Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Boxes and More Boxes

Boxes, more boxes
Of papers and photographs.
Flawed memories.

KEB 1/3/17

For a year and a half all of the boxes of "stuff" that I brought home from my dad's house have been sitting in our guest room.  Well sitting may be too kind a word.  Crammed is more appropriate.  It is fair to say that anyone who ventured into that room would have needed a golden clew, like that of Ariadne, to make their way out of the labyrinth of boxes.  I don't think there was a minotaur in the midst of our guest room, but I couldn't be absolutely sure of that!  The primary reason that these boxes have remained untouched for so long is that I wasn't sure where we were going to go with all of their contents.  The other reason is that I despise clutter, particularly paper clutter, which is what a large portion of the boxes' contents.  Photos of family, some of whom I could identify and lots of others that I couldn't, newspaper clippings, my mother's scrapbooks from her childhood through the birth of her grandchildren, marriage licenses, baptismal certificates, and various other records.  Let's just say that there was a forest worth of paper.  The prospect of going through it all was terribly overwhelming to me.  So I ignored for awhile.

Back in the spring Weber and I decided that we would build an addition on to our home to accomodate the few pieces of furniture that I kept, as well as give us much needed storage space, and an extra bathroom for my sloppy Offspring that lives with us.  We worked on bringing this plan to fruition for about six months.  The hold up was finding a concrete company willing to take "the small job" of our little slab.  Both our contractor and Weber made call after call and no one had the time or resources to give to what we needed.  I took that as a sign that perhaps an addition was not the right decision for us. Right before Christmas we gave up on the idea.  That meant that I now had to face the mounds of boxes.  No more procrastination.

The problem with sorting all of the things from Delaware was that I still needed somewhere to go with it all once I unpacked it.  This meant that I needed to clean out virtually every closet in our house in order to free up any and every free inch of usable storage space.  I started this "project" on my birthday.  Though I dreaded it, taking that first step was really a gift to myself, because once I start something, I will not stop until I finish.  So, for a week now, the contents of not only the guest room, but every closet in the house have been pulled out, culled, reboxed, and much of it relocated.  Our contractor kindly came over and added some extra shelves in a bedroom closet and also hung a few of the pieces of art that we brought back.  

This process has been going on for a week.  We are not done, but we have made an amzing amount of progress.  Many things have been given away or thrown away.  Fortunately, I am willing to get rid of things.  I don't need or want every family picture that was ever taken.  I saved a few, but I most certainly tossed more than I kept.  Items that are staying have been organized and neatly stored in bins.  And by some miracle, we found a place for all of those bins, none of which ended up in the attic.  One of my weird little quirks is that I don't believe in putting stuff in the attic.  First of all, in Texas, that is a certain death sentence.  Second of all, I cleared out the attic at my parents house.  Most things that go to an attic are never seen again until the next generation is faced with figuring out what to do with them.  I don't want my girls to have to deal with all of this crap.  I didn't want me to have to deal with it, but I have to and I am happy to say that I have!

We are not completely done, but we are WAY closer to that goal than we were this time last week.  A few more things need to be donated.  Some of Weber's family items need to be mailed to other family members who will appreciate them a little more.  There is still art to be hung,  some that first needs to be reframed, but the to-do list is much shorter and much more bearable than it was a few days ago.

I cleaned out the last closet today, the one that was full of all of my kniting supplies.  I was a bit ruthless, but that's OK; it was all my stuff.  I had more unfinished projects than I care to admit.  I threw them all away with the exception of two or three.  (Forget what I said above about not stopping until I finish something. Apparently that does not apply to knitting!)  In my head, storing a bunch of unfinished projects created a feeling that my organizing and cleaning project was also unfinished.  Discarding the "UFO's" meant that everything was tidy and ready for a fresh start.

While I was sorting my yarn into tubs, Piper decided that she would check out the yarn for her next sweater.  She is the best dressed pup around!

A huge and long enduring burden has been lifted because of the work we have done in the past week. Like I said, there is still more to accomplish, but I now believe that we can do it.

I must also thank a friend who is coming to visit next week for the final nudge that I needed to get this all done.  I really want to see her and for that to happen we have to have a place for her to sleep other than the couch or an air mattress on the floor in the den!

I have had my moments of frustration and despair during all of this, but they have been fleeting.  I think that I can honestly say that 2017 is off to a fantastic start!