univacgrl: (Default)
( May. 6th, 2016 12:44 pm)
We've just moved, to a new apartment, in a new city (not really that far from the old one, but it feels like it's far far away), and I'm drowning in my own things. I have unmatched socks that are years old that I've kept in the hopes that their mates will just magically show up "someday".  I have underwear that I know I bought back when I was in college (and it's in fine shape, because I never wore those pairs much anyway). I have enough makeup to do myself up with a face full o' slap for years. I have enough halloween makeup to outfit an entire burlesque troupe. I have way too much yarn, as well as a hell of a lot of needles, hooks, glitter, glue/paint, wire, floss, ribbon, beads, fabric, and paper sewing patterns. Apparently I collect sewing patterns, because I've made like six things from them (and only two for myself), even though the whole point is to make myself wonderful things to wear, but I don't have room to do anything because, you guessed it, I have too much stuff to work around. I have too many paper books, though some are special like the signed Gaimans.   I have some belongings remaining from three different dead people, even though I know keeping it won't bring any of them back. Some of which I got to choose (and those items give me life), but most of which I took because it didn't have anywhere else to go besides the trash, and I feel sadness, grief, and terrible loss whenever I catch sight of them. But I can't bear the thought of getting rid of them either, so glimpsing a pair of pink-toed socks or the antique toaster can reduce me to tears at times.  

It's become beyond obvious, even to me, that I don't own my stuff. My stuff owns me.  With the move, there have been some easy decisions to get rid of a few things, like obvious trash or recyclables. I've been making some conscious decisions lately, mostly about clothes that don't fit. I'll put them on because they're close at hand, and if they just don't feel right (or if after a day of wearing them start to not feel right, something I call 'giving them the farewell tour'), I'll take a good hard look at them and then probably consign them to the Go-Away Bag (which lives right next to the Go-Away Box that holds the things-that-aren't-clothes to get rid of).   D's been helping me by getting rid of a few things when I'm not around, because if I don't see them, I probably won't miss them.  Sometimes I do see them, and then I nod and leave them in the trash, sometimes I am compelled to pick out one or two things.  Mostly, I have the desire to pull all of my stuff around me in a protective shell. Yes, like that character in Labyrinth, which for me was the most frightening thing in that film.

To that end I'm going to try to get rid of at least one thing each day, to donate/sell or recycle/trash, for thirty days.  I know it's not the first of the month; I know it's not a Sunday (or a Monday). Starting on those beginning-type days just doesn't work for me because it feels like too much pressure (and I don't do transitions well). I know I've been doing it in fits and starts already.  So I'm just going to close my eyes and -- keep going.

Day 1 (Officially Counting): 

I got off to a roaring start, since D put together the second dresser we bought from Ikea (just before we had to move). My clothes are in bags all over the bedroom and though the dresser's been together for a week or so, I hadn't put anything in it.  I have this (irrational?) fear that we're going to have to move again, on a moment's notice.  Last night he told me he'd taken my bras out of their box and put them in a drawer, which kind of sparked today's adventure.  I've been keeping socks and underthings (and other foldable clothes) in plastic bin drawers, which were filled to overflowing as soon as I got them.  I started with the top and made it through the second by laying everything out on the bed. So in transferring two of the plastic bins' content into the new dresser I was able to put into the Go-Away Bag: two bunches of (matched) socks that don't fit, a bunch of bras that don't fit (all the sizes around the one I'm currently at but especially the ones that are way too small), and three tank top undershirts that are pretty ratty.  I sorted out the things that weren't either socks or underthings and stuck them back one of the two plastic drawer bins I'd emptied. The other drawer bin is an intermediary holder for things I'm not sure about keeping (I wasn't up to trying on 12 bras right now). I put all the unmatched socks on the top of the bin dresser and, once I'd gotten the bed cleared off again, called it good.

There was one thing that I was determined to get rid of that I didn't.: a black, wide-ribbed, cropped tank top that I bought in my first year of college.  It's a basic item.  I was still able to stuff myself into it (at home and in private) even at my largest size. It went to at least two Burning Mans (probably more), and it's still soft and comfortable.  I tried it on this morning and it just doesn't fit me right.  The straps are too narrow, the scoop is too low, and it's a crop top, on this body.  But I couldn't put it in the bag.  Maybe some other time but not right now.  

For anyone who thinks this is the KonMari method, well, yeah, it is, kind of.  I read a little bit of the book's first chapter on a stop during a (highly emotional) emergency trip to see my parents. I thought "Ok, this sounds totally doable, but right now I've got to see my sick dad, so laters."  A few weeks later I picked up my own copy of the book on a Target mosey, brought it home and started reading it again, thinking to myself "Reasonable, reasonable, reasonable, OK HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE RIGHT THERE NOPE."  I can't remember exactly what it was that set me off (maybe the "doing it all at once" and being happy with only a minor fraction of what you originally had), but I closed the book, put it on the arm of the sofa (to let it fall underneath, where it lived until we moved out) and got up and got away from that thing.  There are now four books that I've had that kind of reaction to, and the other three involved a particular form of harm to children that I experienced myself.   So something about getting rid of stuff lights up the DANGER sign in my hindbrain, because, hoarder from a family of barely-controlled hoarders.  So, kinder, gentler, (yes, slow as fuck) KonMari-like, but not KonMari.
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Cyrano de Univac

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