A friend of mine will talk with me about “decluttering”, death, estates and loss, really anything at all, as will most of my friends. Not everyone in my small social circle will be as blunt as this person, but when I ask for an honest opinion, I’ll get it, sometimes right between the eyes.
Yesterday we were chatting in her store about Swedish Death Cleaning, and she found this notion amusing. I was sharing that Gary is away for a few days, so I feel I can have things rather “torn apart” knowing he doesn’t have to walk around the mess.
Myrtle used to say, “It has to get worse before it gets better!”, referring to deep cleaning in general, though I know that she wasn’t ruthless enough in her later years. She might sort “stuff”, and her house was fairly clean and tidy (not even much dust, as she had a hydrostatic particle remover on her furnace). I just don’t ever remember coming home to disarray caused by this kind of “purging” in the home. You couldn’t convince me that it ever happened, though I know she had an antique dealer in her back pocket and sold a few items along the way.
I digress. Brenda needed to get back to work during this conversation yesterday, but she abruptly proclaimed, “Yeah, but it’s all for nought if it doesn’t make a visible difference for when Gary gets home.”
Point well taken! While it’s true that this decluttering is occurring as much for my own peace of mind as for Gary’s, and for the comfort of my darling “heirs”, it occurred to me that I’m digging many things out of boxes without getting rid of the (precious) boxes. Therefore, I’m not making room on shelves or in closets. On the other hand, when the time comes for people to go through what is left after I die, the task won’t be so onerous.
I can’t help it. I like the storage boxes as much as the treasures within. There are many, and if I don’t label them, I forget what’s in them.
When we were going through Myrtle’s household, I spotted a lot of very old file boxes tucked up in the struts of the basement (under the flooring … in the “rafters”). At least they had some labels! One box said, “Broken jewellery” and another “Small boxes”. I thought, “Are you kidding me? a box of small boxes?”. Guess what I have now … both kinds of box, filled with new assortments of broken jewellery and seriously … small boxes.
I’ve sold some broken jewellery on eBay and given away ring and watch boxes to an art and craft gallery. I still haven’t made a dint, nor a “visible difference”.
This isn’t getting the work done. I’ve fed the horse, all of the dogs, the guinea pig. I’ve stoked the fire and made a dandy breakfast for myself and Cinder, and now I have to invoke the wings-on-my-feet.
Hope you all have a good day: a restful one, a healing one, or a cleaning one. Good luck to everybody.
p.s. Don’t think that I blame Myrtle for all of this need for death cleaning. I have made my own messes and collections and stupid purchases and garage sale impulses all my adult life. Even after leaving much of my “stuff” behind when I left the farm over 25 years ago, I have collected my own.