By Heather O.
It’s January. Which means I’m cleaning.
Our bedroom has long been a mess. Not just your typical hey, get those socks off the floor kind of mess, but the kind where there are piles of stuff in each corner that have no home. Actually, it’s not really stuff—it’s paper. Books, mostly, because we got rid of some bookshelves and then waited a long time to get new ones, which means there were lots of homeless books for a while.
But we got some Christmas money, and hoo boy, we spent it on shelves. Big Ikea shelves, which aren’t what I would call beautiful, but are at least a step up from the Walmart shelves we had in there. Add a new coat of paint and new bedding, and it feels like a different room! Or, at least I think it will, once we figure out where to house all these homeless books. And what color to paint the walls. And which new comforter to buy.
We had a filing cabinet, but we got rid of it because it was taking up too much space (our house just isn’t that big). We cleaned it out, put everything into one of those file bin thingies, and put it in the garage. Which is fine, except when we get forms that don’t have a file already, or more insurance forms, or new insurance forms, or new mortgage forms because we refinanced, and then there are the retirement forms, and since our retirement funds got sold to a different broker, there are about 8 thousand forms *informing* us of all the new forms we’ll have to fill out, and it gets to a point where I want to throw away every single scrap of paper in the entire house. Except that I think some of the paper is important, and I never know what to throw away and what to keep.
I hate paper.
And don’t even get me started on the pictures. I have boxes of old pictures that are sitting around, waiting to be dealt with. Do we scan them? Do I throw them away? And lest you think I am averse to chronicling my children’s lives, there are no less than 5 digital scrapbooks I’ve made over the years sitting on our new shelves, which include poetry and original artwork, along with about 8 from their grandmother who thinks Shutterfly is God’s gift (which, yeah, it kinda is). Their lives, they’re chronicled.
And then there is also the problem of new technology eclipsing old technology. For example, CDs. Who listens to CDs anymore? Between Pandora and Itunes, it’s covered. And DVDs–seriously, the only place we watch DVDs anymore is in the car. The rest of our movie needs are either fulfilled via Itunes rentals, Amazon rentals, or streaming via Netflix. So, do I throw out my copy of Buffy, season 2? What do I do with my husband’s favorite Handel CD, music that he has no doubt downloaded to a variety of other devices? I like that new technology makes our lives easier and faster and more convenient and that you don’t have to buy an entire album based on the one song you like and suffer through the experimental garbage the artist has thrown on there just because he can.
But what do you do with the old technology in the meantime?
First world problems, I know. Although I’m pretty sure the entire world faces decisions about what to do with junk.
Which is why I love cleaning the bathroom. Give me a bottle of Clorox, a scrub brush, and some poop to scrape off the potty, and I’m good. Simple, easy, no decisions, no trash, no organization skills needed. Just some good old fashioned elbow grease and a clean result that makes your house smell nice.
Somebody tell me what color to paint my bedroom. And if you need any books on chess, I found 13 of them.