The Big Clear

There has been a flurry of activity around our home lately. My E decided she was ready to shed some of the different lives she has led thus far, like Potterhead, Whovian, Runner (that’s Mazerunner for those without intimate knowledge on super fandoms,) and other kingdoms. In true Marie Kondo style, she parted with those things that did not spark joy and thanked them for their service. I have been waiting for this day for years and jumped in with gusto. Attempts to sell collectibles online were frustrating – a flashback to bags of beanie babies comes to mind. So the Vietnam Veterans of America were the recipients of our largesse. And what a mound it was.

This is not just fan stuff like little Flash figurines and spell books. Pounds of clothing, including shirts that say things like Expelliarmus, Geronimo, Girl Power, along with perfectly good pieces, outgrown in both body and spirit, were washed and bagged. Some plush, some pillows, that wavy mirror from IKEA, and lots of other fad and fashions that have outlived their usefulness here wound up on the pile. Whoever buys these will want them, and it will benefit a good cause at the same time.

While she was building her mountain, I rooted around in my garage for stuff to add. I did a lot of recycling, boxed books, adding camp and beach chairs not opened in years. The lot took up about a quarter of our generous driveway when pickup day arrived.

I was feeling refreshed until I opened the garage that night. I realized we had barely made a dent. Boxes still lined the walls, many of my drawers are still full, and a lot of books remained in E’s childhood bookcase that I passed down to her. And she had hit her limit on her clear-out state of mind. The window was closed until the next go-round which won’t be for a while. So I realized if we wanted to keep the momentum, it was my turn.

While E figured it was her past fandoms weighing down her future, my focus was first on paper. I have always been one to obsessively separate shred from recycle, removing addresses or names from each bit of junk mail to ensure nothing personal lands in the green bin. Unfortunately, this habit forces me to throw junk mail in a box until later or pile old files in my closet to wait for a rainy day – and those are pretty sparse in Southern California. Since I couldn’t walk into my closet to get to my filing drawer, this is what I did all weekend. Flash forward two days – the recycling bin is full, my shred bin runneth over, and my heart is full.

The next battle on the horizon is the kitchen. Too many of everything, fulfilling nothing except to take up cabinet space. Two sizes of water glasses fill a shelf where only the few in the front are used. The lower shelves bulge with pots, pans, and I don’t even remember what’s in the back. A tall pantry with deep shelves is both a blessing and a curse. Viewed now with clearer eyes, it all brings my past post about Living Life in Layers into real time and smacks me in the face.

I think a stay-cation is in order.


Filed under Memoir, Personal Life

4 responses to “The Big Clear

  1. Terry V.

    You’ve given me hope that I too can clear things out. E is an inspiration!

  2. Anna Marie Torelli

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and can completely relate, sans the daughter. The quest seems never ending, but, progress is being made. Credit must be given for that.

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