Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Wasted Are the Days When You Said You Were Only Waiting..."

Winter holds me prisoner, dear reader. As I stare out at my (mostly) lifeless yard at the grave blanket someone gave the cutesy name of "snow" (it sounds so cuddly, doesn't it?) I dream of walking once again in lush grasses, smelling my flowers, mowing my lawn, watering my vegetables...

There isn't much I can do about those things. Spring is something you have to wait for, you know? It isn't like I can construct a giant bubble around my house (I wish!) and grow fresh tomatoes year round (my neighbor mentioned something about his property value living next to a bubble, but I was only half-paying attention...).

But I've started the steps to changing other things--you see, I had this weird and crazy idea of a "three year plan" (I tried thinking of a cutesy name for it, but for some reason, Rich didn't get what I meant when I said "Restructured Life Planning"...): in brief, to declutter and streamline our lives. Get rid of the hundreds of boxes of crap in the attic, junk in the garage, and the hundreds of other items in this house that we don't use, don't look at, don't need, and are cleverly hidden throughout the house. Dishes, candle holders, VHS video tapes, clothing, etc. Also included in this grand "3 Year Plan" is to reduce debt by using all proceeds from selling this crap for credit card debt only, to "use or lose" the precious weight equipment collecting dust, and (this is where I received some hesitancy) severely cut back on "collectibles" that we have moved with us through five residences and now reside in the attic (this portion of the 3 Year Plan may take 5 years... or 10...).

I'm tired of waiting, you know? I'm tired of the excuses, the "Next Saturday's" and the "On my next day offs" and the "This Springs" that we constantly tell ourselves when it comes to this stuff. This is Clutter. This is Junk. This needs to change.

And I think I finally got Richie on board with me on this. I've already started, personally. Tonight alone I listed three things on eBay that I was holding on to for no good reason whatsoever. A Fisher Price basketball net, a Fisher Price Circus Train, and two Fisher Price Ferris Wheels. These are things that gave me fuzzy-warms about my childhood, but the nieces and nephews could care less about when they come over to visit. Images of them playing with these used to run through my head, but I realize they have different toys, newer toys to play with.

And I'm out of excuses to keep these things. Yes, it's nice to have the memories, but that's what pictures are for. What getting together with the family is for. Not to sit on a shelf and collect dust. Someone out there will treasure these items as I did, and hopefully, will be placed into the hands of a child who will love them as much as I did.

And even if they don't? I won't have to move them, dust them, or worry about them in any way anymore. And my life will be just a tad bit simpler for it. A tad less cluttered, a tad less time-consuming, and just a touch easier to keep neat and clean. And hopefully, just a little bit closer to being debt-free.

I've wasted enough time living with these things and not using them as they were meant to be used. And while I'm sure there's a collector or two reading this and thinking, "He's getting rid of that stuff? What a fool!", then I request you go to eBay, look up the seller dragonkeeper25, and buy those items. After all, my newly-designated trash can be your new treasure.

No more waiting for dead dreams--I'm off to make new ones happen with the 3 (to 5) Year Plan.

Well, that, and a hope this will keep me busy enough in February not to notice the cold...

8 comments:

elj377 said...

Good for you...decluttering is great! We were forced to declutter this summer, and while I do miss my teaching stuff and books, alot of the stuff we lost was stuff we were only carting from house to house! Keep up the good work...and depending on the condition that Ferris Wheel could be worth a pretty penny!

mom said...

hello jason! this makes me smile since i think i lost giving my stuff away to you kids to make me feel better. :) i did notice you are getting tough to get rid of 'my things' with. :) it is good to get rid of things and right on the memory thing. some things just have to keep no matter how crazy it seems. like my rock that dad put in front of my playhoues that acted like a step and when grandmom moved i got to get it over to the house you grew up in and that rock traveled with me to this house and will travel with me to the next downsize house and than you can use it as my marker when i go home to heaven since that rock is a bit big but flat and very cool like. :) the rest of my stuff you will have to just deal with like you are dealing with your stuff. i just know i will be laughing in heaven hearing all you kids wondering why in the world did she keep this!?!? BUT its very organized! :) if anyone has clutter you need to be organized with it. i know i am the queen when it comes to being organize. :) well, have fun with your stuff which i know half of it probably is stuff i got of rid of on you. :) love and prayers ps 'bucky' does go to john. he can make up his own hunting story on how he got this great 7 point buck! that buck is my greatest fine when it comes to 'my stuff'! that will come with me where ever like my rock. :)

Scott said...

Ahh my friend. I understand the tumultuous feeling associated with Clutter, and since we recently just figured out that we are kneck and kneck for the most moves in a ten year period, I share some of your thoughts. My last move left me packing everything in boxes and storing most of my childhood away in air tight plastic containers that were not easily accessible and only opened when the nephew stayed over.
But, I did manage to down size almost four years ago, and since you just finished moving me, you know this to be true.
In saying that, I still had a great deal of Cluttered memories to move and store somewhere in my one bedroom flat. Surprisingly it all fit with room to spare.
Needless to say, I have notice that the uncluttering of my life has opened up new possibilities, like the chance to have wrinkle free clothing because I can hang shirts in the closet instead of stacked boxes.
As with any knew adventure, the idea to Clutter came full force to the front of my being. I made a two page list of items I desperately NEEDED for my new apartment. Fortunately, I ran out of money and got sick at the same time, which caused me to reflect on what I really needed. Not much of anything.
Material items be gone. Nothing has made the snow melt faster and summer come sooner.
The first few nights I dreamed about new end tables and window dressings and fun little kitchen gadgets that get used once or twice a year. It was like visions of sugar plums on the night before Christmas.
Your realization is spot on. It is nothing but Clutter. So in resisting the urge to by anything new at the moment, I have stopped Clutter in her tracks and reorganized my prirorities much as you have.
If you need a sponsor or some support for the other half, please let me know. I understand the pangs of despair as a special little nostalgia is gobbled up but those enablers of Clutter pilfering objects all over the world wide web.
Cheers to freedom from all that is Clutter. I drink to new beginnings my friend. (Of course I just think you sold my wine glasses on half.com so I will have to use a plastic cup!)

emily k. said...

I wish you luck on the decluttering... it's a very freeing feeling. My husband and I tackled the basement in late fall/early winter. We had boxes of crap down there that we hauled around with us through 3 moves and hadn't ever opened. It took 8 hours, many pairs of gloves, a few dust masks, 3 boxes of heavy-duty trash bags, 2 box cutters, and 1 heavy-duty shop vac. Other than a few things we don't know how to get rid of (i.e. a cruddy roll of insulation, the original front door to the house), it's remained clutter-free ever since.

emily k. said...

I wish you luck on the decluttering... it's a very freeing feeling. My husband and I tackled the basement in late fall/early winter. We had boxes of crap down there that we hauled around with us through 3 moves and hadn't ever opened. It took 8 hours, many pairs of gloves, a few dust masks, 3 boxes of heavy-duty trash bags, 2 box cutters, and 1 heavy-duty shop vac. Other than a few things we don't know how to get rid of (i.e. a cruddy roll of insulation, the original front door to the house), it's remained clutter-free ever since.

Scott said...

Ahh my friend. I understand the tumultuous feeling associated with Clutter, and since we recently just figured out that we are kneck and kneck for the most moves in a ten year period, I share some of your thoughts. My last move left me packing everything in boxes and storing most of my childhood away in air tight plastic containers that were not easily accessible and only opened when the nephew stayed over.
But, I did manage to down size almost four years ago, and since you just finished moving me, you know this to be true.
In saying that, I still had a great deal of Cluttered memories to move and store somewhere in my one bedroom flat. Surprisingly it all fit with room to spare.
Needless to say, I have notice that the uncluttering of my life has opened up new possibilities, like the chance to have wrinkle free clothing because I can hang shirts in the closet instead of stacked boxes.
As with any knew adventure, the idea to Clutter came full force to the front of my being. I made a two page list of items I desperately NEEDED for my new apartment. Fortunately, I ran out of money and got sick at the same time, which caused me to reflect on what I really needed. Not much of anything.
Material items be gone. Nothing has made the snow melt faster and summer come sooner.
The first few nights I dreamed about new end tables and window dressings and fun little kitchen gadgets that get used once or twice a year. It was like visions of sugar plums on the night before Christmas.
Your realization is spot on. It is nothing but Clutter. So in resisting the urge to by anything new at the moment, I have stopped Clutter in her tracks and reorganized my prirorities much as you have.
If you need a sponsor or some support for the other half, please let me know. I understand the pangs of despair as a special little nostalgia is gobbled up but those enablers of Clutter pilfering objects all over the world wide web.
Cheers to freedom from all that is Clutter. I drink to new beginnings my friend. (Of course I just think you sold my wine glasses on half.com so I will have to use a plastic cup!)

mom said...

hello jason! this makes me smile since i think i lost giving my stuff away to you kids to make me feel better. :) i did notice you are getting tough to get rid of 'my things' with. :) it is good to get rid of things and right on the memory thing. some things just have to keep no matter how crazy it seems. like my rock that dad put in front of my playhoues that acted like a step and when grandmom moved i got to get it over to the house you grew up in and that rock traveled with me to this house and will travel with me to the next downsize house and than you can use it as my marker when i go home to heaven since that rock is a bit big but flat and very cool like. :) the rest of my stuff you will have to just deal with like you are dealing with your stuff. i just know i will be laughing in heaven hearing all you kids wondering why in the world did she keep this!?!? BUT its very organized! :) if anyone has clutter you need to be organized with it. i know i am the queen when it comes to being organize. :) well, have fun with your stuff which i know half of it probably is stuff i got of rid of on you. :) love and prayers ps 'bucky' does go to john. he can make up his own hunting story on how he got this great 7 point buck! that buck is my greatest fine when it comes to 'my stuff'! that will come with me where ever like my rock. :)

elj377 said...

Good for you...decluttering is great! We were forced to declutter this summer, and while I do miss my teaching stuff and books, alot of the stuff we lost was stuff we were only carting from house to house! Keep up the good work...and depending on the condition that Ferris Wheel could be worth a pretty penny!