When in doubt . . . throw it out. Or at least find room for it in a closet. (Or -- IT TAKES STUFF TO MAKE STUFF.)

I've written here before about how the best exercise in self-loathing is probably a garage sale.  I may need to reevaluate that statement, now that I've been reminded of what is TRULY the best exercise in self-loathing:


Oh, there are similarities between the two activities, of course --
piles of stuff you've forgotten why you owned in the first place,
closets bursting with unfinished projects or abandoned interests,
a general desire to increase your organization and be a better person . . .

but the defining difference is that it's all on YOU.

No hoola-hoops, baseball mitts, or broken roller-blades.  Nothing to blame on the spouse.  Not even anything enormous but for the common good, such as a canoe or snow blower.  Just your own junk.


It's a good news/bad news position to be in, however -- I can weed out and throw away at will, with no whining or crying bursts of nostalgia or begging for a newer, better trampoline.

But on the other hand,
no one feels particularly obligated to help sift the detritus, either.

And why should they?  

(Note: I've heard talk of a possible Mother's Day related pitch-in next weekend, which, if it materializes, may prove to be one of the most valuable arguments in favor of motherhood that I can imagine . . . but I'm not holding my breath.  After all, going out to a Mexican restaurant would be more fun.) 

It doesn't help that my enormous cupboard unit went tumbling down the stairs during the attempted relocation, bursting into 5 pieces and nearly killing my son-in-law in the process. (Sorry, Jake!  Next time you come over I won't ask you to do a thing!)

Now I have fewer shelves to put stuff on, and I'm going to have to resort to using my OPEN shelving.  Which means no closed doors to hide it all behind.  Which means no fooling myself that I don't have THAT much stuff.

Which means one of two things:  

1) self-loathing on a daily basis every time I enter the room, or 
2) increased organization, which could lead to being a better person.  

You may place your bets now on which way this will go.  If you don't know me personally, I'm hoping that you will kindly give me the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's possible I COULD change.

If you do know me personally,
perhaps it's best if you abstain courteously.

Happy Moving Monday!



Karen S said...

Yikes! I did The Great Studio Cleanup last winter when I was laid off from my job for 6 weeks. Eeek! I found all kinds of cool stuff (and some that was not so cool, but we won't go there right now). The best part was that I invested in new shelving and now can find stuff. Well, some stuff. Stuff that was put away seems to have disappeared...ok -- don't know where I was going with this -- um, showing empathy! Yes! That's it. Empathy. Except that I never hurt anyone with furniture...

susan m hinckley said...

Yes, I did feel bad about Jake's scratched shoulder and his wife's near-heart-attack, because the sound of enormous cupboards crashing down the stairs is TERRIFYING! Luckily nothing was broken but the cupboard, and didn't we already establish that's probably going to force me to make some good changes? Probably?

Empathy, Karen, is all I can hope for. (Unless you want to come over and sort stuff.)

Karen S said...

Hmmm -- I just might be persuaded to do that -- will there be coffee cake? Just remember, according to Karen's Laws of Physics -- stuff expands to fill the space available. So the corollary is: new stuff will always replace old stuff. You decide.

Judy said...

This reminds me of how I used to think that when the kids moved out that the house would always be clean. Not. I realized that I cleaned when they were home to make them feel guilty about their own messes. What's my motivation now?

luanne said...

Thank you! Until I get around to cleaning out my craft room, I'm going to tape a sign on the door that says IT TAKES STUFF TO MAKE STUFF. Because A) it's true, and B) then I won't feel so guilty about having too much stuff.

Question for you & the craft-stashy Susan nation... what do you do with perfectly good miscellaneous supplies that you don't want/need anymore? That alone is a stumbling block to my tackling the big cleanout. It seems wrong to trash it, but I simply can't face the tedium of listing packets of grommets or paper ephemera for sale. Getting rid of fabric isn't a problem, it's all the bits of mixed media stuff or odd balls of frizzy outdated yarn that just have me wondering what to do.

Allie said...

Hahaha - I have faith in you Susan - tell everyone you need cupboards for Mother's Day! It'll last longer than a Mexican dinner. Maybe. But don't let your son-in-law put them up.....glad you didn't kill him!

susan m hinckley said...

LuAnne -- I always struggle with that question myself. I've tried the garage sale route and I do manage to get rid of things that way, but I always have tons left and it's a lot of work getting things ready for people to pick through the ten cent craft box. I've usually just sent the leftovers to the thrift store, but wouldn't it be great to donate them somewhere? Surely there are organizations that need that kind of stuff? Ideas, anyone?

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