Sunday, October 13, 2013

Walk-in closet of horrors

I asked Dex if he wanted to start getting rid of some junk from his room to help me get ahead on the October minimalism game. He said yes, and now we're not only ahead—we're completely done. And then some. I'm just not sure how I'll recover from the experience.

See, when Dex was younger, he was both a major creative force and a major packrat. He saved everything he ever made and most everything he ever touched. (At one point M.H. started tearing up toilet paper tubes before putting them in the trash, because otherwise Dex would dig them out and hide them in his dresser drawers.) That little packrat has swung violently in the non-sentimental direction, but we'd never really dealt with all the stuff—we just moved it from Virginia to Montana and took advantage of the fact that his bedroom has a walk-in closet.

Anyway, it was pretty easy to come up with 14+15+16+17…+31 items to part with, but it was absolutely wrenching to figure out what to do with all the drawings and stories and comics and letters and photos and inventions and…stuff. He didn't want any of it, so I had to make some tough decisions about what to save and what to let go—and some then tough decisions about where to store them, because now I guess they're my problem. I saved a lot, but I'm not even going to list some of the stuff I didn't save, because my mother might have a heart attack. In fact, I need to re-forget-all-about-it ASAP, or I might have a heart attack with her.

And that's not even the worst of it. See, we gave a lot of things to charity, and we recycled a lot of drawn-on paper (horrible in its own way), but the worst thing was the incredible amount of waste represented by the mound of broken and unusable toys we didn't want and couldn't donate. It was sickening to think about all the money spent and all the plastics and crap that will end up in a landfill because we didn't take good enough care of things, or lost too many pieces, or just had so many toys that we forgot all about them until it was too late. Ugh.

There's one more "worst" thing: Because Dex took care of the vast majority of this little game, it means we still haven't really scratched the surface in decluttering the rest of the house, let alone gotten into minimalism. I'm seriously considering starting all over again in November, if I decide my heart can take it.

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