Saturday, November 28, 2009

Closet Thanks

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now we are already looking towards Christmas. But go back a few days to the Thanksgiving holiday itself, and you will find Michael and I surrounded by Rubbermaid tubs, stacks of paper, and an assortment of odds and ends in the living room. For us, Thanksgiving turned into a day to organize. More specifically, we were organizing a lifetime of Michael's memorabilia.

The project began last weekend when, upon realizing I had an entire Saturday free up until 6pm or so, I decided to ignore my first instinct ("I should make plans with friends!") and follow my second ("I should use this windfall of time to get things done around the house!"). I pulled out drawers and bins, compiling socks without mates (there were more of those than the ones with mates, I fear), thinning out the rag collection, which was growing to Blob-like proportions, and filling the recycling bin with the empty cardboard boxes I have inexplicably held on to for more than nine years ("But they were nice boxes!"). A large portion of what remained to be sorted were bin after bin of Michael's stuff - the stuff that parents like to hoard and then pass on to you when they see that you finally have a house of your own. Then, instead of taking up precious space in their home, it can eat up room in yours.

I had this same experience with my childhood remnants, and last year managed to pare them down to one small filing box of mementos to save, one smaller box of items to pass on if I ever have a daughter, and one not-so-small dollhouse that my father made me for Christmas as a child. It's not easy, but I can honestly say that I do not miss a single thing I threw out. In fact, I can't remember what it was that I threw out. Well, with the exception of the German beer coasters from college. And I have to admit a small part of me does kind of miss those.

But with this experienceunder my belt, I girded myself to help Michael through this arduous process on Thanksgiving day. And in the end, Michael had to admit it felt pretty good. He, too, has pared down to a small filing box, along with one smallish Rubbermaid tub for items that won't fit in a file box. Our living room is back to normal, and not only that, but several of our closets are noticeably neater and emptier. Our bedroom is the cleanest it has been in years.

And for that, I give thanks.

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