Monday, 25 May 2009

One person's trash is... well, another person's trash.

We come from two long lines of pack rats. Add that to the fact that we can't say no when someone offers us anything for free, and we have a house filled to the rafters with junk.

Don't get me wrong, I like our house. The decor is, shall we say, eclectic. Mismatched hand-me-down furniture and Ikea wall units sit beside antiques and African wall sculptures. We just can't use the whole place because we have too much stuff.

Guest room? Fuggetaboudit. It's filled with furniture and toys we haven't got rid of. My husband's den walls are lined with computer parts and manuals from operating systems that haven't existed for twenty years. The area behind the bar is jammed with boxes of the kids' old drawings and my grade school homework.

The dining room hutch is stuffed with pink china, crystal and silver that no one seems to want. Believe me, I tried to sell it. Not even a nibble.

My husband's dad sold the cottage, then downsized a few years before he passed away. We were commissioned to clean out the condo and cottage and to take anything that wouldn't fit in his newer, smaller residence. Both residences were jammed with amazing artifacts connected to his handyman/stonemason days - tools, nails, glue, picture frame parts, a homemade table saw... baking supplies, kitchen gadgets,

He also had a collection of stuff he bought from Reader's Digest mail order and infomercials. We actually own a Veg-O-Matic. I still use it. Really. It works. Makes great fries.

We had also purchased my parents' house, along with the interesting articles that hadn't been hauled away. Somewhere under the stairs sits a stereo console my dad made in his ambitious carpenter days. I'd love to put it back in the dining room to use as a sideboard, but there isn't room. If I can possibly reach it, perhaps some other family will give it a home.

I think there's a floor model television under there, too, from the seventies. I wonder what I can get for it on EBay?

The only way we can get to the interesting stuff is to throw out all the useless stuff that accumulated over the past 25-35 years since the Cormier family first occupied the Bayview Estate. And the only way to get the crap out of the house is to hire a Dumpster.

It's coming on Wednesday. The whole family is so excited, it seems like Christmas. My son graciously volunteered to don a Haz Mat suit, work gloves and goggles to wade through the Danger Room. Everyone has a Danger Room. It's the gigantor version of the Junk Drawer. Who knows what treasures we'll find in there, once we get past the old mattresses and bags of donated clothing?

We plan to divide the booty in the same manner as those reality shows. We'll have the Keep pile, the Sell pile and the Icky pile. The Icky pile will go into the Dumpster and we'll have a yard sale with the Sell pile.

After The Purge, we'll finally be able to invite people over without closing off the crowded, cluttered rooms! I'll have a back yard again! The shed won't be a haven for squirrels and chipmunks! I can sit on my porch without tripping over old Easter baskets! The broken rubble that once resembled a picnic table will be swept away so I can have a patio again!

Maybe I'll even find that long-lost Maurice "Rocket" Richard autograph I heard about.

Two more sleeps. Count 'em.

Picture: It's not really in my house - that's the Chandelier Pile in the basement of a local Antique Mall.


Liane Spicer said...

That photo had me scared for a moment there. Get rid of the lot, you'll feel so much lighter. I'm not a pack rat generally, but I get very attached to paper: books, cards, letters, notes, articles ripped out from magazines...

Jamie said...

Wow - sounds like a big job! Congrats on getting started though, and good luck. I bet you'll feel so much "lighter" when it's all done...

BernardL said...

Good luck with the purge. :)