About a year ago, I was the recipient of an intervention. Bill and Wendy (the gal who works for us) teamed up and informed me that my collections were out of control. They were not wrong. I collect everything. I love antiques. If it’s old, I collect it. The house and the barn, and the garden shed were chock full. The camp was a little scary, too. I won’t even tell you about the garden shed. “Hey, those terracotta pots were on sale so of course, I need at least 50 of them!” Who could resist!? As you can tell, it wasn’t just antiques. I collected everything and I was one of those people who couldn’t pass up a deal. If one was good, then a dozen would be so much better. After all, it’s cheaper in bulk! All of these things, added together, created a deadly combination. An intervention-worthy combination.
Now, I might be a packrat but things were clean, and in my mind, they were organized. That might be stretching things a bit. Everything really was clean but maybe ‘organized’ isn’t the right word. At least I usually knew which room something was in! Usually. The fact that I was going through my books last winter and found three copies of the same book might lead you to believe otherwise. Yeah, it was at that point that I knew I had a problem. Bill and Wendy had a point.
I’ve always thought that there are two types of people when it comes to stuff. There are those wonderful people who like to have a lot of it around and feel cozy when they do. Then there are those unfeeling people who are minimalists and want to live in cold, spartan conditions suitable for a surgical suite or some sort of sterile laboratory. Perhaps my choice of adjectives would lead you to guess that I am the former type and Bill and Wendy are the latter. I like my books and antiques around. Maybe too many of both. Maybe. Yes, I like having my books and antiques around, but my loved ones don’t. If it were up to them, every room would be so sparsely furnished that you could hold a square dance in it! A compromise had to be struck, and let me tell you, it’s been painful.
In the past few months, I’ve seen clothes, shoes, dishes, linens, books, art supplies, garden tools, and furniture go out the door. Even some of my precious antiques have, like Elvis, left the building. It’s been hard, but somehow liberating. I vacillate between a number of emotions: happy, sad, mortified, thankful, mournful, inspired and just plain angry; all bound together in a wrapping of disbelief. Did I really have all of this stuff? Did I really need it? Some things I did, but a lot I could really do without. Don’t tell Bill and Wendy that. I still want them to think that they are torturing me and I’m a pitiful victim. I continue to make them believe this with a few pouts and well-timed whimpers.
One of my current projects is working on tools. Perhaps having five sets of screwdrivers is a bit excessive. We won’t even talk about socket sets and pliers! Hey, creating a toolbox for camp seemed like a good idea, especially since I have four toolboxes! My current job is to gather and organize all of the nails and screws. Talk about painful! But, I did get to order some really nifty organizers with little drawers from Amazon that are perfect for this endeavor. This brings us to another problem…Amazon. Since this post is getting way too long as it is, I’ll leave my love/hate relationship with Amazon for a future
The long and the short of it is that I’m a pitiful victim of minimalist monsters. But little, by little, the house, barn, camp, and garden shed are looking pretty good. There is still much to be done. Hey, but the new garage is pristine and I am told it needs to stay that way. Just keep me away from Amazon. So many of us have the Amazon addiction. There really should be a support group…that serves donuts. Those glazed ones are pretty good, and the Boston creams, too. Oooh jelly-filled, don’t forget about those. You can’t go wrong with a good plain donut, either. Oh hell, now I’m collecting donuts!