16 03 2008

I’m a Fog-Head … before there were KFOG Fog-Heads … I remember KFOG when it was beautiful music and even remembered the day the format changed because I was sitting with my boyfriend at the time in the car waiting for the change … I’d already lost Marin’s KTIM …

SO – through the power of streaming, I listen to KFOG just to get my fix of the Bay Area … and for no particularly good reason.  Today, the ‘topic of the day’ is a story about a guy living on Polk Street who can’t open his door because he has such huge ‘collections’. 

hum ….

This resonates because I’ve got copious piles of stuff.  I’ve collected things over the years and it’s turned into quite a ton of crapola.  I got to thinking about it because of all the memories attached to all the crap … that and one friend of mine just moved out of her marriage of like 12 years, another mentioned that he still had his life in boxes after he moved out of his relationship like 3 years ago, and a third babbled that he’d not gone through his divorce boxes for 8 years.

Where do I fit in?  I’ve got boxes of crap that I’d not looked at for years, hoards of office supplies from various projects, piles of clothes that are were too small (and their cousins who are now too large), and extras of extras.  The bits and bobs of life are ordered … but it’s freaking overwhelming.  This doesn’t include my years of photography (two trunks in the apartment and probably one or two up in storage), music (dust covered wicker holders in the living room and a trunk in the office), and books!

Last year, I swore that I’d get rid of the storage bin, but other things came up.  Other things always come up because to get rid of the crap takes intestinal fortitude and a lot of will-power. I also have to depend on friends to help me with the heavier stuff … and that can be embarrassing.

The cool thing is Kristen (a racewalking buddy in Boulder) is having a garage sale for charity and I’m handing everything off.  Yeah – I could go to the flea market here in Colorado, but let’s get real … if I’ve not done it by now, I’m not going to.  I usually just take shipment after shipment to the Goodwill and leave it at that! 

Why does it take so much to go through stuff?  Well, I can only speak for myself, but it has a lot to do with the fact that there are emotions tied with things. 

 Like most, I have boxes of leftovers from previous relationships … you know the photos or the positive mementos.  I found a way to keep this stuff to a minimum during  a clean out a few years ago.  There are some things that are hard to get streamed down, and those are just waiting for me, like little landmines, in storage.  

The real problem is that I’d set up full houses when I was in my various relationships, and when I left, it was a situation wherein I shoved everything in a box and … rebought.  Dragging around 1/2 the silverware or plates sounds kind of stupid, but when leaving a 6 year relationship that had gotten really rocky … well …

When I moved to Colorado, I had left just about everything I owned in California (in two storage bins to the tune of $150/mo in fees).  I had gone through things before I’d left – giving the excess to my Mom for a garage sale she and my sister were allegedly going to have.  Unfortunately, Mom didn’t donate the stuff, but saved it for me.  Oy!  I toted everything back from CA – driving over Donner Pass in a freak snowstorm over Labor Day Weekend – and crammed storage in Golden.  As I carved through the storage, I gave the excess to friends, boyfriend, the Good-Will … because I just couldn’t face the realization that I’d now had two or three of a lot of things.

I wish I had just bought rubbish, but a lot of the things toted around have been of good quality … I just have not known what is where and zip down to the Walmart to pick up another what’s-it.  The rubbish is a snap to get rid of.  Ten soup bowl cups that were popular in 1989 … pouf!  Jackets that are probably coming back in style now … pouf! Tarnished bangles, hair combs and clips, t-shirts from whatnot, coffee cups with slogans I hated anyway … bye bye!

The hard stuff is now: I’ve got oak bookcases I have no room for, books I’ve not looked at in years, furniture that is of really good quality just slowly decaying, clothes that I didn’t get rid of along the way.  I collect nice Christmas Ornaments, traded my one of a kind photography for friends’ one of a kind pottery, and then there’s my letterman jacket.  I’ve got a problem.  I don’t have a family to pass these things to, but I still am not comfortable just junking them.

The good thing, however, is that all that is in storage in Goldenand about 45 minutes away from Denver.  I have, however, been embarrassed by my house for the past year.  Up to this point, it’s not been much of a problem.  I’m more or less a hermit.  I tend to go to others’ vs. them coming to my house.  Not that I don’t like having people over … it’s just easier usually.  That’s starting to change.  Friends actually are interested in taking me up on my inflatable bed in the spare bedroom.  AEII!  That means – Cut The Crap Shep!

I do fine for a while since I actually love wide open spaces and emptiness … but I also love my choices in artwork, colors and good memories.  This year is my true clean out year and with Spring on Thursday … I really wanted to get things done.  As usual – my life made some decisions for the procrastinating and vacillating me:

Monday: My downstairs neighbors have had a leak in their bathroom which comes from my tub … which will need to be completely replaced.

Tuesday: I realized that I couldn’t find some of my research for a paper I’m writing because it was spread all over the house and in the car!

Wednesday: My most comfortable racewalking shoes were hiding someplace.  I looked in the main closet and realized that I didn’t like what I saw.  I spent four hours completely taking it apart and going through … realizing I’ve had the worlds worst taste in pocketbooks!

Thursday: Got a call from the leasing office.  The folks would be coming to deal with the tub starting Tuesday – which requires that they go down one hall, jag into my bedroom then around the corner into the bathroom … carrying a tub.  Realized my office was a complete disaster.  Computer acting up again so I powered it down.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Computer dead. Sick of being neat but cluttered. Lost work keys in a box. Knew where my race stuff was … but started going through everything for garage sale/donation/whatnot.  We know me – when I make a decision … get out of my way!

This morning, I deposited Bailey at my neighbors and stood in my bathroom.  It was fairly empty and I liked it … hum … They’re going to be working on the bathroom through Thursday, so Friday will be, allegedly, the first day I can start putting my life back in order.  My livingroom, on the other hand, is a maze of bags, boxes and junk.  A lot of it will be donated, some of it is garbage, a great deal needs to be shreaded and recycled, and the rest *has* to be sorted and put away. 

I see this as an opportunity.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m slammed and have no spare time really.  I’ve futzed around long enough, however.  I’ve been sick and tired of my Modern College Student living, but have not had the finances to change it.  I’m massively slammed with trying to get my finances together, dealing with this huge research paper (re-constituting a lot of it due to computer issue), and training that had been falling apart due to health/brain space issues.  I can, however, take this opportunity handed to me by some pretty sucky things in life to get more out of the house and prep myself for April’s Adventures in Storage! 

The upshot of this ever expanding post is that collections can get overwhelming.  Stuff is just that unless it’s actually used.  I’m having a lot of trouble getting rid of some of my audio books even though I know I’m not going back into the business.  I did, however.  I got rid of some clothes I did like, but I’ve got enough of really.  I’m making room for new memories … and chapters for the book!




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