"We're gonna need a bigger boat."
-- the Sheriff in Jaws
Well, I got the upstairs storage room in some kind of order today. Now it is (neatly) overflowing into the upstairs hallway. But I can at least get to everything.
And such a lot of stuff there is. We have filled a 5-bedroom house to overflowing with our junk. There is barely room for the two of us and our pets. For many years, we have simply -- expanded. More books, more toys, more furniture, more mementos, more tools, more craft stuff, more t-shirts and hats and uniforms and kitchenwares. And we are both packrats, who have kept all the papers and notebooks from young adulthood on. Not to mention old tax and financial records going back to our marriage. Our children left much of their junk, their toys -- and a lot of furniture -- behind when they left. Then there's the stuff from my parents' estate that I need to go through one more time
. We are drowning in it all. Today, I opened a footlocker and found -- cow horns. Yup, stuff left over from the handicrafts program at some camp, that were just too good
to throw in the trash. Oy.
It's time to go through it all and start pitching. I figure it'll take two years to look in every box and sort through what's actually worth keeping. Notice is hereby given to interested parties that mucho stuffola is heading for the dumpster. If you want any of what we're throwing out, come get it. I refuse to build a retirement home that will already be a museum, in which there is no room for the inhabitants to live for all the crap in long-term storage. AND, I refuse to rent a storage unit for ever to put it all in.
That said, it is a said thing to start pitching out precious crap. I feel my life is contracting, rather than expanding. Instead of escaping from the desert isle, I'm contemplating a trip to it. And it's not just the stuff that's precious. If I throw out old craft supplies, am I saying that I will never pick up that hobby again? If I get rid of Scout memorabilia, am I saying good-bye to my Scouting days? If I deep-six family refrigerator art, am I disowning my children. If I throw out old AD&D campaign material, am I saying that the happy days of gaming are gone forever? And so on. But it's got to be done.
A lot of this stuff can be given away to people who will appreciate it. At least, it can be given to the church for its annual bazaar or sent off to missions. The furniture we need to unload can be sold or donated to local needy folks. But an awful lot of this stuff just needs to be thrown away -- starting with any tax record whose year begins 19--.
But it's still sad.