I’ve never been a video game player, but I feel like I’m playing one in real life. I’m reevaluating our storage to see if I can weed things out, put things in new places, and perhaps, by some bit of magic, make the space expand to hold more stuff. It’s tantalizing to think that if I can get just the right arrangement, re-fold or re-stack, I can make things smaller. Of course, there is some law of physics I’m trying to violate, so, it isn’t working. But I remain hopeful.
I’ve unpacked an entire closet. The volume of material coming out of it is surprising, and fills the room. Who knew this closet could hold so much? Looking at the contents, I wonder, what is all this stuff? And why do we still have it? Gloves without a mate, boots I haven’t worn in years, and my paper calendars between 2006 and 2013. Why?
Now the job of putting the closet back together is complicated by the weeding out process. The trash pile and the donate pile. There is also the pile reserved for our kids to review. I feel like I should give them one last chance to claim that scarf or coat. But, really, if they haven’t taken it with them for the last 4 years, they probably don’t even know it exists.
I open some of the boxes and say “Aha! that’s where it is!” Other boxes are full of things I haven’t looked for, but they are somehow useful, so I’m loathe to get rid of them. Why we need 20 cloth bags emblazoned with logos, I’ll never know. Sure, we have to bring our own bags to the grocery, but I already have a dozen for that. Donate pile.
“Important” papers are the hardest category to cull. I tend to think that everything that touches our budget could potentially be needed in an IRS audit, so I should keep it all for 7 years. But after checking irs.gov, I see that I should retain papers related to my taxes anywhere from 3 years to “indefinitely” – eek. This is why our filing cabinet is overflowing. I’ve also kept medical records since our children were born. Vaccinations, braces, prescriptions, height and weight measurements. Do I think I’ll hand these over to the kids one day and they’ll be grateful to know how many earaches they had when they were 2?
Maybe this game is more like a Rubik’s Cube. The size never changes, but there are some arrangements that are more pleasing than others. Finally, I’m happy that closets have doors. Everything fits in there for now, just don’t pull anything out.