Monday, December 3, 2007

Purging The Ghosts

It was a yucky day yesterday. Instead of taking DH out for his birthday, we spent the day cleaning out the "guest" room - our third bedroom that we have been using as an attic. I wish I had thought of taking a before picture, because it was pretty gruesome. Boxes, bins, luggage, and crap was piled high around the perimeter of the room and in the center. One could not move around the room at all. Oprah did a show on people who horde and pile up their homes with their stuff and find that they just cripple themselves. This was like that. Only, we had not gotten so bad that we had it in every room. Just in that one room. And it was ghastly.

So, since the attic flooring was completed and the electrician had wired the vent fan, we decided it was a good day to clear out. My MIL came to help - and she was a HUGE help. She got DH to toss stuff that he was holding on to for no reason. We threw out 24 bags of crap. Yes, you read that right. 24 trash bags. And not the little 30 gallon bags, either. We are talking lawn and leaf sized bags. There was a huge pile of store boxes that we held on to for wrapping gifts. Many of them were crushed, bent, or torn. Out they went! I found that I had more Christmas decorations than any one person has a right to own. I also found that my husband is a huge horder that can't say the word "trash". He holds onto to the strangest things. Like an old wall switch, screw anchors that are bent, total crap. Sad part is, I had to face some of the things that I was holding on to myself.

Point 1 - my maternity clothes. I had a large bin of these clothes in "storage". They wouldn't fit me now anyway, since I have lost weight, and are about 2 sizes too large. What would I do with those? Out they went. But with them went my hopes and dreams of having another child. It was hard. My MIL reminded me that I wouldn't wear them anyway, since they wouldn't fit, but it was tough to let that go.

Point 2 - Dino's baby clothes. Boy, this kid was really well dressed. TONS of clothes from birth to 5T were sitting in several bins. I pulled out the 4T-5T for DG's son, the 18mos-24mos for my hairdressers son, and the baby clothes I put in the attic in case my older sis has a boy. 4 bins were cleared. Wow! But, in doing so, I had to let go of Dino's babyhood and accept that he was growing up. I kept a few things for his memory box, but let the rest go.

Point 3 - old pillows and craft items from before I was married. These things were a tie to my past in the days where I was carefree and single. While I have been struggling in my marriage lately, these items reminded me that when I was on my own, I had little to concern me. I spent hours and hours making stuff for everyone I knew. Lord knows I don't have this kind of time now. But I had to sever those ties since I know that keeping them served no purpose under the sun.

It really felt good to clear that room out. So much so, that I now want to do the same to the basement, where the toys are taking over. If it isn't being played with, it needs to go. That will be my quest for after the holidays. I would do it before if I had the time!

Still, part of me was sad. There were so many memories that hit me as we went through the junk and items of my past. The hideous figurine that was in DH's house when I first met him (gone! Whoo-hoo!), the set of carousel horses we put together when first married (stored in the attic), the luggage we used for our honeymoon (stored), the old size 18 clothes (gone!), the baby sling and gate (stored for sis), the old toys from Dino's infancy (some stored, some gone), and so on. My emotions were worn out when we were done. MIL was good at purging, and it was much easier with her there. Her motto - if you haven't used it in a year, out it goes! Love that. I will be putting that to use in the future.

I actually felt freer than I have in a while. DH said as much, too, last night. It was a great exercise for us since we got to review the past and we came to realize that we have a long history that is worth fighting for. His mood was so different that we actually had a little tete-a-tete last night for the first time in a long time. Who knew that purging our junk would be so cathargic?

Still freaking a little since I have zero Christmas shopping done, but at least we have a room now to put the presents and where I can wrap with some organization.

Oh, and MIL helped us put up the tree last night, too. It now really does feel like Christmas. Oh, and I finally beat the 4th level of Avatar. Whoo-hoo!

Gotta get to my knitting - 3 scarves to go. Knit on, chicks!

1 comment:

Domestic Goddess said...

There is NOTHING like purging stuff that is weighing you down. Be careful, it does get addictive! LOL!
Seriously, when I started doing Flylady, I couldn't believe how good if felt! I was going through post partum at the time and it coincided with my therapy. It was symbolic that I was getting rid of my old demons and starting fresh. I still try to purge stuff once a month. This weekend, as I went through Holiday Decorations to decide what to put up, I tossed more old, broken stuff. A snowman with a broken nose that cannot be fixed is NOT going out where people can see it, you know?
Good job! Glad MIL was there ,she was almost like a mediator, no?
Now maybe you could use the room (GASP) as a guest room? With a (dare I say it) BED???