… Otherwise known as Spring Clean ’16.
(I wanted to do a photography post but the thought of not having any text was too weird. Then I had some thoughts on a cleanout I’m doing at the moment but wondered hmm, how can I dress it up nice so that people might actually read it? Then I hit on a brilliant idea: MASH UP! ‘Spring clean’ my photos and use random favourites that I haven’t yet managed to crowbar into a post, while crapping on about how cleaning out junk gives me fulfilment. It’s quite fitting too as on numerous occasions I’ve been responsibly doing chores until I spotted a sunset out the window and then I’d drop everything to run off and chase it. I suffer from serious FOMO when it comes to sunsets.)
Wow – I feel like I’ve been quite productive these past few weeks! Well not really but since I’m usually not at all productive it feels like a lot. I’m not generally that good at adulting but I recently read the chapter on decluttering for ‘outer order, inner calm’ in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and I’m feeling all gung-ho about getting my shit together for a change.
I finally just DID lots of little bullshit things that have been on my to-do list for ages but I kept forgetting / just couldn’t be arsed / felt guilty and annoyed just thinking about it. Well now I’m actually doing them I have to say Gretch might be on to something.
I’ve cleaned out the pantry, turfing expired water crackers and ancient tins of tuna that have been hiding at the back of the shelf since about 2013. I’ve scrubbed all the cooked-on exploded crap out of the microwave. I’ve put the boring pebbles we found at Burleigh beach months ago in the boys’ “special rock place” down in the gully and not just flung them off the balcony like I wanted.
I’ve done ‘tip trips’ to Mudgeeraba to drop off the giant busted Tonka, the busted clothes horse, the busted printer, the busted ride-on tractor bike and a length of tubing that our least favourite neighbour dumped in the far corner of our backyard and hoped we wouldn’t notice (karma is a duck). I used bootlaces to tie the netting around the trampoline back up as those annoying bloody magpies (or currawongs I’m not sure who the culprits are) pecked and nibbled at the attachments until they snapped. Just because they could.
… My list of bullshit things to do is quite long. And rather bullshitty, hence my reluctance to actually do them.
Bullshitty though they are, they’re a change from the laundry and vacuuming merry-go-round, and, funnily enough, also much more satisfying when done. Probably because all those jobs have a clear end in sight, unlike the laundry. The teetering piles of outgrown clothes at the bottom of the boys’ wardrobes have gone, having been sorted into keep it / sell it / donate it / chuck it piles and dealt with. I’ve even eBayed some stuff and made almost $150 already! *looks around the house to see what else I can flog*
I’ve washed all the outside windows and warily knocked down all the spiderwebs and wasp nests. I haven’t cleaned all the fans yet but I really have to before things start flying off when we turn them on. (Certain jobs I do only when I cannot stand it any longer; maybe I can organise for us to move house before I have to do them again.)
I’ll not notice something for … well, years… but then one day I’ll see it and suddenly it bugs the shit out of me. And then once I get going I can get slightly obsessive and one thing leads to another… until I eventually run out of steam/ get bored. For example I didn’t throw out the pram until last year; Rory was four and it had been sitting unused in the garage for at least a year by then. (…’Just in case.’)
So; turfed it, with a bit of a twinge that that part of the boys’ childhoods are now behind us.
Then I decided to tidy the sports equipment box, and then the rumpus room, which then led to a complete overhaul of all the kids’ stuff, mercilessly throwing out all the unused toys, extraneous hats and backpacks, boring books and bits of random crap which presumably used to be part of toys at some stage but were now only there so the boys could throw them on the floor while looking for something else.
MAN it felt good. Then that led to me sorting through all my books and filling a box to try my luck at the secondhand bookshop. But then I lost interest and the box was ignored again until a couple of weeks ago when I cracked the shits and took it to Good Sammy’s.
So I do do things, but in my own sweet time. Fortunately I have a patient / indifferent / forgiving family.
I never considered myself a hoarder, but J seems to think I am. Certainly there are items that I might hang on to but I cull fairly regularly. Some things have survived, however. I found a beautiful black leather waistcoat I got as a present when I was 18 and a pair of black leather pants I got at uni which I’ve never worn because a) they’re too hot and b) I don’t ride a motorbike and would feel like a massive poser. I could’ve sold them years ago but I didn’t because I thought they were too nice and surely I’d have the chance to wear them someday. 23 years later…
I do love leather, especially on cowboys, and would like to wear it but unless we move somewhere cold, I get a motorbike, or suddenly find myself in a post-apocalyptic world it probably won’t happen. Not the pants anyway…
Right okay I’m going to keep the waistcoat. And wear it. A new life goal. I just have one quick question which I’ll throw out there for you guys: how does one wear a leather waistcoat without looking like either a pirate or a sheriff from the Wild West?
And while you’re (presumably) still here, are you the organised type who can give me advice on staying on top of this sort of thing? I need some kind of system.
Or are you like me and go at things intermittently but with obsessive interest, at least for a while? I need to know I’m not a lazy weirdo. Or at least that I am a lazy weirdo but it’s okay and we have our own support group now.
And what’s something that you’ve kept stashed away, and why have you kept it?
Happy spring! And good luck if you’re also venturing into springclean territory.