Well, snowfall is predicted for tomorrow nite here in Chicagoland. I haven’t driven a car in snow in 10 years and I wasn’t good at it then, so I’m not happy. I especially loathe chipping ice off my windshield before I can drive to work in the mornings. My sweet brother said I could park in the garage, but I have to make a space for the car; so I hauled a waist-high cardboard box into the kitchen today and unpacked it. The newspaper inside was dated “Thursday, April 13, 2000”. That means it was a box from before I got married to Driftwood, even. That’s 15 years ago!
Now that I am a 48-year old grown woman, I can admit that I have a Clutter Problem, probably more like a Clutter Addiction. Things have strong sentimental significance for me and I want to keep them forever. Hence a 2400 square foot home full of boxes and plastic containers of
shit random objects. It is simply not normal to keep a box in storage for 15 years.
A dashiki? Seriously? Am I really going to wear this again? Question: To what sort of function and/or hang-out would one wear a dashiki? Please comment!
I seem to remember that there was a public outcry in the late 90’s about “kids these days” being disrespectful to the American flag by wearing flag patches on their bluejeans. In response, lawmakers tried to outlaw wearing the flag, to make it a misdemeanor punishable by paying a fine. Of course, everybody and their dog needed flag-wear after that. I bought this beautifully crafted vest for one dollar because I thought it was hysterical, just so over the top. I figured I could wear it on the Fourth of July. You should know I own enough costumes to open a small shop.
The box also contained part of my very first slutty pirate costume which I bought from Frederick’s of Hollywood when I was too young to be buying that sort of thing.
My gym shorts from college, 1988, a school that doesn’t even exist anymore because they changed their name. The elastic waist band practically disintegrated when I tugged on it, but I wanted to save a memento from my college days.
There were a lot of clothes that fell apart when I opened them, so I did put those items directly into the trash. The 1990 Rivka would have cut them into fabric squares for a quilt or an art project; but the 2015 Rivka let them go.
Next layer down was shoes, a dozen pairs of 20 year old shoes. Most of the shoes were cheap crap from Payless Shoe Store that had cost me less than $20 when they were new. Those cheap shoes were all semi-melted and crooked, unable to be salvaged in any way – and here I had kept them in a very large box for 20 years. I had paid monthly storage fees to keep those mangled shoes. They all went directly into the trash, except one: a Barbie pink pair of short stillettos. I couldn’t toss those out yet.
Shoes, shoes… I even had a pair of my grandmother’s Mary Janes and she’s been dead since 1999, but I’m keeping those. (sentimental value)
How ’bout these booties? I put them on and the plastic heels crumbled like an old doughnut. I can replace that part for about $3 bucks and clean the leather uppers, but can I really walk in these pointy stiletto heels? I have old lady feet now.
When I was done throwing the mangled shoes into the trash and separating the clothing items that I was willing to donate, I saw that I still had a very large pile of “Keep” items. This is unacceptable. This is what it means to have a Clutter Addiction: even when you sort through your stuff, in your delusions, you still see it as valuable or having emotional significance and you choose yet again to keep it, to store it, to hoard it.
****But I am a new woman, so I dove back in.
Attempt #2: I tossed out more shoes. I added several items to the “Donate” pile. I put a white cotton nightgown from Lanz of Salzburg into my hamper. Gee, I used to have really nice things. I would love to have some jammies that did not come from Wal-Mart. When did I stop spending $90 on a nightgown? Oh yeah, that was when my mommy paid for my clothes, before I went to college.
I admitted that I was not going to lose 100 pounds of fat before the end of winter, therefore, the ski-wear and snowpants that I had placed in the “Keep” pile needed to be moved to the “Donate” pile. Otherwise, I would be storing them for yet another 12 months until the next winter season.
One box down. Eighty-five hundred to go.
“Clutter & Decluttering.” is copyright © 2015 by Poorkitteh. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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