Another mom at my daughter’s voice lesson picked a large piece of fuzz out of my hair as we stood outside the classroom waiting for our kids to finish. I don’t know this mom. The music studio is quiet and not very welcoming of conversations or talking in the hallways while lessons are happening. So instead we just smile, or show our resting bitchy faces, or nod, or now pick fuzz out of another mom’s hair.
Embarrassed but pleased she did it, I whispered “Thank you, I’ve been cleaning and packing my basement all day.” And I looked down at the rest of me – in sweatpants and a t-shirt and UGGs – and I wiped off the layer of dust covering my clothing.
We are moving.
And I’ve spent two full days in my basement yet feel like I haven’t made a dent. We need to stage the house for selling – and in doing this we need to clean and pack up as much as the ‘non-essential’ items that we can. And we have about seven days to get this done. Three floors of 10 years of life. Three floors of bringing two babies home here. Three floors of creating our full family.
And the AMOUNT OF STUFF is overwhelming. And I think about how good I am at throwing crap away. I mean I throw EVERYTHING away. Each child only has a small bin of ‘art’ and ‘school’ and ‘memory’ stuff that we’ve kept. I keep about three items for each of them per year. We purge closets each season. I donate. I consign. I toss. I box up books that are no longer age relevant, and I give away movies as my kids outgrow them. I TOSS SHIT. I DONATE SHIT. Weekly.
And yet, my god the stuff in our house. I’ve filled a full room floor to ceiling with donation items. Games and puzzles and linens and kitchen stuff. I’m hauling things to my minivan and will make numerous trips. I’ve piled bigger, more valuable, but I’m too lazy to sell items to the alley for the ‘pickers’ – the changing table that we never used as I preferred the floor or the bed, the easel, the toy horse, the last of the large plastic kid crap, a chair that I never loved. I’ve filled bags of clothing and pjs that are still in great shape to donate, and I’m making the girls try on every pair(450 give or take) of shoes that we own and making them choose their favorite five pairs. And then I get all depressed about the excess of our society and all the things we have to have and then I just want to sell everything and maybe our home will seem larger.
Where does it all come from. Do we need 16 board games that we rarely play? 25 shirts to choose from? A fondue pot? Seven frying pans? I started going through kitchen crap and was all of a sudden keeping all of the crap – thinking that ‘maybe’ we will use it again. Like the waffle iron. But then I set a rule – if I hadn’t used it in a year – GONE. I filled two huge boxes. I hope I don’t regret donating that Christmas stocking cookie cutter.
I do all of this alone – when the kids are at school because I know if they were home – they’d be all “OH we love that!” and “Don’t toss that!” and then we’d get in a big fight because IT ALL HAS TO GO. I don’t care about your love of Sequence Jr that we haven’t played for FOUR YEARS DAMMIT. And tomorrow I’m going to tackle their stuffed animal collection. This will be tough for me as I brought my entire stuffed animal collection to college. But I never had 42 stuffed dogs. AND THEY DO.
So if I seem dirty, and dusty, and a bit frazzled over the next week, just know that I’m busy dusting off our old life, donating excess, and making room for many more memories.