Cover Up Your Goddamn Bra
Natural Topiary?

One Bite At A Time

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

That's what I keep telling myself as I slowly, slowly, slowly, dejunkify the basement. Yes, even though we'd cleaned out and restored the basement to a lovely, pristine state, it devolved once again into a state of utter disarray. Boxes of books, silverplate, dishes, linens, books, and memorabilia from Mom's house; broken small appliances; piles of paper and magazines; even the goddamn bannister from when we were painting years ago!

For months I'd go down and look at the room, sigh, and retreat. The thought of doing it all over again was too much to think about.

But finally I started. I emptied a box here, a suitcase there. I distributed framed photos to various family members. I sorted through the silver plate and stowed the Haviland china. But so many boxes still remained, scattered all over the place.

But a couple of weeks ago, I finally got it together to really sort through everything. I designated one big box as the "dump box," took a deep breath, and started filling it up. An old, broken lamp. A torn pair of kid gloves. A leaky coffeemaker. Stuff and more stuff.

I nested all of the now-empty boxes. I went through the three big boxes of books and kept less than a half dozen. I put the bannister and Joe's barbells under the sofa where we wouldn't trip over them or stub our toes.

Last week, we loaded up the truck with the dump box, two boxes of books, and some old electronics. And off we went to the dump! We left the books in the book donation area, recycled the boxes and the electronics, and then dumped everything else.

And I felt about 20 pounds lighter.

Then, just this past weekend, I took two big boxes of old bank statements, bills, and canceled checks to a local community shred and donation event. Not only that, I bagged up some bedding from Mom's house, about a dozen t-shirts that I haven't worn in over two years, and the iron we just replaced. I also stowed an old desk chair that we'd scavenged from the office many years ago. I replaced it with one of the lovely antique cane-bottom chairs from Mom's house. The other is still in the basement, but there's room for it now!

After I dropped everything off, I practically floated on home.

There's more to do, much more. But the room is now clearly a room, not a junkyard. I know what's down there now and I know what I'll be doing with it. Pretty soon we'll have it back to the way we want it.

One bite at a time.

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