Saturday, September 20, 2014

Decluttering Diary: Day 2

Notes from today's work:

1. You will be surprised at how much resentment and hostility you feel toward certain items in your attic, items that you yourself purchased and brought into your house.

In my particular case, I have a shoe rack I bought at Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond four or five years ago. It wasn't a great shoe rack (it was wobbly), and I used it for about a year before giving up on it. Later, I purchased an under-the-bed shoe storage case, which I like much better and do use.

So off to the attic went the shoe rack, with the idea that one day I would take it to Good Will. But then I lost one of the rack's rods, thereby making it worthless. But obviously the rod was somewhere in the attic, so the useless rack sat there, taking up space, making me hate it.

Finally, today, I found the missing rod. I plan on taking a special trip to Good Will just to dump off that stupid rack. I hope the Good Will people take one look at it and do what I lacked the courage to do: burn it.

2. You will get very, very tired of stepping on bubble wrap and scaring yourself to death.

3. Pop quiz: Say you find a small box filled with the contents of the junk drawer from your old house. Say you haven't looked in this box in seven years, ever since you packed it up and moved it to your new house.  Do you:

a. Dump the whole box into a trash bag?

b. Keep the box--one day you're going to figure out what those keys unlock?

c. Start going through the box, then halfway through realize the only sane answer is to dump the whole thing into a trash bag?

The Correct answer is (a). I chose (c). Of course.


Pom Pom said...

Ha ha ha! I can just see you, in the throws of moving, making a split second decision to dump the junk drawer in a box and label it. That's funny that it ended up in the attic! The shoe rack is funny, too! I am a HORRIBLE de-clutterer. I can't seem to make a dent in the junk and I bet it'll get worse as I get older. YIKES!

Gumbo Lily said...

Oh, you're killing me with your humor, Lefty! Of course, "A" was the right answer. I'm getting better and better at "A". Good job on getting rid of stuff!

Jo said...

If only we could all learn from your mistakes. I am afraid I would go with C too. I am a 'just in case' person.

The dB family said...

Don't feel bad! You wouldn't have been the only one who chose "c". I would have too.

magsmcc said...

Clearly on a roll, Frances! I have a few boxes from our move where I chose b. I'm getting better though- I find myself morbidly asking myself if I want the boys to have to decide something's worth in twenty-five years time, or if I should save them the bother and dump it now. Most times I do! I can't believe this is actually it for the attic.

GretchenJoanna said...

c. is always my choice, too, but I probably take a lot longer than you to get from c. to a.

You are an inspiration, truly. Your concrete and specific examples make me know that I can do *something* with at least one of my own examples right now.

Danielle said...

As you know Frances, hostility is what attempts to overwhelm me most every time I attempt decluttering. Through the years I have unleashed unkind rants upon both myself (for same reasons you list) and my poor family. It has taken me much introspection and strength to learn to tame the beast that rears its ugly head and attempts to defeat me. I have far to go, but here is what I have learnt so far:
1. One must start by first forgiving herself. It doesn't matter why you bought/kept that ... It didn't get this way overnight and it won't be magically fixed. The important thing is to get started and try (which we've done!)
2. One must find a pithy name for her beast. Names are power and this is how you start to assert control. Mine is sometimes Eustace, of Narnia fame. You and your dear followers will all understand why. But sometimes I go with Smeagol when I find my two selves battling over whatever "the precious" is at the moment. When I need to get tough, Jenny, as this was the name of a controlling bully I stood up to in HS. Whatever works for you as one must turn the tables on all the negative talk going on inside her head!
3. Less is more because you can get in and get out. Be sneaky. Don't even let your beastie have time to know what happened. Do ONE shelf, drawer, bag, box at time. ONE and DONE.
4. Listen to yourself. If you are too weary, for whatever reason, then either don't start or wrap it up early. The beastie will know and will prey upon your weakness.
5. Because you are human, accept that will violate rules 3-4 because you act in a moment of haste, think you can certainly handle multiple drawers, the entire closet, have impending company or whatever. See rule 1. FORGIVE YOURSELF for your temporary lapse of sanity!

So Frances, what will you name your beastie?

Kit said...

I have just found your blog and I am totally in love! You have me laughing and thinking and even jotting down tips for working in my basement. Thanks! Kit

Kit said...

I have just found your blog and I am totally in love! You have me laughing and thinking and even jotting down tips for working in my basement. Thanks! Kit

Tracy said...

I would always choose A. When we moved into our current home we repossessed all the things that had been in storage for 18 months. I cannot tell you how many times I opened a box and said to myself "why did I pack that??" and then just tossed it.

Always go for A.

Want me to come and help??!!

And, GO YOU! You are on a great roll and I think this time that attic of yours may actually get dealt with.