Wednesday, February 25, 2009

'un-' an exercise in clutter examination

Every year, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to purge my life of unnecessary things: bad boyfriends, ill-fitting clothing, superfluous pairs of shoes, unused credit cards, and various forms of clutter. I do so well with everything up until I get to the "clutter." For me, "clutter" has come to represent many things: unfiled recipes, unread books, stray newspaper articles, and magazines. Tonight as I desperately needed a break from an unfinished work project, I decided to reorganize my shelf of unread books, which led to the unorganized shelf of magazines, which led to the box of discarded magazines under the bed. Holy cow, I have a problem.

I posted a list of 25 randoms on my Facebook page about a month ago, but tonight I realized that, since I'm a clutter junkie, I should make a whole new list of my OCD behaviors. Behold:

1. I have a magazine problem. Breanna and I noticed it first when there was a stack of magazines sitting on the kitchen counter: Shape, Fitness, Real Simple, Entertainment Weekly, and Ensign, all addressed to yours truly. Do I read them all? I peruse them all leisurely, but usually the only one I read, cover to cover, is Entertainment Weekly. Breanna and I evaluated the subscription expiration for each one, and most were at least 9 months into the future. The best part? I just got a $1 subscription to Rolling Stone from Amazon to add to my collection.

2. I can't bring myself to throw any of the above magazines away. I have this "thing" for making collages, and I would hate to think that one day I would want to make a collage and not have any magazines to destroy for that purpose. Thus the reason for the 2 large boxes under my bed and the 5 magazine boxes adorning the bottom rung of my bookshelf.

3. I am a book monger. I haven't read 75% of the books on my bookshelf (or I have started them, but haven't had the time or the willpower to see them to completion), but I continue to buy them because I love having them. It really is an illness. I love a good story, but I am usually more amused by TV on DVD than I am by a book - it's a path of least resistance thing.

4. I have old tee-shirts that date back to high school. For everyone's information, I graduated high school in 2001. I rationalize this because I like to work out - what if, one of these days, I don't want to use one my high-tech running shirts; or, better yet, what if ALL of my workout clothes are dirty! I can't work out naked! SO, they a dresser drawer...AND in a sliding box in my closet.

5. I have every letter and email that my mom, dad, and grandpa have ever written me. I used to keep these in a binder on my bookshelf, but they got ousted for all the books I haven't read. Never fear, they were just relocated to a new home - the box of keepsakes under my bed. These letters started coming to me as a freshman in college, and still continue to this day. They never fail to make me cry, and always help me remember who I am, what I've accomplished, and what I can become. I read them on a regular basis.

6. Speaking of keepsake boxes, I have 3 of them. One is an old cookie tin we got for Christmas last year in the office; one is a cardboard file box I made as a rebellious Laurel; one is a plastic rubbermaid tote. Their contents are diverse: wedding announcements, movie ticket stubs, letters, valentine cards, memoirs from old boyfriends, high school dance pictures, etc. And, yes, I do need 3 boxes.

7. I collected wine bottles and corks when I worked for Mimi's Cafe. Everyone would make fun of me because they all knew that I had never tasted alcohol. I use them as "decorations" in my apartment. My roommate, Michelle, (who drinks now and again) even mentioned to me that part of the reason she was so interested in living with me was because I had wine bottles (she thought I drank, and therefore wouldn't mind her keeping wine in the fridge).

8. I have every bib number from every race I have ever participated in. They were all 5K's (until June, when I will be running my first half marathon!), and they are all hanging proudly on my bulletin board.

9. I like to bake, but I rarely cook. This doesn't stop me from searching the Food Network for recipes I know I'll never use. I have a cupboard full of unorganized sheets boasting savory ingredients and intricate cooking methods that will likely never take flight in my kitchen. I tell myself that I'm building up my collection so that one day when I have a husband to cook for, the skill will come on its own and I'll have an entire repertoire of options to choose from.

10. My brain is cluttered with literally every phone number, email address, birth date, statistic, trivia tidbit and password I have EVER heard. I try not to admit this to people, but because he told me his password once, I checked my ex-fiance's email for a month after we broke up because I wanted to see if he or his mom dissed me in cyberspace. I'm telling you now, if you ever are a contestant on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, you would want me for your phone friend for my vast trivial knowledge.

SO...there you have it. I'm a mess. And you know the best part? I have no intention of cleaning it up.


Jody said...

Wow! How big is your bed? You seem to be ablt to fit alot under it! Ha ha. Good luck trying to de-clutter!

TPlayer said...

I have an amazing calendar brain. It freaks people out, so I hear ya! I hate baking and totally prefer to cook, so we should definitely join forces!

tiburon said...

I have saved all my bibs too. I am a dork.