24 April 2007

Timing is Everything

Or nothing...

I took a week off from work this week. My house has become inexcusably cluttered, along with parts of my life. My closet overfloweth. My kitchen has been reduced to perhaps three-fifths its actual size. The entire back wall of my bedroom is a clutter of boxed and bagged things I haven't looked at in a year, things I probably meant to take to the trash or Goodwill or something in the past but at this point it's just taking up space. Lots of space. I have to keep my underwear and socks on top of the dryer because they don't fit in any drawers. I have cable and phone bills from 2003. I have a copy of the lease from the house I rented in Del Rio, Texas. No portion of my desk is remotely usable.

I have been planning to reduce this clutter for some time. I was thinking about it while in Djibouti. But it's a big job, too big for a weekend, or even a couple of weekends. I had hoped to take seven workdays off--this week, plus next Monday and Tuesday--but in order to do that I also had to take leave on Saturday and Sunday, despite the fact that I'm going to be in Tampa the entire time. So I decided to just take the week. It won't be enough time.

Yesterday I managed to clean and declutter most of the living and dining rooms. There's still clutter, mainly in the form of CDs and books (I'm planning to sell things I never listen to/read) and the stupid cable modem that I need to just go ahead and buy a wireless router for, but it's a vast improvement.

And now I'm sick.
How? Why? I don't get it. Smittygirl had a touch of something Sunday and yesterday and we've both been sneezing up a storm because of some late-season allergies (last gasp of spring, I suppose). I may have caught what she had, but who knows? Right now mainly my throat just hurts. A lot. It hurt so much I couldn't sleep. I didn't get to sleep until after four this morning... and of course I was up by eight. I had hoped to clean and declutter the kitchen and bathrooms today... but I can tell you right now that's not going to happen. I'm going to clean the bathrooms. The kitchen is a bigger job than I'd expected. I'll start on it, but there's just so much damned stuff in there. The bedroom and closet I'm not even ready to look at.

I hope I feel better tomorrow. Yesterday, just from the living and dining rooms (the two cleanest/least cluttered rooms), I threw out four full bags of trash and old junk and moved another boxfull of junk into the bedroom for further sorting later this week. Today if I get to the kitchen, I know at a minimum I'm going to be throwing out a set of bifold doors, a gigantic bag of grocery sacks (plastic and paper, they're going to Publix for recycling), and a few ancient containers of protein and other stuff--and that's assuming I don't start going through the cupboards. Do I need 37 coffee mugs? I don't even drink coffee!

Those of you who've visited my house in the past can vouch for the unnecessarily large quantity of old junk therein. I've been hoping to follow the Thoreauvian imperative, the Quaker testimony of simplicity, the Freecycle way. Whether I manage to get it done this week or not, I hope that the next time folks come down to visit, there'll be a bit more breathing space here, and a bit more space in my mind as well. We'll see.


Lucky Bob said...

Hey man. I'll be the first to admit I clutter. I usually let it sit until I get fed up and throw a bunch of stuff away. I cracked Ty up when we were moving. My parents and family came to help. My Mother thought it wouldn't take that long. Just over halfway through Mom turned to me and said, "You've got so much 'stuff'." I turned to her and said, "And do you know where most of this 'stuff' came from." She said, "YES." I said, "That's why I keep telling you to quite buying me 'stuff'." Ty almost lost it. That was right before he threw his knee out trying to pick up the watermelon. Good times.

tyler said...

I find the setting of small but still monumental goals helped me. Such as clearing out enough room for an air mattress in the back room. Nevermind that everything just moved to the dining room. There's nothing to see there.

I feel your pain though man. At least you have closets. Good luck Smitty!

Ayzair said...

What, no giant, precipitously leaning pile of newspapers dating back to college?

AMS said...

Ha-ha-ha. I have an attic =)

Rambling Speech said...

Ha-ha-ha, I have a storage facility. That's a bit cluttered, I admit. And I'll fess up to somehow being cluttered and still moving all belongings every 13 weeks or so.

Good luck with the decluttering. Keep your receipt to goodwill- it's tax deductable.