Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It Only Took 5 Years

Back in 2008, a had a friend come for a week-long visit. He brought his lap top so I set up the card table in the office so he'd have a place to connect to the Internet. At the time, a wireless router was not on my radar of possibilities.

After he left, that card table became a dumping ground for all manner of paper goods. Pilchard used to "nest" on it and sleep while I played WOW.

Or she would try to fit into a box clearly 2 sizes too small for her that happened to be on the table top.

Over the years, the piles on the table would get bigger, then smaller, then bigger as I would simply toss things I didn't want to deal with onto the table for the proverbial time I'd "get around to it". Gradually, the pile grew to where Pilchard didn't want to sleep on the top because she would continually knock things off.

While watching the box score of the Iowa-Central Michigan football game, I decided this was the day to seriously clean and deal with the stuff on the table. I had managed to whittle it down to this.

Let's see. There is a container of CD cases, most of which have CD's containing photos and videos from my World of Warcraft guild. There are a bunch of photos stuck in packages. There is a stack of newspaper clippings and whole newspapers dealing with the great flood of 2008 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There were football articles and old newsletters saved by my grandfather. There were books and sewing supplies. My Bullwinkle Moose, Marvin Martian and Spot from 7UP dolls and the wooden shelf on which they sat, which had tumbled off the wall several years ago. And there were other things, letters, magazines, genealogy items, stuff that just needed to be sorted and either pitched or filed.

It took roughly 2 hours to empty off the contents of the table, decide if I really wanted to save it, and then, if so, do something with it, not just stack it in another pile "to be dealt with later". Nope, this was going to be a deal with it now event. Finally, there was nothing on the table.

Well, not quite nothing. Cat fur. There was a lot of black fur on the table cloth. This is one of my grandmother's bridge club table cloths. It has been on this table since 2008. It is time to wash it. Then, I took down the table and stowed it in a closet.

Immediately, the room felt more open and spacious. When you have a small house, as I do, the stuff of life can slowly turn a room into a cave. Removing this opened up the area in front of the bookshelves to the right of the table.

There's the chair Pilchard sleeps in when I play WOW. There is a rolling stool my friend bought when he was here. I always meant to get rid of it, but, I can see its value in helping me do some cleaning and organizing in the kitchen, since getting down on the ground is currently difficult for me. There is an antique magazine rack which held catalogs from, I kid you not, 2007. It has 2 empty slots in it now, thanks to the pitching of a lot of paper items. Plus, I can get to the cedar chest where I store the music CD's not in a tower, and my sewing materials. The machine sits in front of the shelves. I think I still have maybe too much stuff and could whittle further, but this is a huge, huge first step.

Mija and Pilchard like to sit on the padded top of the stool so it's a win that it's freed now for them to use. I put a bunch of items I won't ever use again into a bag to be given away at the next opportunity. My recycling can had to be emptied once, too. I could use a scanner and then I could get rid of more paper items that I really don't need to keep except they have meaning to me.

Best of all, I no longer have a place to dump things "to get to them later". This clean up forces me to deal with items when I use them or receive them. I can be the best procrastinator in the world but this forces me not to be and that's a plus for me.

Beverage:  water


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