Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Why We Keep Things: Part III: Pure Inertia

Here's a fun one. Guess another major reason we keep so much junk hanging around? Because we just can't seem to get off our duffs and deal with it! I have piles around the house that are things I have already made decisions about, but haven't implemented those decisions. Bags of items to be donated? Well, I tend to want to have more than one bag at a time ready to go before I take them to the thrift store. That results in bags, boxes, stacks of items that I know are going to go away but that are just sitting cluttering up my living space. Why don't I just pop that bag in the trunk when it's full? I drive right past two thrift stores on my way to most of my errands, how hard would it be to take an extra two minutes and drop those items off?

Also, think about how we deal with items that are borrowed or that we mean for others to have. My FIL likes to listen to books on tape in his car, and he only has a cassette deck. I have had a book on tape sitting around in various places in my house for a couple of YEARS meaning to send it to him. Now, it's in a small box and in my to-be-mailed pile. A couple of things like these aren't a big deal. When you have enough to fill a large laundry basket, well, you have a problem.

Today, Clutter Buddy and I worked over here at my house. She generously gave me her "time off" (that is, her time while her little ones are watched by a friend). We tackled a portion of the basement--the notorious bottom-of-the-stairs. If you'll recall, I discussed this part of the house before, with pictures. Well, that pile just seems to reappear! It's supposed to be where the donations to go OTD go, but it seems to grow. I had a metal rolling shelf unit that tucked between the wall and the support pillar. It was supposed to be where donations and things to be returned would go, but other stuff seemed to end up there, gosh, wonder why? All those lovely flat surfaces, of course! CB insisted that it had to go out to the garage, after, of course, we cleared it off.

What was on it? Well, mostly items that belong to or are meant for, other people. So, CB asked for bags and a Sharpie, and she labeled the bags and we went through the items, one by one, and put each person's stuff in their bags. Things that need to be mailed went to my mailing center on/near my desk.

The actual pile at the bottom of the stairs turned out to be mostly donations, with a "scary" bag mixed in for good measure. The scary bag was a stash & dash from the kitchen junk drawer (which, as you know, is no longer a junk drawer because I installed a sorted tray and keep it nice and tidy, yes I do!). In there were a postcard and letter from my mom (tears), lots of bits and pieces like rubber bands, pens without caps, those little plastic things that keep bags of bread closed, and crayons. One of the crayons was from Tony Roma's, where we'd dined with my mom on her last visit to me here, in November. Tears, many many tears. Man, I couldn't stop crying. Bless CB's heart, she let me cry and then suggested we take a break.

Here's how that space looks now. It's storage for the extra carseat.

1 comment:

Wabash Cannonball said...

My husband and I have always joked about Inertia. That indeed, she is a 500 lb weighty mass that sits upon you and prevents you from doing things like, say, cleaning the dining room table or going through the paperwork from five years ago. She convinces you, like a nice warm blanket, to stay where you are, because it's comfy.

I am glad you were able to get Inertia off your back for at least a little while. It inspires me.