Progressive basement tours. Must take five items with you!

You’ve heard of progressive dinners, right? Where you go and have cocktails and appetizers at one house and salad at the next and then a main course somewhere else, etc., etc. Well, all of us on the geriatric team at work were standing in the “hall” outside that long-suffering cat-herding person’s office this afternoon. It was about that time of the afternoon. The time when, if those of us on the geriatric team don’t stand up and take a look around, we will nod off and fall out of our seats.

We started off talking about work. That conversation rather quickly devolved into the difficulties of translating the analytical skills we use on the job into strategies for managing our households. Or more specifically, the junk, crap, crud, corruption, flotsam, jetsam, and cosmic debris we have all collected in all the years we’ve lived in our houses. 26 years, in my case. Seems like *everybody* on my team, even those who don’t have any kids, have too much junk. And so we came up with the idea of having a progressive basement tour. One where we make an evening of visiting each others’ basements.

Of course we were just kidding around but honestly, I don’t know if looking at other peoples’ cluttered basements would make me feel any better or not. For a couple of years there, I was actually making progress on de-cluttering. It was slow progress but it was steady. Alas. More stuff made its way in. Two steps forward, three steps back. I am not afraid to throw out old stuff that I don’t use any more. I am not terribly sentimental about stuff. I do need to have the right psychological energy sometimes. But I can do it. It is just stuff. As The Beautiful Gay (aka TMOTB/CMOH) has been known to say, “Just because someone once owned it doesn’t mean it’s worth anything.” Indeed. And I would add, “or gave it to you.” What is it about the last couple of generations that stuff has become so important? I am drowning in it around here and I am not even a compulsive hoarder.

For the first time ever, I am wondering if we should just move. Maybe that would help us get rid of some of this stuff. I don’t really want to move but I am at a standstill. I do not have the psychological energy during my work week to deal with junk and lately I have been doing anything I can to avoid this place on weekends. Kitchen reno? I know some of y’all have been wondering. Stalemate at the moment. I do not have the guts to just go and knock out a wall (“load-bearing” wall, I think, used to be the back wall of the house) without some kind of reasonable plan. Not to mention a construction crew in my back pocket. This idea makes my stomach churn.

I doubt we’ll move. We do like the neighborhood and I used to like the house and I’m not sure there’s any other house on the Planet Ann Arbor with a woods behind it that we can afford. And we would prob’ly have to have a, uh, mortgage if we moved. We haven’t had a mortgage since about the Dark Ages. Somehow I have to figure out (again) how to get rid of enough junk to reclaim some space and make this a pleasant place to be. One that I can clean without moving a whole bunch of crap around. I am out of the depths of despair now but I am flummoxed about where/when/how to start. Or re-a-start, to quote an old Chilean buddy of mine.

P.S. That is *not* my bathroom in the photoooo. I have the Blue and Only Bathroom and I clean it.

2 Responses to “Progressive basement tours. Must take five items with you!”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Moving does help but it’s stressful as hell; I don’t think it would be worth it. It works for me to invite my mom or someone else over to help get rid of stuff. In my case, she motivates me, berates me “I haven’t seen you wear this/use this for years…” and so I clean out things just out of shame. 😉

  2. pooh Says:

    Maybe a progressive cleaning party would work. You’d have somebody(ies) over to make helpful suggestions as Margaret said, and you’d get to help each other out. Add a little whine and some fast paced music* and it might even be fun.

    *I’m going to wash that man/mess right out of my hair/house. I can’t do my best, unless I’ve got room to move! Throw another log/pile on/out the fire/do-or. etc. What music would you play while pitching stuff?