Saturday, January 3, 2009

I know there’s a family room in here somewhere and I intend to find it.

Over 30 years with as many as 10 disorganized pack rats collecting things that “might be useful someday” or “have sentimental value” PLUS a few additions from deceased relatives - take it before it disappears and hope to sort through it later -and a woman who never quite learned how to be an effective homemaker. My house is buried.

6 of the 10 disorganized pack rats have moved on to other nests. Most of them are no longer disorganized pack rats at all and their nests are neat, orderly and uncluttered. Amazing their ability to overcome both heredity and conditioning!

One child used to love to collect paper. I remember sorting through her papers while she was at school one day. I saved papers she had written or drawn on and papers she could yet write or draw on. Lots of papers. I recycled several bags of papers that were not attractive, or sentimental, or useful She was very upset with me and she cried. Her house is always in perfect order now. I seriously doubt that she keeps a lot of paper.

However, some of their collections remain here to be dealt with and it isn’t all just junk one can dismiss to the local landfill.

The boys and I have been slowly, painfully, dustily trying to sort and sift through the mountains of stuff. I admit sadly, there is more shifting going on than sorting out, but still - the recycling and the garbage trucks come by every Friday morning and by Saturday night, the recycling can is full again and the garbage can well started. We have several large piles of things waiting for the DI truck to come back to the Stake Center.

Time out for translation for my non-Mormon friends:
D.I. - Deseret Industries - the church operated thrift store (I guess you could call it a chain) which provides employment training and opportunities as well as “treasure shopping” opportunities. Sacramento has one Deseret Industries Store/Facility.
Stake Center - a Stake is a geographic group of wards (congreagations or parishes), similar, I think, to a diocese. The Stake Center is the meetinghouse used for most Stake meetings and activities: it is also used by at least one ward. My ward meets in the Stake Center as does one other ward.
Periodically, a DI truck is brought to the Stake Center to make it easier for members to donate to Deseret Industries.

One of the sad things about unburying my house is realizing that it is in even more need of repair than I realized. There is water and/or termite damage in the family room The (flourescent) lights in the family room don't work and the ceiling is ghastly. The hardwood floors are a mess. The kitchen really should be condemned. Almost everything (except the boys' room and one bathroom) needs painting, inside and outside. My house has no gutters, which cannot be good for the foundation. And the yard! If it were not for weeds, my poor potholed front yard would have no “lawn” at all.

I do not know what should be done in what order, how I am going to finance it , or how to DO pretty much anything. Besides the time, energy, and getting to be an old lady factors.. I try not to think about all that except a tiny bit at a time. It would be so easy to be overcome with discouragement. (Part of how we got to this sorry pass)

On the other hand, for the first time in decades, we are actually making forward progress however gradual. The new management is slow and inept, but at least it is interested and trying.

The boys and I actually have joyful, hopeful moments when we see glimmers of what might be.

They have been spending the afternoon and evening with their Dad today - playing non-mother-approved video games of violence. I asked them please to come home “today,” so they still have a couple of hours. I had hoped to impress them with my accomplishments -perhaps even have most of the dining room cleared and a table therein when they returned - but alas! “Most” of the dining room is cleared - they helped with some of that before going - but, not enough. And the table I intend to bring in is still cluttered with office remants.

Two hours left of today. Past my bedtime. Do I take a nice bath and go to bed or try to get a little bit more done?

I think I will go see.


  1. Im a collecter too but luckily I havent gotten to that point yet. lol I see your commenets on Eva Aurora's site all the time and the dog that her child 2 wants of mine looks just like the dog in your photo. I enjoyed reading through some of your entries. You have a great outlook - just eat your elephant one bite at a time and I'm going to do some cleaning myself.

  2. Sounds like a lot of work. Good for you, making progress in spite of it sounding like a big job. We are struggling with our 'stuff', here, too. Two cluttermonkeys should never marry eachother. :)

  3. The DI trailer will be at the SC the 14th-28th of this month. Better to get there sooner rather than later because it fills up fast.


  4. We face a similar problem: too much stuff. Have you checked with your county office to see if you can rent a dumpster? We're going to do that and get rid of tons of stuff in one fell swoop. Good luck with the continued decluttering.