shoes...

Let me know how you like MB. I haven't liked much Cushman beyond Midwife's Apprentice, which I adored.

lazy cow said...

It's amazing what books I'll part with to get me some points on Book Mooch!
I use our punch glasses for the children's drinking glasses - so pretty.
And I get rid of stuff SO fast, I actually do miss things sometimes, it's hard to get the perfect balance. We don't have much room, or wardrobe space so it helps in not getting things in the first place. I love the look of your house though.

nutmeg said...

I think moving house is always a great time to throw stuff away - we haven't moved for 8 years - yeah got to get onto ordering that skip bin :-)

And I like the sound of this bookmooch thing but I just don't think anyone would want the stuff that I could part with - hey, but who am I to make assumptions ;-) Also, all the good stuff seems to be with US moochers, most of whom won't post overseas. There's my whinge for the day off my chest.

Suse said...

Just reading that post was cathartic.

Joke said...

H. doesn't need a wife. He needs a roadie.


KPB said...

I was going to post something about - yeah, but all those comforters (are they what we call doonas?) will come in handy for the weekender, but Blackbird beat me to it.

Then I was going to post some pithy remark about being the mother to multiple boys and a husband who has spare guitars simply confirmed my suspicions that we are in fact roadies, but Joke beat me to it.

So what they said.

And dude, I am in the midst of the biggest clean out in quite some time.

I can say that borrowing the FIL's trailer, loading it to the hilt and sending the men to the tip with it was hugely cathartic.

What I have realised is that I need to do this every six months, not every six years.

Jess said...

Did you like Hill House?

I read it and thought I missed something...

KPB said...

Wait. You have six bedrooms? Oh my.


Anonymous said...

Our house doesn't have much storage space. I keep dreaming of the perfect buffet + hutch for my dining room that will be large enough for all my extra dishes and cookware and linens, but magically take up no more than one square foot.

Since that doesn't exist, they reside grumpily in the laundry room.