Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Domino Effect

I can see why people get stuck on clearing their clutter – it’s the dreaded domino effect that makes the task seem so daunting.

Take the treatment area of my basement for example. I want a clutter free, relaxing, peaceful atmosphere. Forget the cold, clinical feel that says, “after all I am a professional”. And, please don’t get me started on the woo woo angels, gauzy bits and pretty shiny things that adorn new agey type practices. Though I find it whimsically charming I am neither whimsical nor charming.

But, specifically what do I want my space to look like? I don’t really know. But I am taking it one step at a time which means that everything that gets omitted from my space is getting me closer to my goal. As items clear out it’s like having a blank canvas on which to envision the room of my dreams more clearly.

So far I’ve sold one chair to a client; donated towels and linens to Amity; taken old lamps no longer necessary now that I have pot lights (with dimmers I might add), bolsters, an iron, cork bulletin board and display holders, for starters, to the nearby Goodwill.

But some things loaded in the car bound for Goodwill never got unloaded and somehow I’m still driving around with a single-sized, blow up mattress with electric pump, which I have never used but that I though were an absolute necessity when I purchased them at a cranial sacral workshop about 10 years ago. It somehow escaped me during a fit of seminar inspired, consumer frenzy that I already had a massage table that would fit the bill just fine.

I drove over to a friend’s place seeking to unload this treasure for free. “It’s perfect for when your grandkids come to visit” was the spiel I used as I tried to appeal to her grandmotherly instincts. But no deal; ever prepared she makes boy scouts look like slackers. The queen of every contingency already has 2…queen sized no less.

My juggling clubs are clattering about underneath my driver’s seat. Though I’m somewhat proficient in juggling with 3 balls, I never could master the clubs and I think it’s sad that they haven’t really flown through the air in some 20 odd years nor have they adorned my wall in that funky decorative collage that exists only in my head. Goodwill won’t take them, “the kids will be running around bonking each other on the head with them” I was told.

And, I’ve realized that there’s nothing more pathetic than lugging your worldly possessions in a monstrous piece of luggage bigger than yourself down cobblestone streets, through the tube and onto and off of trains during the argument that inevitably happens between you and your traveling companion/husband during a 3 week trip abroad. It’s far more empowering to be able to throw one’s belongings on one’s back and stride off in a dignified manner which means that: a) a smaller combo back-pack-roller is essential and b) one needs to pare down drastically what one packs in future. But I hesitated when it came to parting with the roller luggage that I hauled around England and Paris; no, not for sentimental reasons but (although I don’t know how to go about it) I should be able to get something for it. It now takes up the entire back seat.

Mom’s lightly used camel coat hangs alongside Rod’s never used leather bomber jacket blocking my right rear window – both rejected by the upscale used clothing store in Oakville.

“The sleeves have been shortened and show signs of wear” the clerk tells me. The first observation’s true but surely there are other short women in this town and for the life of me as I inspect the cuffs I’m saying to myself “I don’t see any holes.” With mild disgust (she can read my mind) she adds to clarify “there is thinning of the fabric”. Nope, I still can’t see that.

“What about the leather jacket. It’s never been worn and is in perfect shape.”

“We don’t handle men’s apparel. Men don’t shop.”

“O.K. well, but women could wear this bomber style.”

She smiles weakly and nods “no, I don’t think so. Try the Nearly New Shop on Kerr Street. You might get something for it there.”

I find out that the most expensive item in the Nearly New is $10. Ouch, I don’t think so! Items “worth” a few hundred dollars each are reduced to $0. And this explains their setting up home in ALF W (my car).

I know you’re thinking, “She had all this stuff in her treatment room?”

Well no, but they needed to be moved out of the laundry/storage room so that the Thacker family archives can be put into the trunk (which needs to be cleared of my old junk some of which will be thrown out while the rest gets stored upstairs) and stored in their place, so my massage table can be stored where the trunk is now and the files that rest on top of the trunk in crates can be sorted into the new filing cabinet which needs to go under the stairs in the place that the archives now occupy so that…

See, the never ending, ever dreaded domino effect; noble opponent of declutterers everywhere; the Goliath to my David.

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