Day Five on the Lower Level: The Guest Bed Emerges

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.)

Clearing the Lower Level — Day Four

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…

Clearing the Lower Level — Day Three

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!

Clearing the living space on the lower level…

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.


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:


  • 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?

Resolutions — We’ll see.

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.

Credit where credit is due

This post is dedicated to my hard-working husband, my partner in decluttering, care taking and the maintenance of sane living spaces.

From May to October, our region is subject to wildfires.

So each spring, homeowners are required to clear from around our homes a thirty-foot radius of all yard debris: pine needles and cones, fallen branches, and of late all the flotsam and jetsam left by the felling and chain sawing of hundreds of drought-killed trees in our village alone.  At first the debris is damp, but by June any mess that remains is parched tinder itching to be ignited by the smallest spark.

They start inspections in May giving out informative warnings. In the first week of July they begin their second rounds to issue citations to homeowners who have not complied.

So, from the last week of May through the third week of June, five mornings a week, before the heat of the day set in my husband hauled three wheelbarrows of debris a day up a sixty degree incline to the roadside.  During the last week of June he trimmed back branches and took out two saplings.

My photo does not do justice to his trophies: the two impressive heaps he amassed on our parking pad.  Please!   Admire them anyway…

But the best part….

I arrived home the other day to find our parking pad swept clean as a whistle.  Our Man With a Truck had come and my husband watched as his piles required TWO trips to be hauled away.

Even better than knowing he is my hero, is being able to be his own hero.

Five Things

The (roughly) Memorial Day Volunteer Fire Department Benefit Rummage Sale approaches and the slowly growing stash of culled kitchen equipment and my superfluous desk chair were all ready to go.

A couple of weeks before, faced with the realization I’d developed active distaste for an old research  topic, I purged a section of my office bookshelf and found that four of the relevant background books were acceptable for Amazon’s trade-in program!  Off they went.

This success fired me up to amass a bagful of I’ll-never-read-these-agains with which I planned to tempt the interest of our local used book shop.  My husband found himself caught up in the wave and added an old c.d. of his own to the stash!  Our book shop accepted more than two thirds of the books and his c.d. for credit…

(So it was that he too experienced the sweetness of learning that his discard is a treasure to eyes in the wider world!)

It was in the aftermath of these literary successes that I commanded gaily, “Now you must find Five Things of your own to add to this Fire Department Sale pile!”

He promptly delved into a closet and produced two superfluous functioning desk lamps, three functioning fans, a small space heater and something we think might be an air purifier.  I asked to keep the I-hope-it’s-an-air-purifier.  He decided to keep the smallest fan.

But there they were: his Five Things we’ll never think about again.

We added to the pile the set of introductory math books the bookstore hadn’t wanted and carted it all to the Firefighters’ Auxiliary this morning.