Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stuff stuff stuffity stuff

Did something radical this morning.  School started 2 hours late, which meant that there wasn't much time in my morning before I'd be back for pickup at preschool.

So: 90 minutes free, a minivan full of gas, and just one kid in the car??  Most suburban moms I know would think the same as me:  TARGET.

Then I stopped for a minute. (Stupid red light.)

I remembered the kitchen floor strewn with baby doll clothes.  I remembered the dirty dishes left on the table, on the counter, and in the sink.  I thought about the piles of laundry that lurked in all four corners of the laundry room.

Full disclosure here folks:  I would like to pretend that the background mess is atypical.

And I turned the steering wheel towards home.  Crazy, I know. I came back to the Yellow House to spend some quality time with my mess. Messes.

It's so much STUFF:  stuff for putting away, stuff for cleaning up, stuff to keep track of.  And the solution to the stuff is to run away, into the safe welcoming arms of my Target and buy....... yep: more stuff.

I don't have a big house, I don't buy super-fancy things.  I don't often spend on big-ticket items, I don't spend hours shopping online.  And yet the stuff creeps in. 

I set out to keep it simple.  Straightforward: easy to find, easy to use.   But here's this little hole punch that will help me make homemade valentines with the kids, and then 4 boxes of store-bought Valentines I got on clearance last year.  There's this 'green' cleaning product I can use to cut back on toxic chemicals, but also a bottle of cleaning product that is perfectly good so I'd better keep it to use up before I switch to the green stuff.   There is the baby doll which cost too much, but that had a sweet face, and then there's the baby that looks like a sex toy [sorry, it does] but was a gift from a really well-meaning family friend. There are the beautifully handmade doll clothes, and the doll clothes that are hideous but trendy. (Guess which ones the American Girls end up in?) Oh wait, and here is the small plastic green safe that came with the Lincoln Log Bank Set - you know, the safe that was forgotten the day the box was first opened, but that you've kept in a special drawer because its Just So Wrong!! to break up a set?

What this is, is psychic filth.

If it were actual hunks of dirt hanging around this house, I would have hauled the wet mop out ages ago, and given the place a good scrub-down.  (Yep, even me, the Worlds Worst Housekeeper.)  But somehow the sentiment creeps in, and the small pieces, the useless bits, the sheer excess just hangs around, waiting for someone to decide its fate.  Or, more likely, waiting for someone to forget about it, so that it can claim its place in the Pantheon Of Junk.

So who knows the trick for me?  Who can tell me what to do with my sentimental, pseudo-organized psychic filth?    Answers on a postcard please.  Oops, no - make it an email so I don't have 3x5 cards floating around the house.


Lori-Anne said...

Here's what NOT to do: in a lack-of-sleep induced fit, fire everything not so much gently into the five-month-old's still unfinished nursery where it languishes for a month (at last count) in a big, messy pile that the two-year-old occasionally sneaks in to traverse, looking for lost treasure. Definitely not recommendable. On the upside, I totally get what you're saying!

Ciaran said...

I like to take pictures of the stuff, before I get rid of it. Then I still have the memory, if not the tangible item. I have albums of stuff. Crazy but true. It helps me let go. I am a self professed stuffanista. I love stuff! But I hate when the stuff owns me. I always say that for me, true wealth would be living free from the burden of all the stuff. There's no need to buy something on sale, save something old and (currently) unused "just in case". If you need it, you'll buy it later. I'd love to be free to save only the truly meaningful items. The rest? I'd take a picture!

Hollie said...

I wish I had a solution for you...Alas, as I survey the living room behind me I see: Z's direty clothes on the floor (yes, in the LIVING rooom), yesterday's coffee mug, snow boots, dirty dishes, a box of crayons (or are they markers?), a half-read book, and a registration for a youth leader's retreat where they supposedly are going to help us recharge. Maybe I can tackle the filth after the recharging retreat....As of today, I'm simply looking THROUGH it...

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