One Man's Eyes

I'm an early 30's engineer with delusions of adequacy. From here, I'll share my perspective, usually through words, sometimes through pictures, of the view of the world from one man's eyes.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Spring Cleaning

There's one problem with owning a house (OK, OK, there's more than one, but I'm just writing about this one today!!) JUNK. Back when the wife and I were in college, we worked our way through by spending alternate semesters in Houston working for a company. Every six months, we moved from one apartment to another. That forced us to stay pretty lean with the crap we owned as it was a lot of work to move. Every move, we would look at stuff as we packed and ask "Do I really want this enough to move it again and again?"
Then, after graduating, we settled down and moved into a house. We got a bigger house than we needed with the plan to "grow" into it. I wanted this in part becuase my parents bought a house way back when with the intent to move after a few years. My parents are still in that house, which is fine for the two of them, but was tight for a family of four. I wanted to make sure that we had enough room that we could be comfortable, even if we never moved.
Well, it's been nine years and we're settled to the point that it's going to really take something to get me to ever move again. However, since we've had all this room, the amount of crap we've collected over the years and expanded to fill the space. I think this is covered by one of Newton's Laws, but I could just be confusing him with Murphy.
Anyway, closets, the kitchen, the dining room that we never eat in, all had become full of stuff over the years. Much of it we added ourselves, but a lot of it came courtesy of friends and family. Another Elephant collectable for my wife...some new A&M paraphenalia....assorted nickacks that are generally good for nothing but collecting dust.
Well, we've finally started making moves to reclaim the house. Over the last two weekends, we've thrown out a good 10 bags full of crap. Much of it old paper, instructions for broken telephones, homework from high school, clothing with holes in it. As they say in the commercials "Everything must GO!". We've been looking at everything with a critical eye. Most has been useless junk that gets tossed, some is stuff we just have no use for ourselves and gets donated or given away. I've put the relatives on notice that we will be accepting no more of this stuff for Christmas and Birthday presents. It had gotten to the point where we just can't have people over becuase the house is always a mess and we spent a lot of time just pushing the mess from room to room, closet to closet, trying to have a liveable space. We've still got a long way to go, but we've both bought into the mindset that we want to own our stuff, not have it own us. The picture in the post is our master closet after the purge. We spent over a day on this closet alone and can actually see the floor for the first time in years. I was able to lay down in there and play with my son rolling a ball back and forth to him. Last weekend, I'd have been putting both our lives in jeopardy to try such a thing.
It's tiring and it's tough, but it's coming together. I estimate it's going to take us a good six or seven more weekends like this to really get the house in order. My parents came to vist this weekend and we pretty much left the kids completely to them so we could focus on this. We'll be doing it again in a few weeks and whenever we get a chance.
If you haven't done it, I highly recommend that you, too, consider wading through all that crap you have collected and start asking yourself - "Do I really need to keep this?" I bet the answer for a lot of it is going to be NO! Posted by Picasa



Blogger Shell said...

And THAT is why I live in an itty bitty apartment. You can't really collect a lot of crap. 618 sq ft can only hold so much.

However, the shelving that the apartment complex put in the closet to maximize space is NO HELP. Want some Christmas ornaments?

11:17 PM  

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