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Live from the dump

2006-04-09 - 10:15 a.m.


Lately Iíve had this fantasy in which I rent a huge storage unit, and into it goes every last scrap of stuff weíre not immediately using but donít wish to throw away. I envision our apartment nearly empty.

A tidy bookshelf or two. A few basic supplies for each current hobby. Closets neatly hung with clothing in a single size for the current season. So little kitchenware that even if every plate, cup, utensil and pot in the house were dirty there would only be a sinkful. Cleaning supplies, beauty products, tools and cat care items pared down to a few essentials. All the bills paid automatically online, and one small filing cabinet kept up to date with only the most necessary papers.

I spent a good few weeks last year decluttering and dumping, and an astounding number of trash bags full of unneeded crap were carted away. It made a big difference, but fell far short of achieving my dream of simplicity.

Itís been awhile since I last purged, so Iím sure weíve managed to collect more useless crap that could be separated from the heard and put out to pasture. But it never seems to be enough to really give us the breathing room I crave, and eventually we come to a place where all our remaining clutter is not shit, itís stuff (to misapply a concept borrowed from George Carlin.)

No, Iím not sewing or crocheting or beading or painting right now. But I have in the past, and I know that I will want to again, and supplies are expensive. The sewing machine and paints and other miscellaneous take up a fair amount of space, but what am I going to do? Go out and drop $300 on a new machine when I finally get around to wanting to make myself a skirt?

Iíve managed to pare down the stash of skinny clothes (it didnít take much to convince me that if I ever lose the weight Iíll be more interested in going shopping than digging through an old storage bin of stuff from the nineties!) Of the really small stuff I kept I'm only really attached to a couple of items I lovedÖ some silk blouses and couple of knee-length black skirts that I know Iíd wear again if I could by some miracle slip them onto my pudgy form. But Iíve also got a pile of always-in-style long-sleeved T-shirts and a couple of pairs of the only jeans that fit my shape, in the next two sizes down. Useful if I ever start losing weight but definitely inconvenient living in a box on the floor of my overcrowded closet.

And booksÖ donít even get me started on that particular rant. I canít even tell you how many times in the past Iíve gotten rid of a book on a topic that no longer interested me, and then at some later date have longed to have it back. (For example: Iím still kicking myself over throwing away, in an apparent fit of insanity in the midst of a previous purge, the old bellydance books I had carted around with me since age 14 or so. These books were wonderful classics, long out of print and currently selling for around $30 each on the used book circuit, which makes replacing them much more expensive than I can justify right now.) After multiple such incidences my dread of parting with my books has become near-phobic level at this point.

I did look into renting a storage unit, but the size I want is ungodly expensive. I think feel another purge coming on. I canít bring myself to be ruthless, exactly, but I guess I have to remember to ask myself ďCould this be easily replaced?Ē If the answer is yes, and Iím not using it, out it goes. (That second part should make it easy to sort out the Princeís and Evil Childeís stuff. *snort*)

Things I know I can part with:

The bins full of magazines Iíve been saving to use for collage pictures/cut out articles from. I went from having zero magazines to a stash of hundreds in an astonishingly short time the last time I decided I needed magazines for creative purposes, and Iím sure I could do it again if I ever become overwhelmed with the urge to cut and paste in the name of art.

The footlocker full of sex toys and books. Since Iíve had to deal with a recurring bacterial infection in my girly bits Iíve become ridiculously scrupulous about hygiene in that area. I havenít used my silicone toys in months on suspicion that they may be harboring bacteria, yet I keep telling myself that theyíd probably be ok if washed in alcohol and covered with a condomÖ No. I am pitching most of the stuff today. I have a hankering to replace them with a selection of cool, beautiful and sterilizable glass dildos anyhow. And for godsí sake, when was the last time a sex how-to book told me anything I didnít already know? Out, out already!

Beauty supplies. I use the same few products all the damn time, yet somehow I feel compelled to hang onto bins full of hair styling products (when my idea of styling my hair is to not comb it until it dries so it will be wavy,) creams & lotions (I am far too lazy to cream or lotion,) and makeup in different colors than the ones I use every day (even though I wear my best colors on a daily basisÖ do I really want to keep less flattering makeup around just so I can have a variety?)

Cleaning supplies, tools, cat products. Just pick a few to keep and pitch the rest.

Clothes. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least a few things that could go.

Things that will be harder to weed out:

Art supplies. I suppose the tempera paints could go, along with the accompanying book that was supposed to teach me how to release my inner something-or-other and free my creativity. I reckon most of the art magazines can go too. Ditto the altered art supplies. Apparently I donít care for altered art any more. At least not enough to artistically alter anything myself.

Cookbooks. I love cookbooks, even though I rarely cook up any of the recipes. Most of that shelf could go, seeing as how I get most of my recipes off the internet.

Kitchen stuff. I donít really have a lot, I just have a really tiny kitchen. Itís just hard to weed out because most kitchen gadgets are actually useful!

The Projects: (aka ďThings That Will Probably Never Get DoneĒ)

Filing. Fuck me to tears, I hate paper crap. I purge and purge and the pile just keeps on growing. There canít be THAT much stuff that needs savingÖ I gotta figure out whatís absolutely necessary and then be ruthless about pitching the rest. I also gotta figure out how to get that automatic bill pay thing going. God how I hate paper.

Photos. Some people have photo albums, I have a photo clusterfuck that lives in a plastic grocery bag. Well, actually I do have albums, theyíre just empty. Merging the photos with the albums would free up quite a bit of closet shelf space, I imagine.

So, I guess Iíve diddled enough time away organizing my thoughts instead of my crap. Now I want to see how much of the first category I can get finished before I have to leave for bellydance class this afternoon.

Reading: The Kite Runner
Listening to: The Huntress by Gypsy Caravan
Thinking about: Why the hell do I have to self-title these fields?

2 felt the need to share

Previous - Next

Last Five
Crappy job crap, weird neighbor, and someone whose baby I apparently want to have - 2006-05-08
Live from the dump - 2006-04-09
Kind of like a muzzle for your brain - 2006-03-29
...and then she fell ass-first into my cereal bowl - 2006-03-28
Playing catch-up - 2006-03-27

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