Jan 5, 2008

Mortal Musings About Clutter

Frothing at Le Mouse has set up a truly funny scene involving what I regard as the normal Winter Ritual of self-loathing, reassessment, and humiliation. Not really Festivus, not really the lost art of New Year's Resolutions... at most, an harbinger of Lent. Sackcloth and ashes, if you will. Ruing the reality of clutter:

A few months ago I bravely scoured the spicerack and disposed of those items that were talking to me. “Please. Euthanize me. I’m congealed and I hurt. I cannot escape the jar. Kill me now.”

It reminds me to toss out old dreams that died, write off people I can't use, (unless for comic effect), and to plow up fallow expanses filled with exercise equipment (I need room for a hot tub!). I keed. I keed.

But, there's not much else. Our little family has always been on the move. Our longest stint was in a three-bedroom Ranch house on 1/3 acre for about 13 years. From there we moved to a one-room apartment. Not on purpose, but because our house sold within 24 hours of putting it on the market. That'll motivate you to toss things pretty quickly. Toss, we did. At the end of our six-month lease, we were down to whatever was in the apartment. No rental storage. Just us.

Now we're in a condo. By definition that means a bit less room for stuff you hate, stuff that you'll never repair, books you'll never re-read, gifts you'll never return, or receipts you'll never shred.

I remember a friend of a friend, who inherited a beautiful home filled with irreplaceable antiques. How she loved and loathed it! How surprised she was by the freedom she felt when it tragically burned down one night. She later related that it was the best thing to ever happen to her.

This life passes by pretty quickly. If you have room for trivial stuff that will have import and meaning to the next generation, by all means, hang onto it. Or send it to James Lileks. If not, then make room for friends and drinks and good conversation and hang the rest.

Ain't no U-Hauls hitched to a hearse.


Peggy U said...

So timely! Today begins the cleaning of the garage. I believe I may die of old age before I finish it. That, or spider bites ... brrrr. Damned Northern widows!

GUYK said...

LOL! me and sweetthing have sold out and went full time RV three different times! And probably would again if we were physically able to do. I like my "stuff" but I ain't in love with it and I can dump it in a hurry..especially nowadays when my photoss are on disc and easy to store. I do wish I had kept some of those pictures I took when we were stationed in some strange places overseas but that is ablot the only thing I wish I had kept other than a gun or two or three..or four or five..and that is only because the damn things are expensive to replace

Teresa said...

We had to delete many things when moving to our current house - it is quite a bit smaller than our last house. I was happy to see the accumulated stuff go - my husband prefers to hang onto things.

More stuff will go this year - I'm working on it already. Personally, on my next move, I'd like to downsize again. I don't like places that are too big. Never have. :-)

Joan of Argghh! said...

Guy, we used to live in a 22.5 ft. travel trailer when Paul was about 2 years old. It was the best! We loved the tourist-snowbird-travel-trailer old folks who plied us with home-made meals and lots of love!

frothingatlemouse said...

If this doesn't post I'm gonna go accumulate more stuff!

Joan of Argghh! said...

Looky there! You made it!

Now. Go throw something away!


frothingatlemouse said...

Whoo hoo! Waste Management, gear up.

Jack's Shack said...

At the end of our six-month lease, we were down to whatever was in the apartment. No rental storage. Just us.

Ah, so that is the secret. All I have to do is move into a short lease in a small place and all my clutter will disappear.

Nice fantasy, never work for me.

Jean said...

"Ain't no U-Haul hitched to a hearse."

Amen! (from the person filling her third dumpster.)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

When I die, I'm gonna rent a u-haul, just for the fun of it!

Oh wait, scratch that. I'm gettin' cremated, it's cheaper.

Well, it was a good idea while it lasted.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Hmm.... I could put it all in travelers checks, I suppose!