Imagine a home with no junk. Picture a home in which every single thing had a purpose and had a place. Envision a home where even the spices were alphabetized and food products were rotated according to purchase date. That used to be my home. But now it’s time for my junk room confession.
I was going to explain how my spinal cord injury and Mr. Comfortable’s cancer really messed up my usual housework routine. But I’m certain you can imagine how difficult it was to try to keep things up. Now I’m doing much better (any day I can stand and walk is fantastic!) and I need to get the house back to my standards. It’s that or burn the place to the ground and start again. Ahh, the temptation!
We used to have an adopted son. That’s another story. But since he’s been gone we’ve turned his room into the place we put everything we rarely use. I store some of the larger cooking items that I can’t fit in the kitchen in that room. Mr. C has a vintage bike he’s going to sell sitting in there. Boxes and boxes of items from the cancer care fundraiser I held are piled up in that space. Just going in there risks injury or death. I sometimes picture myself trapped under several boxes of fundraiser shirts, dying slowly, while my family searches the overgrown garden for me.
As part of my Goals and Challenges I vowed to clean out that room. Since I made that vow I’ve avoided going in the room and tried to forget it exists. I can’t. It’s like an itchy spot I can’t reach. It’s driving me crazy. If that room were cleared out and cleaned I could set up my sewing machine there. Or Mr. Comfortable could have his computer in that room so he could write in peace and quiet. The junk has to go!
So, to shame myself into actually doing something about that room I’ve decided to make my junk room confession. Bless me, Homemakers, for I have hoarded.
I wanted to make the pictures tiny to hide my shame but I decided against it. This is from the doorway facing west.
A shot from the door to the northwest corner.
The east wall. I’m keeping the high chair (hint, hint Pete & Andi!)
I almost missed the junk on the far side of the bed. There’s so much on the bed it was hidden!
A picture of the wall heading out the door and boy was I eager to head out the door!
I would love to say I’m going to throw myself into emptying and cleaning that room in one marathon of purging and scrubbing. But as part of my junk room confession I have to admit that would be a lie. I’m physically incapable of that kind of thing and I know I’ll need to escape the overwhelming amount of work from time to time.
Taking a cue from Melinda from Purple Slob in Recovery, I’m going to break this gargantuan task down. And following my own old rules about cleaning I’m going to start at the door and make my way around the room from the door, moving north, then west, and south, finally making my way east and out of there!
The plan is to take one wall at a time. I will return to my long lost ruthlessness about junk. If I can’t immediately think of a way to re-purpose an odd item it’ll be tossed. Anything I haven’t used in the last six months is gone! Sentiment be damned! I’m taking no prisoners in this campaign.
It’s almost August and that only leaves me five months to complete the task this year. That may seem like a heck of a lot of time for a small bedroom but I have to take very frequent breaks and there’s still the rest of my obligations to meet.
Yet I want so much to accomplish this challenge that I’m going to start today. Two things that I’ve been clinging to in that room are going to the trash today! The first is the collection of coffee cans I painted for the fundraiser. I can’t think of anything for which I can use them and even if I do in the future empty coffee cans are something I have often.
The second item will be hard for me to throw away. It’s the “radiation mask” that was made for Mr. Comfortable when he began treatment. I saw an amazing piece of art made with someone’s old radiation mask. They’d painted a tiger face on it and hung it as a symbol of the patient’s fierce battle and ultimate victory over cancer. I thought it was amazing. But Mr. Comfortable doesn’t want it. He doesn’t want any additional reminders. The debilitating after effects of the treatments are enough. So I’m tossing it. It was his battle, not mine.
Donation cans, banner, and both radiation masks are gone!
I hope I won’t need to be reminded about my junk room confession. My hope is that I simply keep working on that room and report on my progress. But if I don’t mention it for a while, please feel free to guilt-trip me!