Tuesday, July 26, 2011


". . .the things you used to own, now they own you".  ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 5

I'm taking a hiatus from my challenge until further notice. Sigh. I really like to follow through on things, but our family has a new challenge that is absorbing most of my time.

We are cleaning.

For most families, this probably means picking up socks, throwing out ratty old rugs, and steam-cleaning the dining room. For my family, cleaning--real cleaning--includes an all-day trek to The Pit (a creepy ole' storage space under our house) to sort through the hundreds of boxes lurking there. And so we set off, armed with courage and lemonade.

A sample of what lurks in "The Pit"
After four hours, we had found money (two dollars and a buncha quarters, in my case), chocolate ladybugs (which had been decimated by weevils, the true "chocolate bugs"), my little sister's old bath towel, and tons of old papers, letters, and toys.

A path we cleared
We managed to clean out one storage area, the entrance to The Pit. It actually looked quite nice.

I sorted these boxes. :)
However, much of what we cleared out is now sitting in an enormous pile in the middle of our basement. The mounds of trash have been hauled off, but stacks and stacks of boxes and crates and chairs and bookcases remain, making it look like we're a family of hoarders. (I really hope we're not.) We plan to have a garage sale, but that means we need to sort through everything *again*. Yeeg.

I've also been working on my room. I haven't done an extensive overhaul since I graduated from high school four years ago. And. . . it definitely shows. Sure, I've cleaned it, but I haven't searched through the drawers and ruthlessly discarded half my stuff in a while. It's scary--what if I need that fifth pair of tweezers? Couldn't I use three identical pairs of flip-flops? However, I've found getting rid of things to be freeing.
My room in the middle stages of the purge.
Let's say you're like me. Now, remember those corduroy pants--the ones that are slightly too long and a little too. . . brown? And that polo--the one that never fit you quite right (and besides, you wore it in high school). And let's face it, you'll never wear those shoes Aunt Agatha got you, although they're a fascinating specimen of mustard and chartreuse plaid. Your room is filled with kindly-meant gifts, impulse buys, clothes that still have tags, all hidden in corners because they're just too. . . embarrassing to remember. 

Now really, why do I need these?
Get rid of them. Seriously.

It's incredible to realize that you'll never again have to see all those guilt-inducing things. Don't like those pants? Why keep them? And you'll never have to feel bad about those shoes if you don't have them reminding you every day when you walk into your closet. So au revoir, stuff! Auf wiedersehen. Have a nice life--without me.

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