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I think cleaning would be easier if I really had a place to put *stuff*. Currently, all of the *places* to put *stuff* are full of *stuff*, so at some point, I have to get rid of some *stuff*.

And I am a notorious pack-rat. Or more like a pack-capybara. I need to take a weekend and devote it to just getting rid of stuff, and I need to do it harshly. And I know I need to do this. But somehow, I never seem to find the time or the energy, so I have *stuff* everywhere.

A lot of it is just junk. Some of it in the basement is actually trash that was in process from a prior cleaning binge that got usurped by a different project. There is actually a box that I can't reach in one of the rooms that I know is full of trash. I can see it, but in order to reach it, I'd have to move a bunch of *stuff*.

Sometimes I just want to get a big dumpster and toss everything and start new. And other times, I make a concerted effort, but before long I'm getting nostalig about the toy truck that was gonna be a robot project, and the empty freon tanks that were gonna be air concentrators for an automation system, or the stereo that I really should fix some day...

We should hold a garbage sale. Buit that would involve a hell of a lot of work, not to mention the sorting and moving and cleaning up and so on. And there's a lot of ebay-ready stuff, but there's still the sorting and cleaning and all. And I haven't yet managed to do that little thing.

Oh, I've done pieces here and there. Like the lavender room, where I installed shelves and actually put *stuff* on them. Or the laundry room, which I moved a bunch of crap out of when it flooded and actually threw away a bunch of old clothes that were beyond resurrection. But there's still too much *stuff*.

Barb brought up the idea of renting a storage locker. I bristle at that, because it would just become a place to put more *stuff*, and I want to get rid of *stuff*.

Like right now the studio is full of *stuff*. So full, I can't use it for anything. It became the depository for Barb when she needed to put something someplace else "temporarily". But the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" comes into play, and stuff never leaves. It just becomes *stuff*.

I need to start with one room. Probably the old coal room in the basement. It's full of *stuff* that I haven't even seen in a couple of years, and I should just cut through it with a big trash bin and start hauling. Then I could put in shelves. And it would become the catalyst: I could start sorting through the *stuff* to find the things I really wanted to keep, and get rid of the rest in some sort of sloughing frenzy. Ebay or the highway.

Of course, in a practical sense, I need the studio to be operational first. Which means that I need to shuffle things around like one of those anagram-square games where there is one empty slot and you keep sliding things around until they make a picture. And I need to throw stuff out.


I wish I had a little disintegrator ray gun.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 29th, 2003 11:51 am (UTC)
I have an idea -
have a weekend-long, group cleaning party.
Invite your friends over, have a dumpster ready, and you and Barb just sit on the lawn near the dumpster.
Your friends go in and bring out *stuff* and if you can't come up with a good reason to keep it - in the dumpster it goes!

- You'd have a lot more hands to do the work.
- It'd be a party atmosphere, or at least a moving-party atmosphere.
- You'd have people to question your need to keep *stuff*.
Aug. 29th, 2003 01:05 pm (UTC)
Oooh, but that would mean actually letting people inside our house. And I'm afraid we might lose someone, or someone may be eaten by rats or capybaras.
Aug. 29th, 2003 11:53 am (UTC)
As a woman currently in the process of packing, and about to head out the door with two HUGE bags of clothing designated for Goodwill, you have my complete sympathy. How the hell did we get this much *stuff*?
Aug. 29th, 2003 12:09 pm (UTC)
Confessions of a recovering pack rat.
I have done now three (count 'em, THREE) ruthless closet jihads and I still have too many clothes. It's time for another one.

Here is the method I used to get over my mother's pack-rat teachings:
I sort my stuff into piles. One pile: Garbage. Second pile: Donations. Third pile: Conflicted.

Garbage is easy: anything that can't be salvaged, or had been at one time salvaged but never put to its intended use. Donations is a little harder, because it's useful stuff, just not useful to me... at least in the immediate future. Conflicted is for things with sentimental value (this pile is often clothes that I love but can't squeeze into any more or things that were gifts), or that I want to use for something, but don't have a scheduled use for.

I get rid of the garbage and donation piles. Now I'm down to 1/3 my former not-using stuff amount. I then put all the conflicted things in a box. I put the box in the closet. If I don't open that box ever to retrieve something within the next month or so: it all gets donated/tossed.
Aug. 29th, 2003 01:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Confessions of a recovering pack rat.

Yeah, but that's work. I just want it to magically disappear.

I know I have to do it. I just have to actually do it instead of thinking about it.
Aug. 29th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC)
Friend of mine did this once. She had a 'get it the hell out of my house' party. She had pizza, beer, a room full of crap. JUst a room, no tables, no nicey nicey display. Just a room. People went in and came out with stuff. The only rule is it had to leave with you that night. The next day she shoved (and I mean shoved) it all in boexes and had goodwill pick it up.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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