Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bringing personal meaning to the term "clearance"!

Some of you (anyone who's ever met me) may possibly, perhaps, perchance be aware (after approximately 5 minutes in my presence) that I'm a bit of an...avid ("compulsive") organizer. At times this means rearranging things in the house "to locate them more logically, and thereby increase overall efficiency." (i.e.: drive the other members of my family bat-poo-crazy when they can't immediately find the stuff I've moved...even though the new scheme is clearly a vast improvement and enhances everyone's life exponentially. So there. Humph.) On other occasions it takes the form of..."closet and cupboard management", in which outgrown or out-of-style clothes, no-longer-used toys, and unneeded household items get designated for consignment or donation.

And then, there's the magical realm known as: Craigslist...that most wondrous of virtual realities where one can post a description and a photo of (gently used) stuff seeking a (new, loving) home...then stand back as (voila) a match is made through the mystical power of the Internet. Craig and I have had a long and fruitful relationship, but this whole...transactional...nirvana...has become even more relevant to me lately, with an impending relocation in my future. (Okay, I realize it's still 7 months away, but it's never too early to be fully prepared, right? I mean, I'm not the least bit obsessive, am I? Yeah, better not answer that...and stay tuned for more hard evidence to aid in your assessment...) So, with my mantra whispering softly in my head (um, that would be "reduce, reuse, recycle", of course) I cast a keen eye on the catch-all bin of our household...also know as "the basement".

Ah, yes, the lowest level of our home...the place where random furniture and such lands if it's, shall we say, "not quite presentable enough for the parlor". (Of course that's metaphorical, as we have no such room...nor would know what the heck to do with one if we did...but you get the point...) An aunt wants to pass along some aging-but-still-useful armchairs? Sure, they'll fit downstairs! Another relative is replacing her dining room set? Why not, put a few more seats in the "cave". But with a goal of...tidying up...I decided there was no better time than the present for unloading some of the excess baggage we've accumulated since moving in 14 years ago. I could not have predicted, however, the dizzying speed with which commerce would ensue. In a shockingly swift week, the formerly--not crowded, by any means, but...comfortably stocked, maybe?--basement had been all-but-cleared of its contents.

Now, I had obviously discussed my intentions with Husband before commencing to sell off pieces of our property willy-nilly, and he heartily agreed that the plan was sound. However, there was just a bit of consternation when a result of the WestEnders Sale became apparent: that is, disposing of absolutely all of the chairs meant there was no longer anyplace to sit and watch the downstairs TV. Husband and I had already discussed this outcome, and had determined that it was completely acceptable, since we mostly exercise down there and thus don't end up sitting around while viewing anyway. But one night I did want to watch a DVD...and had to resort to perching on my large, inflatable workout ball...which, hey, is great for your posture and tones your core at the same time, so it's really all good. (And as a bonus, Husband did get quite a chuckle out of the sight...)

And then, there remained only one more thing to finish the successful clean-out: an ancient bookshelf that had been Husband's from an early age. Now, let me state for the record that this was an unimposing, fairly lightweight, pressed-wood, painted shelf...NOT an antique, NOT a family heirloom of any kind. (Yes, this is important; you'll see why very soon). When I asked if Husband would mind my offering it to the buying public, he burst into a startling rant about how it would mean "auctioning off his childhood, destroying his special memories, he'd be traumatized, blah blah blah". It was abundantly apparent that he was (mostly) joking...although he may also have been suffering just a teensy bit of...commercial backlash...from the revolving door of our possessions changing hands in recent days. Nevertheless, I assumed that he approved the proposed sale, and went ahead with my listing. Wouldn't you know, before the end of that very evening an interested party had contacted me, and by the next afternoon the shelf was gone...all before Husband even arrived home from work.

So all in all, I have to consider this an extremely positive foray into the decluttering milieu. We obtained a little cash, we transferred some things to folks who could use them...we have more wide open areas to lift weights and ride the stationary bike in the basement? But the punctuation to this rambling tale comes from Riley, who greeted his father when he came in the door (after the Bookshelf Bargain had been completed) by throwing his arms around Husband's waist and saying in a voice dripping with sympathy and with just the slightest, most believable amount of a wail, "I'm sorry, Dad. I'm sorry she's selling off your most precious possessions...and your childhood!" Oh. Good. Grief. It turned out to be a good thing Riley was supporting his father (literally), as Husband could barely stand, since he was helpless with laughter at this display. Of course, he has only himself to blame, as he was the one who introduced both boys to the famous Bloom County cartoon where Milo tries to recover his "youthful idealism" at the Lost and Found counter. Husband has a tendency to quotes this strip frequently, when he wishes to inject an element of drama to any situation. Thanks for that, dear. Just what they need, creative license to be...even bigger gooberheads than usual...

But that's okay, I'll have my revenge...if (when) they get on my nerves, I'll send them all to the cavernous, empty take a time out on the exercise ball and think about their transgressions. (While I use the loot to get myself a nice gingerbread latte...yeah, now we're talkin'...)

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