In an attempt to make the most of my extra hour today I did some purging around the house.
(To be totally honest I slept through the extra hour…and maybe a couple of other hours…but THEN I wanted to be productive.)
I started out innocently putting the Halloween decorations away. Then I saw the extra trick or treat bags that we haven’t used in years…and I was off and running.
Into a paper bag went the extra trick or treat stuff, and while I was in the pantry re-arranging things to put away the rest of the decorations I saw the bread maker, which hasn’t produced a good loaf of bread in at least a decade, so I put that next to the bag.
And then the George Foreman Grill, which is not all that useful to a vegetarian, went into the growing pile.
Then I added all of the plug-in air freshener plug-in parts that I have accumulated for years and haven’t used (whether Goodwill wants such things I do not know…but I was on a roll.)
And then the S’mores Maker that looks like a snowman and theoretically toasts marshmallows over a tea light candle. In case you were wondering, no, that doesn’t work.
From there I started checking expiration dates on things and threw out:
- 7 boxes of pasta (Some expired in 2012…I didn’t even know dried pasta expired at all)
- 3 boxes of Jell-O (2010!)
- A tub of wild rice (yuck)
- A box of Flax Meal (I don’t even know why I had it in the first place)
- Ancient bottles of Frank’s Red Hot and Tabasco
- A multitude of mostly empty tubes of colored icing
- A can of green food spray paint used to make a baseball field cake 2 years ago
- Stove Top Stuffing (2013)
- Candy from last Christmas
- An open box of Milk Duds from some movie outing ages ago
- A pile of wrappers that for some reason were living in the candy bin…
Since I was packing things up for Goodwill I went upstairs and gathered up the clothes and shoes I had been accumulating for the past month or so (I’m reasonably good about going through that stuff before years and years have passed.)
Then I was weirdly inspired – in a very positive way. All of the cleansing. All of the cleaning out.
I went into my closet and took out the plastic bin that has held my wedding bouquet (untouched, unopened, mostly forgotten) for 18 years. I opened it (sort of hoping it would be a moldy pile of dust.) It smelled faintly of roses, not mold.
And I took it to the trash can in the garage. Gone.
Then I went into the guest room and took out the two cross-stitched wedding samplers that have been in limbo in there for the past 4 years. And I took them to the trash can in the garage. Gone.
I thought it might be sad to permanently get rid of these things. It was not. Not even the tiniest bit. It felt good. Right. Light.
I recently relocated the trunk of other wedding paraphernalia out of my family room into a dark corner of the office. Those mementos don’t really deserve a place of honor in my house in this (extremely awesome) version of my life. I had to hold myself back from going in there today and emptying the whole darn thing out.
A lot of it should go. Maybe not all of it. Although maybe yes.
Maybe my next Goodwill run will include a wedding dress and shoes. Maybe my next recycling run will include a pile of pictures and RSVP cards and other bits and pieces. Clearing out the past felt pretty good.
Out with the old, more room for the new. Not a bad way to start the season.