Monday, August 09, 2010


I was going to paint our bedroom this weekend. Mine and Pynchon's. I guess it would be syntactically easier to just say "the master bedroom," but that would, semantically, be misleading you with respect to creating delusions of its grandeur. It is not the bedroom of a Master, but rather, as a room, it masters us and all of our bedroomly possessions, forcing us into the one arrangement that fits the furniture while still allowing doors to open and people to get into bed without crawling over one another. My clothes, for instance, have all been mastered right out into the hallway, actually, so unmasterly is the closet situation.

Anyhow. I was going to paint. But painting requires accessing the baseboards, and accessing the baseboards requires moving the storage chest into another room (easy enough), rolling up the scatter rugs and putting them into another room (easy), rolling the bed into the dead centre of the room (easy-PEASY! it's on wheels!), and ... moving the dressers ... and the .... bedside tables .... that are completely covered over in stuff like a paper cone entombed in candy floss, only not nearly so yummy. Books. Alarm clocks. Pennies. Bike lock keys. Stickers I'm hiding from Munchkin. Jewelry that doesn't fit anywhere else. Random bits of hardware that have fallen off I'm-not-sure-what but am afraid to throw away. An ugly photo album we got as a gift. A couple of sweaters. Earplugs. A pill cutter. Three water glasses with varying levels of water and cat hair in them. More books.

It's a cluttery disaster, and the worst of it is, it's not that I'm just untidy and have neglected to put these things away. There is no designated away to put them to. This, to me, is a special kind of horror.

So instead of painting, I spent the weekend purging stuff from my house. The entire trunk is FULL of stuff for the charity shop--TV, VCRs (yes, plural), potty chair, mounds of clothing, sports equipment, that damned photo album, glassware, table linens, towels, and blankets and sheets and duvet covers. The recycling buckets overfloweth with bashed down cardboard from long-neglected moving boxes, and boxes from new computer, new phone, new iPad, etc. etc. Pounds and pounds of paper that are no longer needed: bills from the old house! The garbage is full of expired sunblock, ratty t-shirts, too-small underwear, plastic bric-a-brac, and half-crayons. No room in the house was spared, from the attic to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to the den. I mucked out closets and storage bins and hidden corners of stuff.

And! I'm on a campaign this week to use up all the little soaps and lotions and potions and salves and bathroom gewgaws I've happily received as gifts but am apparently saving for the apocalypse. No more! Little tiny things in my bathroom, be done with you! So today I used green tea and lime shampoo, lavender and shea body lotion, peppermint foot creme, and chocolate lip balm. I smell like a day spa that exploded.

Still. I was able to put away / throw out / recycle all the crap from my bedroom. Maybe next weekend I'll get to start painting.

Do you go on purge binges? What sets you off? Do you like it? Why?


Kyla said...

I bet that feels good! We managed to purge a bitnownand again, but it reaccumulayes so quickly!

Omaha Mama said...

Moving caused a huge one! Unpacking right now has been hard because I have this desire to just get rid of EVERYTHING! Ugh. I think as seasons get ready to change I always have this inclination. It usually comes around the time I start thinking about changing out the next season's clothes for the kids.
Good luck with your projects!!

Jenifer said...

Stuff with no place to go....a special kind of horror?! Welcome to the table in my basement. The place where items linger while I decide where it will eventually go, or if it is destined to the Goodwill bag. Nothing makes me crazier than stuff with no "place" to live.

Nothing makes me happier though than purging stuff! Just about anything can set me off and keep me up til the wee hours. I don't tend to do what you did - the entire house at once. I usually go to do something simple - like put something away and one thing leads to another and it is hours later.

I also have to agree with OM because when I switch the clothes or go checking last years snowsuits can easily set off my purging.

Our house is small and if I did not routinely get rid of stuff, we would be literally up to our neck in crap. As a rule I like to follow the something comes in something goes out doesn't have to be immediate or quite that literal, but overall it works.

It took me years to understand that the sentiment and memory can be solely stored in my mind and not in the item itself. I'm not talking your most treasured keepsakes, but I had a habit of thinking everything was a treasured keepsake.

Now what makes it through my purging, really is a treasure.

Cloud said...

I'm with you on the horror of stuff with no place to go. Which has made the colonization of our house by toys particularly painful. Until I discovered bins! Now toys go in bins, and when I want to tidy up, I just have to go around with Pumpkin throwing toys in bins.

Of course, I'm an obsessive organizer, so each toy has a particular bin it belongs in. Hubby and Pumpkin refuse to honor this and it drives me nuts.

Anonymous said...