Today my husband loaded those broken down cardboard boxes into the back of the Jeep Patriot and I delivered them to the enormous dumpsters at the recycling center.
After I returned home, we filled the back of the Patriot with broken flower pots, a cracked fifty gallon plastic drum, a sack filled with broken down looseleaf binders and a smattering of styrofoam peanuts, old plastic tubs, a broken set of wind chimes, a broken lamp, a broken tea table and… the gigantic business sign from the remedial reading center, a valiant business effort my husband’s deceased first wife attempted years ago. We took it all to the dump.
I was exhausted and fell asleep almost as soon as we got home.
A young friend, forced into shoveling clutter at a tremendous rate in order to move house on short notice, texted us to touch base.
We sent virtual hugs.
Then I texted back:
“When Anger grows stronger than Fatigue, STOP.”
She promised she and her husband would do just that.
Tomorrow I will clear and sort stuff from that last shelf…
It’s Total Eclipse Day.
We watched on television.
Then we went to see Dunkirk.
Then it was time to find some closure.
Just simple, repetitive, box-breaking
Over and over and over
Battling all stray notions that some of those boxes will be JUST PERFECT someday for something
Because they certainly will not.
There they are.
HELLO Long Buried Bed!
Tomorrow we return to actual decluttering as we head to the recycling center to discard the boxes and to the dump with a load of trash from the garage and back deck… (And there are still some shelves to clear.)
Overflowing boxes no longer fill my lower level living space! I’ve condensed, repacked, and hauled them all up onto the storage platform.
The carpet bears the imprint of their long slumber.
At the far end of the room the guest bed lies buried beneath the empties. Tomorrow I will stow or discard these.
There is still much stuffed into shelves I need to take down and store. But now I truly believe I will have this job finished before another week ends.
And guess what!
I found the drill bits my husband mislaid three months ago! Right there! Jumbled into a box close to the top of a pile…
Today’s featured image displays FLOOR SPACE! A clear path from the back to the front of the room with room to move around in. That’s huge!
Today was “shoving big things around” day with the net result that yesterday’s hard work of “clearing things” is now evident.
In the background left of this picture, is a tall shelf that had been smack in the middle of the room, its base buried in boxes. I cleared it off. My husband moved it to the back wall where it now houses two boxes of stuff intended for specific recipients. Not Clutter. The bed in the righthand background is covered in actually empty boxes. They will either be filled or whisked to storage or recycling. Not Clutter.
Notice the bare wood atop the stair step shelf in the left foreground! And in the right foreground is my work table, pictured more clearly in the featured image. Not Clutter.
Here is an example of how to clear carpet space in the main room quickly.
Get all of the precious ancient computer bits which MUST be reviewed and evaluated SOMEDAY up off the floor and onto the storage platform. Then get the broken chairs that somebody ought to repair SoMeDaY out of the line of traffic until “someday” arrives.
Today’s first box contained the dregs of an historic bathroom cupboard. I dumped five half empty bottles of cologne. My hands still smell amazing. I’ll be showering with Old Spice to round out the bouquet!
It’s a bigger job than it looked at first, this shifting of impacted clutter from a teetering sprawl blanketing the open spaces of an otherwise usable room, to stacks of boxes in the storage area.
Here’s a crater I’ve opened up by removing boxes and junk from the midst of the stacks.
I’m irritated and exhausted after today’s session. It feels as though I’m never going to get this stuff stashed.
But here’s the new façade I constructed in the storage area today to obscure yesterday’s wall.
If we look from the OTHER end of the room one begins to see carpet and the fruit of my labor becomes more evident.
Tomorrow I plan to empty this shelf system of its mess.
Wish me luck!
Here’s the deal.
I’m not allowed to decide anything about the disposition of a single morsel of my husband’s precious stuff. Nope. I may not presume to discern the relative value between (a) gold (plated banjo tuner) and an unopened advertisement for a life insurance policy.
I’m Not Allowed to Decide About Anything.
AND THAT’S OKAY.
As you can see in the featured image, this array of treasure is currently in jumbled heaps tumbling from an array of bags and boxes all over the finished room on our lower level.
AND What I AM allowed to do is:
REPACK IT AND HIDE IT
- I may wrestle the escaping stuff into containers without sorting the stuff into categories!
- I may fasten the boxes shut; but I don’t have to label them because it would be impossible anyway…
- I may stack the boxes on the platform of the adjoining storage area; my only concern being to fit them together in stable stacks.
This is actually pretty easy and a nice light weight training exercise.
How’m I doing?
I have two weeks of almost clear vacation time to work on projects.
A few years ago, over a period of several months, I emptied our lowest level of a shoulder high wall of clutter, the residue of my husband’s deceased first wife’s private and professional endeavors. I had it cleared, except for a few things belonging to other people, down to the carpet. This post’s “featured image” is a document of that accomplishment.
My husband decreed that he wanted that space for his projects and promptly filled it up again with a mountain of overflowing bags and boxes of the unsorted archives of three of his ongoing (and dormant) endeavors.
Almost equally promptly he decided he didn’t like to work in that space — bad lighting, bad acoustics…. ???
“Well,” I said to myself, “I have projects and activities which would work quite well down there!”
So I have secured permission (ALWAYS secure Permission — even if it’s only token permission) to sort, pack up and label his archives — as long as I don’t actually discard anything!!!!! — and move it into the storage area. (Clearing out that storage area was my second huge accomplishment. We did some of that clearing together.)
And now you can guess of the most physical of my vacation goals.
Stay tuned for reports.