Archives for the month of: June, 2014

My “Skeletons in the Basement” post kicked off the official dig out of my storage room. My next step is to basically keep it going by pulling things out every week or every few days, asking:

    Do I need/use this?
    Do I still want this?
    Could someone else use it? If so, should I sell it, give it away or donate it?

It’s pretty simple even though when I look at the mass of things, I feel overwhelmed.

This weekend, I focused on re-using the things I still want. I found a neat basket I got at Ikea a long time ago. It used to stick inside my kitchen cabinet and hold bags. Why isn’t it still there? I don’t collect plastic bags anymore. But I collect something else there now- dog food. So I found double stick tape (the special 3M hook kind which I already had plenty of in my upstairs storage room- let’s not even talk about this room yet). It took a whole 5 minutes to complete the project.

dog food

It’s not rocket science but it gave new life to an old thing.

And I put another item on Ebay – writable cds. Yes, 2000 called and wants its digital storage back. We’ll see how this one goes.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping my belongings to a minimum. I’ve been limited by small apartments and by not having a spare parental garage or childhood room to store yearbooks, old costumes, pictures, etc. In these 20 years, I’ve moved 10 times. 10 complete disruptions. 10 sets of 100 reps of “do I really need this…?”

As much as I have pared down, I still have SO MUCH. Nearly every day, I battle the density of my closet to find clothes. And just last week, I bought something new only to find the exact item buried in storage.

This was my bottom.

I’m uncomfortable being lost in belongings. So I’m starting a new project. “Project 0”. Or maybe “Shame Storage” or…ok the name isn’t important. Here it is:

My basement storage unit is FULL. It’s impossible to get in it without having to unpack and repack. So I’m sharing my storage shame with the hope that it will be both a weight lifted from my shoulders and an exercise in accountability. Behold…

clutter

It could be worse. But why am I keeping items that have spent uninterrupted years in plastic tubs in this dungeon?

Do you have this issue? Want to tackle it together?

Step 1: What’s with the boxes?
On the right hand side, I find cardboard boxes from oversized purchases. Because when I move, won’t I reuse these boxes? NO. In fact, I forgot I had them. I remove these first and haul them down the alley to the recycling dumpster (it’s a purge AND A WORKOUT). With these items gone, I find Halloween decorations that belong in the garage (yes, my garage is a separate issue and I’ll deal with that later).

Step 2: Ebay that shit
I find water globes- the kind you put in plants. I used these when they were new and “revolutionary”. But these things are a pain to clean- a bigger pain than say, JUST WATERING THE PLANTS. I take a photo with my phone and list them on Ebay. In the end, it might only be $5 but it’s still money I wouldn’t have had by just hoarding them. And even better, someone in the world will be excited to receive them. It will give me more space. More success. More control. Less shame. Baby steps. water globes

I’ll be posting updates as I go. If you see anything you’re dying to have or just might like to own (with the exception of my cheerleading uniform) it’s yours.

boxIt started with a receipt. Then a wristband. A cork. A note. A postcard promoting a play we did not attend but that we got on a night I told a story at a fundraiser. Remnants from nearly every plan we had together began collecting in a box. I had made a similar box with one of my closest friends. She and I packed our memories into a wicker basket- cards and ticket stubs and photos. We would revisit it each year and re-live all these fun times.

But he has no knowledge of this box. It is a renegade box. And it defies the normal behavior I try so hard to exhibit. Do not leap when you see a text from him. Do not clap like you’re 10 years old when he asks you on a date. Do not tear up when he puts a recycling sticker on your recycling can to try to keep your friends from throwing their food-covered plates and utensils in it at parties because he KNOWS that recycling is important to you. Have the appropriate reaction. And DO NOT save the feather from Sheri’s Halloween costume because it reminds you of decorating the house with him and leaving the lights and gauze up for one extra week.

The feather is in the box.

I have never saved so many things. Or felt this depth of gratitude for the tiniest of gestures, the scrappiest of scraps.

I still have not rationalized this box- what it means, what it’s for, why it’s important. Is it because relationships are so shapeless and this makes it more tangible? Is it because I’m a tactile person and this gives me something to hold on to? Or is this some new weird love that has turned me into a schmaltzy hoarder?

I’m a big believer in energy. I like to think that all the little pieces work together to bring us closer every day. He’ll ask a question about me he hasn’t thought of before. I’ll bring up a new place I’d like to go together. We’ll plan trips. We’ll meet families. We’ll keep going. And the box will grow.