The bin is gone.
Abby and I watched it pull away from our driveway at 7:30 this morning with its load of dated furniture, discarded books, and expired bathroom products clattering about inside. At a guess, we used 12 of the 15 cubic yards of space. The rest was taken up with a few pieces from our neighbours and my in-laws.
Having finally finished the major cleaning and de-cluttering of our home, I feel the need to reflect on a few things that made frequent appearances in the bags, bins, and boxes I hauled out over the last week. These are things that need to stop being a part of my life; I might go so far as to say that they need to stop being the part of anyone’s life.
- T-shirts with island names on them. There were a large number of these in my house, in all sorts of sizes, from all of the different water-bound rocks in the Caribbean. Many featured childish quips: “Bumming it in Barbados” with a picture of a guy’s bare butt, “Jerking it in Jamaica” with a picture of a barbequed chicken and a smiling local, or something about pirates and a lack of local women at sea that was too crude to share here. None of them came from islands I had actually visited.
- Baskets. It seems like everything comes packaged in a basket these days. Crafty people turn these baskets into flower arrangements or hats or fishing contraptions, but I am not crafty (nor do I catch salmon from rushing rivers). My baskets sit in corners, sifting dust, and have no real place in my life. My wife made me keep one or two, perhaps hoping that we would someday live next to a river spawning ground, but until then I refuse to accumulate any more.
- Holiday themed… stuff. You get a lot of this stuff when you are a teacher. Christmas presents are frequently Christmas-themed, like Santa mugs, Rudolph towels, or Frosty candles. That’s great for keeping out during the month of December, but for the other 11/12ths of the year they only function as space-stealing freeloaders in your cupboards and shelves. Same goes for Halloween shot glasses, only the span of appropriate display is even shorter, perhaps less than a week. Don’t even get me started on the Arbor Day spatula set I got last year.
- Novelty hot sauces. These come from the same family as #1 in this list. Cleaning out the kitchen, I found at least seven of these hiding behind the oregano and rosemary. I’m sure that they were all doing dirty stuff to the “Virgin Fire Habanero Paste” while they were back there. (“Burning Donkey,” I’m looking at you.) It isn’t just that hot sauce has no place in cooking for a two-year-old; I just don’t trust a bottle adorned with what looks to be a 17th-century hooker in the late stages of a syphilis infection.