Coffee heat rising

Decluttering: A shovel-it-out moment

So  yesterday I didn’t sit down to actually work until around 5 or 6 p.m.

Because… A friend asked if she could camp in the Funny Farm’s spare bedroom during a transitional period in her life. Her DH landed a very fine job in the Bay Area and has already launched himself there. She, meanwhile, has a teaching contract that she’s loath to walk out on — because she’d like to get academic work in California, she’d like not to burn any bridges — and she’s in the middle of her first semester of a master’s program in her profession.

We propose, therefore, that she’ll stay at my house for a month or two while enjoying the thrills of a commuter marriage (hooboy! lucky kids…). I’m pleased about this idea: it’ll be nice to have some company for a change, and it’s also nice to be able to do something for someone else. For a change.

She’s moving in on Thursday, so before than I need to shovel out the unholy mess that is my dwelling. Number one: the piles and piles of unused clothing in that bedroom’s closet!!!!

In the normal course of events, that closet would hold winter clothes and dressy stuff, and the one in my bedroom would hold summer clothes. Events, however, have been far from normal.

After the deboobifcation surgeries, I tried on all my tops and dresses and put the ones that definitely we re still wearable in my bedroom closet. A bunch of shirts and knit tops were too uncomfortable against the still-healing wounds to wear. Plus I still had some size 10 and size 12 jeans, which I figured I’d better not get rid of because I’d need them if I got fat again — which indeed has come to pass since the accursed gut surgery.

So I took all the uncomfortable clothes that I thought I might be able to wear in the future and hung them in the spare bedroom closet, with a PostIt note reminding me to try them on in May, when I expected to be more or less functional again.

In May I did go through those, try them on, and retrieve the ones worth wearing in the summer heat. A whole bunch of long-sleeved knit tops, sweaters, vests, and jackets remained in the storage closet.

So yesterday, by way of emptying out the closet for my friend, I went through all those, folded everything truly wintery and stored them in a suitcase, and moved stuff that I might be able to wear now that it’s cooling down a little bit into the bedroom closet.

The closet is now chuckablock full… Read “I have got TOO MUCH STUFF!

Really, I need to get rid of it. Because I rarely throw anything away, clothing items drift up like snow or sand dunes or dog hair…  But you know, every time I shovel stuff out, within about two or three months I’m searching all over the house for it and I really need it and then I’m upset because I can’t find it and then I’m even more upset when I remember I gave it to the Goodwill! So on top of my innate laziness, I tend to be kind of conservative about getting rid of stuff I paid to have.

I did, however, haul a big pile out to the car to try to peddle at My Sister’s Closet when I’m near there next Thursday morning.

Interestingly, at least half of that came from My Sister’s Closet!

We’ll see if they’ll take the stuff back. 😀

While I’m at the Closet, I’m going to drop by their home furnishing store and see if, by any chance, they have a decent set of stainless flatware at a decent price.

One never knows. Miracles do happen. If (as I expect), they don’t, then I’ll drive straight up Scottsdale Road to the Sur La Table at Kierland Commons and pick up a plain, manageable set there.

As you know, I’ve given some serious consideration to packing the Christofle away, now that it can no longer be washed in a dishwasher. But then decided it’s not such a big deal to wash a few pieces by hand each day.

But y’know…when it’s just me, that’s fine. (Well…it’s not fine, but it’s eminently survivable.) However, when there are two people trying to use the kitchen…no. I think it would be asking altogether too much to expect another person to keep the silver and the cheapo stainless (a Chinese knock-off of my Christofle pattern) separate and to remember not to put the silver in the washer. There’s a limit. So, I’m going to pack away the Christofle and get another set of stainless flatware, which will provide plenty of utensils (because I cook a lot and only run the washer every couple of days, I’ll often run through the entire supply of forks or spoons, just on my own!).

If I like the new stuff, then I’ll just keep it and never have to wash another fork by hand. But if I pine for the Christofle, I’ll break it back out after my friend goes west to join her husband and use whichever stainless set I prefer for cooking and knocking around.

Anyway, even though I had to work until 1 a.m. to catch up with publishing stuff left undone, I felt very pleased. A lot of shoveling-out got done. The spare closet is pretty much empty (except for a few hanging linens), so she’ll have plenty of room to stash her stuff. Next: shovel out the bathroom so she can find room to park her make-up. Then we’ll be good!


Wait! I forgot to show you this. How do you like this cover I designed last night?

Presentation4 LoRes

Heee! Hafta to ask you: how about that!  I think I’m getting pretty good at this. In fact, I may have missed my calling: I should’ve been a graphic designer.

This book is part of the Travelers frame story that will go on sale through November and possibly into December. We have two sets of stories for the holidays: Travelers probably is best for December, because it’s premised on a bunch of airline passengers becalmed overnight in an airport. The other, Family, is focused on Thanksgiving: the stories of brothers, sisters, and hangers-on making the annual trek home to Mama’s house for the big family reunion around Thanksgiving dinner.

So: watch for these stories, all of which are upbeat and fun and probably tell stories that resonate with your own life. Onward!



1 thought on “Decluttering: A shovel-it-out moment”

  1. *dizzying!*

    I can barely keep up with you 😉 Well, and I don’t, after spending the days running after the rapidly ambulatory Little Bean and in between chasing down on deadline after another. But I hear you on the decluttering. I’ve never been so between sizes as I am now and I’m incredibly impatient to get to a point where I can cull the closet.

    So good of you to host the friend for a couple of months and thereby putting yourself through all the hauling. I hope their venture out further West is great.

Comments are closed.