When I took a severance package from Corporate Behemoth, lots of folks asked me what I was going to do next.
“Not this” didn’t seem like an appropriate response, so I said I was going to clean my basement. Which was true. Except that I ended up starting a gig with Mega Corporate Behemoth a mere 2 weeks later, so … yeah. No basement.
But now is The Time of the Basement.
Cleaning the basement is a time-honored tradition in my family. My mom lives in abject fear that she will die with a cluttery basement, leaving me and my brother to sort through a giant hoard o’ crap. And so, she will undertake occasional basement purges. We have been known, as a family, to clean the basement together for quality time. Some families go to Disney World; we go to the crawlspace.
My mom can’t throw out anything that belonged to me or Poochie, as the desire for clean is matched with a respect for stuff. This is why it took my folks the better part of a year to clean out my grandparents’ house … and why they lost their shit when certain unnamed members of the extended family saved stuff from that house that shouldn’t have been saved at all. Stuff like used bars of Dial soap.
My people were not amused. My parents will not abide by your crap!
So, I was actually looking forward to cleaning my basement. When My Guy and I combined households 2 years ago, we did a ton of purging. However, there came a point between the Craig’s List sales, mass remodeling, and wedding planning that we just kind of gave up. So, the storage portion of the basement became kind of a catch-all.
But no more!
I organized paint supplies. I purged suitcases. We got a whopping $14 for the 5 boxes of books we took to Half-Priced Books.
That was the easy stuff. Then there was what can only be described as Random Shit.
Random Shit includes:
- Ugly, never-used Christmas decorations that My Guy’s ex-wife bought
- Approximately 9,863 CDs, none of which were actually paired with their jewel cases
- Approximately 9,863 empty jewel cases
- Every free lipstick I’ve ever received from Clinique Bonus Time
We got rid of the Christmas decor. But … I packed up the CDs and jewel cases and didn’t bother to match them up. I’m a basement-cleaning renegade! And I justified keeping all the lipsticks because, well, I might get invited to a costume party, and then I’ll need a purple-hued lip color. And that stuff doesn’t really go bad, right?
See, it’s not hoarding when it’s your stuff and it’s good stuff, right?
OK, I don’t actually believe that. But since we moved, My Guy and I have streamlined and donated So. Much. Stuff. And since we have room in our basement to store both the CDs and the jewel cases, the world is not going to end and our house isn’t going to get condemned if I don’t spend hours matching them up.
Also? If those free Clinique lipsticks get me on “Hoarders,” then surely that will translate into a Kardashian-like fame. And that fame? Will surely translate into never having to wait at our local Mexican restaurant.
Calculated risks, people.