Friday, October 23, 2009

The Fall Purge

Two hundred dollars and a dump truck. This is what I am getting from the outlaws this week. Although it is Autumn, I am going through my version of Spring Cleaning. I'm calling it the Fall Purge. Something about the changing of the weather and the insane amount of free time I have has made me aware of all the crap I have lying around the house that has become such a fixture I don't even notice it anymore. I don't use it, don't need it, it has become covered with other junk I neither use or need any longer...time to go. But there's SO MUCH OF IT and some of it is big. Like a desk -- a particle board, assemble yourself, falling apart desk -- that used to hold my old monolith of a computer before I got the new, super-speedy, portable, thank-you-dad laptop. I haven't used that desk in at least a year. Not sat down at it I mean. It became a junk catcher. So yesterday afternoon amid homework help and a volley of darkly hilarious emails, I disassembled it. Have I mentioned how much I love demolition? So refreshing.'s in the garage now, in pieces among a myriad of other trash the city won't haul away. I have been joking about renting one of those remodeling dumpsters for a while now. Ha ha. But really...

So, I called the mother outlaw to see if she knew how to go about renting one. She offered up the family dump truck instead. "Family dump truck" you ask? Yep, they're in construction so they've got all kinds of useful stuff like that. If I could only commandeer the backhoe for a day or two (and a minion to go with), I could do some serious landscaping. Ah, pipe dreams. Back to the point, the dump truck should be backed into my yard sometime in the next few days. I am so excited! Is there something wrong with me that I am looking forward to having a gigantic, probably gross-looking dump truck on my property soon? Geez, I hope not.

Now the only trick is that I really have to get serious about all the stuff I am going to throw away. Away. ForEVER. For the last 11 years "away" has meant my garage. Now my garage has gotten to the point where you cannot walk through it without stepping over something, tripping over something or knocking something (probably hazardous) over. Half-empty paint cans, ratty old beach chairs, kid-sized ATVs that haven't been charged in half a decade because 1) we've exceeded the recommended weight limit and 2) they take freakin' 12 hours to charge (who has time for that?!) and a ton, probably a literal ton, of other stuff I haven't even thought of in YEARS. And now I am going to get rid of it. For real. I can feel the anxiety coming on.

The old tape is playing through my head, "Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it." What if I neeeeeed this stuff down the road? I could take pictures of it and sell it on craigslist or ebay couldn't I? Well, of course I could, but I am not going to because if I were going to I would have done. that. by. now. Let's be real here. I could have a garage sale and make some money off it couldn't I? Hell the fuck no I couldn't. I had a garage sale ONCE and it was a nightmare. I only made $80 and had to deal with weird people all was NOT worth it. Plus a lot of this stuff is actual trash, not "trash to treasure" stuff, just plain old trash. Not like anyone is going to say, "Ooooh, an empty beer box from 2005 that never made it to the recycling can! Quick, call Antiques Roadshow!" And don't people comb the dump looking for what they consider perfectly usable stuff? I would really be doing some dump diver a favor by putting that old as hell Barbie Corvette out to pasture wouldn't I? It's like a public service...I'm such a giver.

At this juncture I have to get detached and surgical about this project. I have to be like one of those organizing experts on the decluttering home improvement shows. You've seen these shows, right? They go into someones house and every room is piled to the ceiling with seventeen sofas, newspapers since the Berlin Wall came down, small pets skittering about and the dad's Beanie Baby collection. What is it with men and Beanie Babies...seriously, it's never the women who keep these things. I think they're secretly gay. Anyway, the experts ridicule the homeowner for hoarding and throw out all their accumulated keepsakes that have morphed into complete garbage due to neglect. Then they makeover the whole house transforming it into a contemporary wonderland. "Oh my god! I have a floor! And windows! There's so much space; this is amazing!" Their formerly dusty old sports equipment has become stunning wall art and they sold the Beanie Babies for $1000 to some other closeted dad... I don't think I have a contemporary wonderland in my future, but if I don't get rid of this STUFF I'm going to be eligible for that type of decluttering overhaul. God, please, I don't want to be THAT girl. I probably already am that girl though. Regular people don't require their own personal dump truck to declutter their houses. Fuck.

I am going to schedule a thrift store pickup for whatever I don't consider trashy enough to throw into the truck. I have to schedule a thrift store pickup because I KNOW I am not going to drive it anywhere. Know how I know this? Because I thought I was going to drop it off somewhere LAST year and it's all still sitting in the goddamn garage. I mean it this time. So be checking the thrift stores for a sudden infusion of candy dishes, Mega Blocks and the circa 1992 hair barrettes with giant floppy bows (and I apologize now if that fashion trend makes a comeback for anyone over the age of 6).

No comments: