What I sometimes wonder is why I now have such trouble throwing things away? When I was younger this wasn't such a problem. Not that I ever was a neat freak, and not that I ever saw the necessity of cleaning things right away. I doubt that I will ever enjoy doing much of anything that requires the use of a vacuum cleaner, dish washing liquid, a mop, a broom, a scrub brush, furniture polish, etc.... But I do remember that when I was younger I enjoyed the sorting process that proceeded throwing away things that I no longer needed. I used to read old letters and cards, and look at magazines and pictures, and reorganize my clothes and my art supplies. Sometimes I found things that I thought I had lost. Once in a great while I even found money. Usually, it was not an unpleasant bit of business at all.
But now I put such things off until I just can't function until some sorting gets done, or until I've lost something that I just can't do without, or until there has been a flood or some other dreadful thing that happened. Last year we had a flood that was bad enough that I had to remove the carpet in the bedroom and the hallway, and so I had to sort and box up things in order to move them out of the room so that I could move the furniture and such before I started to rip up the carpet. I think that is the last time I got any real work done in this room.
Once I put aside some time for the task, I have no trouble doing things like throwing away actual trash. I can throw out the expired coupons and the junk mail and the notes reminding me of a doctors appointment and last week's sales ads. And then after I deal with the trash I can collect the towels and the socks and do the laundry. But then I can't seem to deal with the rest of it. The t-shirts that I don't wear anymore except on the day that I'm doing laundry usually can't be thrown out, even if they just seem to take up space, because most of them have sentimental value. I might want to wear them again, and even if I don't I'd like to make something else out of them. I might make them into pillows or book bags, or if I get enough of a certain theme I could make a quilt of them. But I definitely do not want to throw most of them away.
I am tripping over art supplies, yarn, and other craft stuff that I can never seem to get organized. There are always just a few more books that don't seem to fit anywhere on the shelves. I keep finding a few holiday things here and there that somehow did not get boxed up the last time I put stuff away, but either I don't know which box the items are supposed to go in, or I know exactly which box they are supposed to go in and it is either the box at the bottom of the stack or it is really difficult to get to in some other way and it hardly seems worth the effort. And there are just all of these little things that either don't have a permanent storage place or I don't remember where they go or what I meant to do with them.
I have maybe two or three hats, but they don't have a place for them. If I had a lot of hats, depending on what kind of hats I had I would have a box to keep them in or a hat rack, or maybe if I had a collection of baseball caps I'd have a shelf to display them. But I just have a couple of baseball caps and visors that I can't actually find when I need to keep the sun off my face, and I have a knit cap or two someplace that I can't seem to locate when it gets cold. So I have a few hats that I toss here or there and trip over them most of the time, except when I might actually want a hat. Oh, but I do have a few more hats, but those hats have places since they are costume hats and are either on a shelf in the back room or stored with the costumes.
And then there are boxes and bottles and jars, and they are scattered everywhere, but I have trouble getting rid of them because I'm quite certain that I will need them at some point for something. As an artist I am always needing boxes and jars for something, but it is hard to figure out ahead of time which of them might be useful for what and when, and then I don't know where to store them until I figure that out. I have about ten twelve ounce empty Coke bottles, which I am quite certain I put aside for some purpose, but I can't remember what, and that must have been six months ago. I have decided now to throw them away, since if I remember what they are for I can always go and buy some more Cokes and save those bottles instead. But other things are not as easily and as quickly replaced as empty Coke bottles, so they do not seem to get thrown away, even after six months.
And I am not sure how I ended up with a colander in my bedroom. But the really puzzling thing was finding it contained a tube of sunblock, a few packets of seeds, aspirin, and a few items from a store Condom Sense.
I do not know why all of that is such a problem for me. Is some of it like a mental illness, and did I inherit it from my grandfather? Is it just a bunch of bad habits I picked up after marrying my husband? Is it just a result of no longer living under my mother's roof and not having to live by her rules anymore, and this was all going to be a problem for me after I moved away from home no matter where I moved or who I married?
Back to work now. I must get the laundry done today so this evening I can relax and enjoy watching LOST.