2015: The Year of Decluttering

So, when I ventured to tell Elrond Hubby that I wanted to make 2015 THE YEAR OF DECLUTTERING, he said, “What?”

I repeated my goal.

“I heard you,” he said, “I just couldn’t believe my ears!”

Yes, I have a clutter problem.  Or rather, WE have a clutter problem.  Elrond Hubby moved to where I live last spring.  For the previous 5 years, he was in the city where we used to live together, still going to school, while I had moved to this new place working at my current job.  In 5 years, we accumulated a lot of individual household stuff that we wouldn’t have needed if we’d lived together, like pots and pans, furniture, and just all the little stuff that makes a home a home.  So, there’s all that.  And our apt. here is smaller than the one where he was living, so we are feeling the squeeze of too much stuff!

The clutter issue was compounded in 2013 when my dad passed away just a couple of months after my brother passed away, and I got all my dad’s stuff (no sibling to split stuff with, you see).  My dad had A LOT of stuff.  He had a clutter problem, too.  Then, you know, it’s hard to get rid of stuff right after someone passes away.

In the country where Elrond Hubby grew up, friends and family members come into a loved one’s house after his or her spouse has passed away and do some of that first round of cleaning for them.  When his dad passed away, his mom’s sisters came in and took all his dad’s clothing out of the house.  Hearing that made me gasp, but I can kind of understand that doing so can help a person stop dwelling on the death of a loved one and maybe remember them in a different way.  We have been dealing with my dad’s stuff little by little, but some of the more mundane things are triggering less emotion in me now, so I’m ready to let them go.

SO, 2015 has become the YEAR OF DECLUTTERING.  I already started a bit in December when I bought a scanner that scans front and backs of pages and holds 25 pages at a time.  I’ve already scanned about 86 different documents.  We shred most things, but our shredder is about broken, so I need to get a new one!

We also have about 700 DVDs from my dad’s place, a room full of books that is bursting at the seams (grad school, plus I worked in a bookstore for several years), folders with class notes, that endless supply of piles of paper that seem important to keep at the time, and a bunch of clothes that we need to sell, consign, or just donate.  Oh, and yarn.  I go through periods of buying a lot of yarn and other craft/knitting/crocheting stuff.  So now I’m making an afghan.  Pics will be posted when I’m done!

I think clutter helps me stay invisible.  I hide behind stuff instead of dealing with it, accumulate stuff because it makes me feel good.  This year, I’m trying to stop that!

The FlyLady has a great site for helping people take control of their homes.  I would like to follow her daily plans for ridding oneself of CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome), but mostly I don’t.

So, I plan to post weekly how I’m doing and see if anyone wants any of our stuff.  We will probably dispense with stuff locally, but if we can’t, or feel it’s more valuable to an audience online, then we might try to sell it on eBay or use PayPal for an exchange or something like that.

Movies gone through this week:  about 150.  94 will go.  56 will stay.  There are some gems in the ones we will keep, such as George Lucas’ THX 1138, and the extended DVD set of Once Upon a Time in the West, and the 70s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

I found this app to help manage the list:  Libib.  I don’t know all its features yet, but it seems useful so far.

Here’s our site on Libib, if you want to see the movies we are getting rid of.  If you feel strongly about wanting any of them (most are pretty generic), please let me know!

Here’s a summary of January so far:

# Docs scanned:  86

# Movies divided into “keep” and “go”:  150

# Trash bags of paper recycled:  0 (working on filling up one bag)

# Skeins of yarn used:  2

Other stuff given away or recycled:  1 box magazines!

No progress on the things below, but I’m working on them!

# Books read & passed on:  0

# Knitting/crocheting projects completed: 0

# Clothes consigned: 0

# Clothes donated: 0

Don’t be invisible!  Big hugs to all!


The Bloggess and Loss

Our lovely interweb friend, The Bloggess, lost a dear family member recently.  If you have a moment, you might go over to her site and leave a message of condolence.  Then read from her archives about Beyonce the giant metal chicken and laugh, because you’ll need to laugh.

On this topic, I feel like my family has had many losses over the last few years.  Is this just part of “middle age” (a term I HATE)–losing people and trying to survive?  First, it was our two cats, two years apart (one in 2010, the other in 2012); I know, you may think, they’re only cats, but they were our babies and it was incredibly tough. Then, my granny passed away.  Then the awesome sister of my former stepdad the asshole; I still call her Aunt.  Then my great uncle.  Then last year, my brother, only 1.5 years older than me.  He had mesothelioma, a horrible form of cancer (subject of another post).  Three months later, our father.  WTF, world?

Of course, I wasn’t always close to all of these people, but it seems like a lot of shit to happen in 3 years, doesn’t it?  I could write more about each of them, but I have to go to work now.  However, on a funny note, writing this reminds me of the late, great George Carlin’s bit about how we talk about death.  It’s always with euphemisms:  “passed away,” “lost,” “went to a better place.”  Is this how we deal with the horrible reality?

I don’t believe in the concept of heaven, though I often wish I could.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see those we love again?  But how would we deal with running into those we hate, people we made fools of ourselves in front of, or people who hate us?  Would it be like the awkward thing that happened to me yesterday when a mean woman at work saw me at a meeting, where we were all dressed up to meet a bigwig, and said, “Ohhh, look, you’re wearing one of those bandage dresses.”  No, hey, nice dress, no, what a pretty color, just an observation in a tone that implied she was envious or disapproved or whatever.  I hate people like that and the jellyfish they throw at you (a term from Bridget Jones).  I don’t want to meet her in heaven.  I think I could put up with her, though, if I could see my dad or my brother or my aunt or my kitties again.  But why would heaven be just like life?  Are we each supposed to have our own personal heaven?  If not, don’t you think it’s crowded by now?

Anyway, gotta go to work.  Gonna be late.  Again.  Thanks for reading. : )