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Feb. 7th, 2010

After several weeks of focusing on work and preparing for the craft fair, and/or ignoring the fact that my dining room was still one-quarter submerged in boxes, I flipped out on Friday and went AAAAUGH HOLY SHIT WHAT IN HELL IS IN THESE BOXES?

The answer was:

4 boxes of papers to go through
1 box of books to sell
2 big boxes of books that can be sorted through and shelved or put in the sell pile
2 small empty boxes that were there to store the random extra books
1 box of VHS tapes to go in long-term storage
1 scattered box worth of stuff for Goodwill and the Boskone freebie table
a bunch of my missing desk stuff
my camera box, sans my best camera
an ancient laptop that's going in the Best Buy recycling bin, unless someone really wants an 11-year-old laptop that's locked with a mystery password
...and some random foo that could be consolidated.

So I made two stacks of empty boxes. And then Saturday and Sunday I was periodically overtaken by numinous rage, and flung myself at a random box screaming EEEAGH DIE DIE DIE. Boxes have been emptied, boxes have been consolidated, boxes have been routed from the living room and piled in the dining room, which is still one-fifth swamped in boxes, but in better-organized, better-stacked boxes. Boxes have been moved into long-term storage, or at least near where storage will be once I finish painting. it's all been complicated and violent and filled with the sound of rending cardboard. Very bracing.

I've also discovered that after purging my fridge and freezer down to just what I use in a week, I get anxious when they start to fill up. All the frozen food from Arisia is making me twitchy. I called a former neighbor and went THERE IS TOO MUCH FREE FOOD HERE, TAKE IT AWAY. We'll hopefully be organizing the dropoff this week--I can't take much more of the sight of TOO MUCH ARTISAN BREAD staring at me every time I open the freezer.

(That said, I'd maim for a vegetable.)

The living room is almost down to no wandering boxes at all. So's the bedroom. And the stack of empty boxes in front of the kitchen keeps rising higher.

And the desk shelves are STILL half empty.

Inspiration: Oprah's new special on hoarding


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
Would that I had a clone to send out your way to help.
Feb. 11th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
*hug* Thanks.
Feb. 8th, 2010 06:24 am (UTC)
I started watching How Clean is Your House?, then moved on to A&E's Hoarders series. I think HCIYH? may be a gateway drug to Horders, actually. But I, too, feel inspired to organise my closets whenever I watch them.
Feb. 8th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
I found I liked the English shows on BBC America better- they tended to deal with some of the problems I have of ancestral stuff and emotions and how to choose what to keep in memoriam, and as family history, and how to let go of things (and how freeing that can be).
Feb. 11th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
Huh! I'll have to look it up. It sounds like a more hopeful show than Hoarders, where half the time the hoarders are being forced to clean under threat of eviction or losing their children. The shows where hoarders are being forced to clean depress me--and they feel so hopeless, because you know the hoarder will be back at it in a month.
Feb. 8th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
I have started a book purge, and I have found a rather like the look of a little blank shelf space. Perhaps you can create a little scholars nook- a shelf free, but for one object, a stone or a cup, to better appreciate its beauty...

Not that I have or ever will manage that...
Feb. 11th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
Huh! Sort of like a tokonoma. I once built a bookcase with a scholar's nook designed in, but had to move before I could put it to use. I'll consider doing the same in this house.]

Empty space is undervalued and misused. We tend to either fill everything and leave no space bare, or leave everything bare in such a way that the empty space is empty because it's ornamental and useless--for example, a sideboard with one decoration plunk in the middle, or bookshelves designerified so that there's plenty of open space on the shelves, but the books are piled in cute little stacks or otherwise made impossible to access. It's the kind of empty space that turns everything into a designer statement, instead of leaving space for expansion and for active use.

Ironically, these are the kinds of houses that are most likely to have "computer desks" one foot deep, with a few tiny storage drawers and three inches of book storage. Opulence through absence of workspace.

(But the kitchen must be twice the size of the living room and have a professional-quality stove, so you can nuke your Trader Joe's dinners in splendor.)

...I was going somewhere with that, but a hobbyhorse intervened.

Ah. Good idea.
Feb. 8th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
Oh man...their house looks like my room right now, and yes, I've lived like that before. :( Not to the extent that there is clothes on the floor all the time, but...close enough.
Feb. 11th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
That sucks. And man, I know what it's like. My last apartment got scary before I pulled out all my hair and started cleaning; and even after I cleaned it back to the bones, certain areas remanifested piles of crap like it grew out of the floor. Then I moved, and that helped me break the pattern. Now certain kinds of clutter set me off. I can't have them around, because they stand for what the place used to look like, and I can't bear the reminder. It makes me feel trapped.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 11th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
It's over 10 years old, and I don't know whether it worked--presumably it did because the previous owner turned it on and passworded it, but I haven't tried in 3 or 4 years. Also, it has no optical drive, may not have a modem, and is heavy. So I don't know whether it would be worth shipping to you. If you're still interested (and willing to pay for shipping--because it's heavy and I'm not awash in discretionary funds), I can find out what model it is.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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