You know, this process has been very enlightening, and it sort of points out to me why most organizing and decluttering programs have never really been very helpful to me. I have weird clutter issues.
When you watch an organizing program on TV, or read a book or blog about clutter, generally they address issues with clothes, or shoes, or books, or sentimental items. And while I do have more of those types of things than I really need, that sort of stuff is actually pretty easy for me to part with.
The area that really gives me trouble is... Garbage!
Actually, I think it would be more accurate to say that I have trouble assigning something to the category of garbage. It's just soooo hard for me to accept being a party to the horrible wastefulness of this culture.
This is not a new issue for me, in fact, I've written about it before - back in the dark ages of this blog. And I really thought I'd kicked the habit, but the facts would tend to say otherwise. I guess the carpet beetles were sent from on high to show me the error of my ways.
Soooo, since I really don't want to end up back here AGAIN, I'm creating some new rules for myself that will hopefully help me to keep my garbage "habit" in check.
Rule #1 - The Rag Bag is no more.
As I've written about before, I tend to wear my clothes until they quite literally fall apart.
And when something reaches the point where it can no longer be patched or repaired, I throw it into the "rag bag" to continue its useful life an another way.
Thing is, in this purge I have uncovered about a dozen bags full of dead clothing - and I haven't yet opened "the trunk" which I know is a repository of more - or the closet under the stairs, which makes me shudder to think about. And while I do use rags for cleaning and bicycle maintenance, and occasionally to make a patch for something else, I think it could very well take a lifetime to use up the amount of dead clothing that I currently posses. Not to mention the fact that much of it is infested with carpet beetle larvae.
Soooo, most of what I had has been tossed, and the old clothing that I am saving for rags has been cut up into rag sized pieces, and is being bleached as we speak. It will then live in a dedicated plastic bin, and I will keep no more than will fit in that bin!
So the new rule is, if I want to keep something to use as a rag, I have to actually make it into a rag - in other words, cut it up into rag sized pieces and store it in said singular rag bin.
Rule #2 - No More Cardboard Boxes!!!
Folks, I don't know if the DSM includes box-o-felia in its official list of diagnosable psychiatric disorders, but I think it's safe to say that even if it isn't an actual thing, I've got it!
I don't know what it is exactly, and I've tried setting limits with my cardboard box "habit," but as evidenced by the dozens upon dozens of the things that I have dragged out of this house in the past few weeks, my efforts at moderation have clearly failed. So I'm goin' cold turkey.
So the new rule is, nothing shall be stored in a cardboard box, and any boxes that come into this house, shall be immediately broken down, cut up and set out for recycling.
Rule #3 - Fix it or Toss it!
My basement is filled with broken stuff that could be fixed someday. I've got dead telephones, dead electronics, dead lamps, dead bike parts, and a whole host of other dead things languishing in the land of good intentions. I just HATE the disposable nature of goods these days, and it kills me to throw something away that could be used somehow.
But honestly, most of the stuff I've got is just garbage.
So the new rule is, if something breaks, there are three options. I can fix it now, I can give it away on Freecycle to someone else who might want to try to fix it, or I can toss it. No more keeping things for the mythical time when I'll feel like tackling the job.
Anyhow, those are the new rules. I guess time will tell how they work. As we all know, I'm not great at following rules...
But maybe this time since these are my rules, not someone else's rules... well, we'll just have to wait and see how it goes.
So tell me, am I the only crazy person out there who has trouble throwing things away? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.