Friday, February 27, 2015

Loving Too Many Things By Betsy Ashton

The way to know life is to love many things ~ Van Gogh

I don't know what Van Gogh referenced in his comment about loving many things. I doubt he meant the mess my husband and I made over the last two weeks.

It all started with a simple statement: "We never finished the doors in the downstairs bedroom." That was me in a moment of weakness. We hired a local man to remove the doors from three closets, the bedroom and the laundry room to finish them in his workshop. So far, so good.

Left staring at the clutter in the closets, my husband said, "We should probably sort through what's here and see if we need to keep it all." Innocent enough statement. Because we had to move furniture and remove everything from said closets, we dragged items we hadn't used in like forty forevers into the office den and onto the twin beds.

I know it doesn't look like much when piled on beds, but one of those twin beds held no fewer than seven pair of ski pants, one of which still fit. The rest went into bags for Goodwill. Same held true for my clothes. I had way too many that I don't wear or don't fit. Bags found their way to my Explorer, ready for transport.

In the two weeks it took to get the doors back, delays due to snowy or icy roads, we continued to weed through accumulated stuff. Fifteen (!) backpacks and computer bags are now two, one each. More stuff in the Explorer, so much so that the first trip to Goodwill couldn't wait.

Then it was on to the photo albums, books that hid in one closet, vinyl records waiting for transfer to digital format. From three milk cartons of records, we are down to one with music I actually want to listen to. You guessed it, Explorer and Goodwill.

When all was said and done, we'd reduced the "things we loved" by fifty percent. Another purge would probably rid us of even more stuff. With the last things stored away and the basement cleaned, Mocha the kitty took a stroll through the empty space. You can almost see her heading for the door.

My husband looked at me, love in his eyes, dust on his hands. "I think we should do the same thing with the closet in our bedroom, don't you?" He's still alive. Barely.

And when March rolls in, we will continue spring cleaning from 2012!


Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max, Unintended Consequences, and Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, which is no available for pre-launch e-book orders at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Jannine Gallant said...

What a project! I have clothes in my closet from college and even two skirts from high school. Uh, that was a long, loooong time ago. I tell myself I'll purge the closet after both girls graduate HS and don't need mom's clothes for dress-up days!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Each time I trade the fall/winter clothes for spring/summer and vice versa, I vow to weed out the misfits and never worns. As the mother of twins from an 'oops' pregnancy, I still have a stored maternity top in the downstairs closet. (You can never be too careful!) I thought we were the only family that stockpiled fifteen backpacks. ;-)

Leah St. James said...

We did a purge recently, too, Betsy. I found a tub of "fat" closes that I found I now fit in, again. Arg. If I ever get the urge to clean my closet again, I think I'll go for a glass of wine instead. :-)