Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Holy Packrats, Batman!

Wow, I have a lot of stuff. Weird, strange, why-in-the-world-did-I-keep-this stuff... and I'm emotionally attached to all of it. Every shred of paper, every tattered movie stub, every magazine, every book... okay, not ALL of it - but certainly more than what's probably healthy.

My brother is coming to stay in a couple of weeks. That means that my spare room must become a guest room in fairly short order. This presents something of an issue 'cause while I've been organizing the rest of my little abode, everything that I can't figure out what to do with has landed in a pile in the spare room. It currently takes a fairly significant effort to reach the closet light. (And, as an aside, what braintrust came up with the idea of linking light switches to electrical outlets and then not including any light other than the closet in a room?!?)

So I started in on the closet last night, thinking that if I could get that organized, a lot of the stuff in the middle of the floor could live in the closet. I found things that I had given up as lost forever... and things that I have no memory of at all. I am once again in awe of the interesting and different logic patterns apparently inherent in the minds of my movers. A box titled 'Kitchen' in fact holds a cook book, as well as the first 3 Harry Potter books, a small box full of paper and binder clips, a plastic bag full of leaves, 2 sweaters, a small stuffed dog, a portable CD player, a number of audiocassettes, 2 boxes of old canceled checks, a flashlight, a box of chalk, a handful of loose change and an assortment of movie stubs and programs. Okey-dokey.

But I can't blame the movers for other things. I had 26 plastic bags squirreled away in my closet. Here's the really sad thing - I only managed to throw one away. I keep them to recycle since they're really nice bags, only to forget I have them.

Most of the closet floor was taken up with luggage. (I include suitcases, garment bags, tote bags, backpacks and any other soft-sided storage vessel in this category.) I have the luggage that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday. It was an okay set, ten years ago, but it consists of actual suitcases with wheels on them and it is quite ungainly. I have four backpacks, two of which I never use; four or five different briefcase/laptop carriers - all with the tags still attached. I've mentioned that I'm compulsive before, right?

I have a dresser in storage that will be living in my spare room specifically for craft stuff (beads, ribbons, wood cut-outs, fake flowers, googly eyes in several sizes, pom-poms, felt, etc etc etc) but until I get that transported, I guess I'll pile it all into a box. Right now, it's all in several plastic bags and a laundry basket in the middle of the floor.

Then there's the several boxes of fabric. Most of that was given to me by a wonderful lady who was moving to Florida, but I have bits and bolts stashed here and there. This includes a leaf bag full of baby clothes that I will be converting into a memory quilt for a friend. I've settled on a pattern, and I have all of the materials - I just need to find the time to actually do it - sometime before the child enters high school would be good.

The spare room is also my repository for all the stuff I buy in bulk - like toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, napkins, garbage bags, multi-packs of ziplock bags in an assortment of sizes, cleansers, laundry paraphernalia, etc.

In the meantime, I really need to get to the cardboard recycle place. I have a stack of boxes to my ceiling. The cat and I have both been buried under an avalanche of boxes at some point in the last couple of weeks. I have to be strong 'cause I'm really attached to my box collection as well. It hurts me to throw away a perfectly good box that I know I can use again.

What would be really cool is if my apartment was like Mary Poppin's bag - same size on the outside, palatal on the inside. That would rock! Until I get that figured out though, I'd better plan on spending every day this week sifting through the debris of a stuff-obsessed life in progress. The week is not going to be long enough!

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