Spring Cleaning in November
My husband and I have been doing some serious spring cleaning. Yes -- I do realize it is officially wintertime, and this puts us a little on the tardy side, but, for the record, we began the project at the end of the summer. I’m not sure if disclosing this information paints a better or worse picture of our organizational skills. I’m thinking the latter… Nonetheless, we are plodding ahead, and even though we didn’t initiate our endeavor in the spring, I am optimistic we may actually finish before the buds are blooming again.
I keep saying we but, to be honest, I can’t really take much credit for the progress we’ve made so far. It’s my husband, Dwayne, who’s been on a roll trying to rid our home of unnecessary items like hand-me-downs that haven’t been handed down, jeans that I should go ahead and admit would look much better on my teeny tiny size-0 sister, taxes from ten to fifteen years ago, and our son’s school work from Kindergarten (he’s now in the 5th grade).
Dwayne has been sorting through boxes and baskets of old photos, throwing out duplicates. Note -- when you have your first child, you think everybody wants a copy of every picture ever taken of your child, but, it turns out, that isn’t necessarily true. There’s something to be said for the digital world, and it’s called “delete.”
Dwayne has been determined to get our home in order. More like obsessed, really. He’s been knocking out projects -- indoors and out --patching, painting and dry walling. He even – get this -- built a loft bed for our son! His work and determination have been impressive to say the least.
My main assignment, on the other hand, has been to go through my office files. I know that may sound pretty simple to you, but this is only because you haven’t seen my office. (Consider yourself lucky.) While I’m actually fairly organized for a right-brained artsy-type, I’m a pile girl. I love piles. I have them everywhere -- on the furniture; behind the furniture; on the bookshelf; behind books on the bookshelf; and -- my favorite place – the floor! My mission (and, according to my husband, I have to take it) is to find a home -- he’s hoping the garbage -- for my piles.
Now, I stay pretty busy, and while it may sound like an excuse, I really don’t have a whole lot of extra time to devote to house projects right now. Dwayne recognizes that this is true, and he has actually been pretty good about it -- so much so that he has slowly been sorting through my piles, whittling them down to the bare minimum: the stuff that I would never throw away. Like letters from friends around the country who followed my singing career; cards from my family; thoughts and notes from a younger me; scribbled down quotes from Will when he was little:
-- Mama, I wish I could be like God.
-- Why Will?
-- Because then I could come to people in their dreams.
Ten years and one child ago, I would not have been at all comfortable with someone else going through or even near my piles. Not one little bit. It turns out, however, this is no longer the case. How thrilling and freeing to know that, while I cannot always control the making of my piles, I no longer feel the need to control who controls my piles. Know what I mean?
This new knowledge is more liberating than clear space on the floor, more pleasing than an extra dresser drawer. Oddly, it is equally as exciting to me as rediscovering my lost treasures, and for better or worse, quite possibly the beginning to the end of a love affair with piles.