...because everything is funny when it's happening to someone else!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Inching Towards Organization

Tuesday morning and I should be getting ready for the part-time job that actually requires my presence.  I looked in the closet and the thought of having to find something to wear.  And do something with my hair.  And then get Tank up and dressed because he goes to work with me....

It just all seemed too much, so I plopped down in front of the computer instead.

No updates on the Taj MaHell as of yet.  I had hoped that we'd hear something yesterday, but I guess we won't be updated during the process at all.  One day (soon, I hope), we'll just get an email telling us when/where the closing will be.  We'll close by mail, but you can do an actual face-to-face closing if you want.

In the meantime, I've been poring over paint swatches and reading product reviews, making lists, making more lists, losing the lists I made and happily starting over because I love lists!  One thing I did learn is that no one makes a paint you can put on an old stove, so we're stuck with the apparently functional, butt-ugly one at the Taj.  The cheapest 40-inch stove on the market is pushing up on $800, and that is just not in the budget until the old one keels over.

So, what's a girl to do when she's anxious to sink her teeth into a new project but there's nothing to do?  Me, I'm going on a purging rampage!  I'm going through the Gilligan's Island house, tossing anything that is no longer useful or that I never wear, etc.  I'm streamlining and simplifying my drawers, closets, cabinets and bookshelves.  I'll do the same thing at Uncle Todd's Cabin (our current Mayberry address) in preparation for the big move to the Taj one of these days.

There's a lot to go through.

In the past, I've made the mistake of just boxing stuff up and moving it place to place, without seriously evaluating each and every item.  Because, really, who has the time?  But then I end up with boxes that stay packed for 2 or 3 years before I load them up again and move them to a new place.  I counted once; I had moved 15 times in a 22 year period.  Granted, some of those were dorm room moves, which is not the same thing at all as packing up a house, but still.  A move's a move. 

I know that Uncle Todd's Cabin is currently home to several unpacked boxes of crap.  These "treasures" are so important that they couldn't be donated to Goodwill or given to a friend who'd appreciate them and yet they're not important enough that I ever bothered to open the box they were in.  Silly. 

I do have a box with some of my mother's things in it, just crazy little things that only I would want.  One of her many housecoats, a bottle of the perfume she loved, hand-written grocery lists because I simply cannot live if I know I'll never see her handwriting again.  Boxes like that, well, I see no harm in keeping and moving town to town.

But the boxes of old pots and pans, curtains from three houses ago, fridge magnets, throw pillows...you get the idea...those need to go.

I have a friend here at The Gilligan who struggles with what I'd assume is a mild to moderate hoarding tendency.  She asked me to help her clean out a room and I gladly agreed.  After a couple of hours of sorting items with her, I really came to see the painful battle she was waging against her stuff.  EVERY thing in that room was important or useful, at least to her.  EVERY piece of paper her kids had ever colored on was there, along with yards and yards of fabric for projects, photos of the family, knick-knacks from her family's military life overseas.  All of these things did have either monetary or sentimental value, but because she assigned value to ALL of it, NONE of it ended up being valued.  Because it all mattered so much that she couldn't part with it, it got piled up, then the piles fell over or got wet or dirty or the papers got torn.  So many of the precious items she has so ferociously refused to let go of were...ruined.  She has been, in other words, loving her possessions to death.

I think one reason my friend has difficulty letting go of things is that they're not wealthy.  Sometimes, we hold on to items because they represent security.  I remember in my own hoard-prone days, I accrued and kept things that were largely useless to me, because a wealth of "stuff" made me feel less broke.  ("How can I possibly be poor?  I have eight cookie sheets!")

Another reason we hold on to things is the money they represent.  I am very guilty of buying clothes without trying them on.  When I get home and they don't fit, I set them aside thinking I will just run back to the store in the next couple of days and exchange them.  And then a month goes by.  Then two months.  And then the store won't take them back.  I used to keep the clothes, out of guilt for having wasted money on them.  Keeping them with the tags dangling in my closet was a reminder of my stupidity and wastefulness.  And they were perfectly good clothes that had cost perfectly good money. And who doesn't enjoy a good dose of self-loathing every time they open the closet door?  

Now, though, I'm making a real effort to be a more aware shopper.  To try on clothes or at least really look them over before buying, to see if there are any fit or comfort issues that I can see at the outset.  But when I mess up....and I will mess up!...I am really going to try to return them quickly and failing that, donate them with a happy heart to a charity.

Because, even if I don't always realize it, I am richly blessed.  I have enough.  And I am willing to let go of some of the extra.


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