Monday, October 20, 2014
An Archaeological Dig
Cleaning the basement. This has been our focus the past week in preparation for the semi-annual "Big Garbage Pick-up" in our town.
The process showed us we don't need to keep all the cartons for every darn thing we've purchased during the past ten years of living in this house. And we don't need items we haven't unpacked since moving here: bowling shoes, ski boots but no skiis, knick-knacks (when did we think those were pretty?).
Sure, we have the space to store everything we want to keep. The basement isn't used for anything except storage. And we have filled it.
But to no good end. We have forgotten what is there, can't find it, if we can remember and now feel overwhelmed with the cluttered mess lurking at the bottom of the stairs.
We threw out an embarrassingly large pile of soiled cardboard and packing stuff, nonredeemable garbage. And are waiting for the garbage pick up to remove it from our property. Bless them for offering that service.
Anything good or useful is going to a organization that resells clothing or small housewares and donates the funds to charity. Anything someone else wants goes, if they come to fetch it; one person took all our wine making equipment. A couple of kitchen gadgets we thought we had to have (but used once) are in new homes. Recyclables will go to the appropriate depositories.
We ran out of energy and ability to say yes or no to the choices by the time we hit the boxes of photos. We'll save that for sorting another time. The useless bits of wood and wall board will go to the dump when we can borrow our friend's trailer to haul the stuff away. The 10 file boxes of paperwork from our past lives will require a call to a shredding company. Hazardous waste, an old propane tank, batteries, empty paint cans will go to the HW pick up next Saturday in Riverview.
After the basement floor appeared again and we washed the dust from ourselves, we decided:
we will be discerning and disciplined about any new purchase;
we will remind ourselves that we already have everything we need;
we will enjoy the new found space in our basement and will not re-fill it.
The declutter process feels healthy and encouraging.
What's next? The upstairs den, which is the whole top floor of our house. It is a TV room, a reading room, a spare bedroom for company, a toy room and my knitting storage area.
Yikes! Another dig through dust and stuff.
Now, we have a goal and are looking forward to seeing our way though the piles, to spacious rooms and to regaining control of unhealthy accumulation.
Who knows what possibilities will open for us?
New ways of being more responsible for our lives, and perhaps downsizing to a home with less space for unneeded junk.
We can do anything we want.