27 April 2007

Stage 5: Acceptance

I'm not going to finish this project this week. But I've accepted that fact, and the acceptance has made the going easier.

A neutral observer would likely point out that by Wednesday afternoon it was clear I wasn't going to finish. I didn't actually accept that myself until about eight-thirty Thursday morning, when I was still sitting in the waiting room for a 0800 appointment for my annual physical (which I did not schedule myself and was a bit peeved about). At that point, I decided I would probably not do anything on Thursday, and that there was thus no chance, none whatsoever, that I would finish cleaning/decluttering this week. And then I had a lot less stress.

Of course, a cynical observer would point out that there was never any realistic chance I would finish this task this week. I must have felt this way myself, since I wouldn't have asked for seven days of leave to do it if I thought I could do it in five. Oh well. I'll take a week in May and finish. Possibly the week after next, depends on how many other people will be in the office.

But... well, let's see. The living room and dining room and done and the kitchen is at least half done. Both bathrooms are done, although the shower room needs a good mopping out and I didn't clean that toilet (it's not that bad, though; I actually clean my toilets from time to time; I'm not disgusting, I tend to keep my house moderately clean. It's the clutter that's been the problem, because with all the clutter I was unable to maintain cleanliness). The kitchen is more than half done, I just need to go through the cabinets and get rid of excess stuff. Then maybe I can rip out the floor and redo the kitchen...

I moved everything out from along the back wall of the bedroom and sorted it into trash/give away/sell piles. I've completely gone through both dressers and about two-thirds of the closet (I'll get to the rest after lunch). I have one 13-gallon trash bag full of throw-aways. I have two such bags full of clothes to give away to the Salvation Army, plus a smaller bag of uniform items to take to the Airman's Attic. And I have two more bags full of clothes to sell on eBay or craigslist. This is roughly equal to the total quantity of clothes I am keeping. Really. And there are several things that have been set aside into a special part of the closet for consideration for another purge this summer.

I gotta tell you, it feels good. It doesn't feel great yet, but it feels good. It'll feel great once I get all the trash out of the house--right now there's one giant box full of trash, plus three more bags and a stack of smaller boxes, as well as several bags full of bags, all to be either thrown away or recycled (unless someone on craigslist claims the paper sacks), and that's taking up a lot of space. I can get rid of the donation items on Saturday and Monday, and I plan to start selling stuff as soon as there's enough floor space available to take pictures--hopefully this afternoon, although I have to do about seven loads of laundry since most of it was sitting in boxes and is dusty and filthy.

The desk is hideous, an unapproachable and unforgiveable rat's nest. It's also where I've been throwing stuff I don't know what to do with. It will take two or three days to get through all of it. I was afraid of that from the start, and I've been putting it off. I knew the closet and dressers wouldn't be fun, either, but I was at least looking forward to those; the desk... I'd like to pay somebody to come clean off my desk. Not that I'm unwilling to part with the stuff that's on it; no, it's just that, I mean, damn, it's filthy. There's so much dust on that desk I could burn it for energy and power the entire house for two days. Hmm, a dust-to-energy converter. What an intriguing concept.

Still, although the job is not done, I've definitely made measurable progress. Once stuff is moved out of the house I can really clean, get in and clean the baseboards and stuff. And move furniture around in the bedroom. And maybe redo the kitchen. Hmm... I think I'm starting to see why I haven't done this before.

1 comment:

ty said...

Well, congrats anyway on making progress. I have done a couple of those and ended up with nothing more than an even larger mess than I started with.

Who knew that the purging process was such a great release? The Salvation Army is happy when I come around. And I am certainly happy when I leave.

And I think that the rings are forever entombed at the bottom of Lake Hartwell. I think they got hurled as soon as they were cool enough to touch.