06 August 2008

The Best and The Worst of The Deck Cleanout

I can't stop thanking Jen for helping me with my horrible under-deck cleanout yesterday. She says that she feels a bit bad - she had too much fun to be thanked all that much. But she still deserves The Thanking and so The Thanking she will get.

The best part of the day ... was the lunch. I won a $30 voucher for The Pancake Manor in the kindy Mothers Day raffle (the most rewarding kindy involvement I've had all year!) We set a time to break for lunch, and worked like crazy until then. Then we went and had savoury crepes for lunch and shared a Macadamia Shortstack for dessert. Wonderful!

The worst part of the day ... was the dump. We had spent hours making piles of Things No Longer Needed to take to the dump. I thought hard about what to send to the dump. I hate to throw things out, but I can and will do it. And the things that went were things I have hung onto for years, hoping against hope that one day they will be used and re-loved and cherished again. But alas, they haven't. The only purpose they serve is to junk up my house.

Everyone will tell you that these things must GO. If it hasn't been used in three years, if it hasn't been used since long before the move from our old flat to our current house, if all it ever does is collect dust, then it must GO. Right? [Uncertain pause.] Right!!

There were speech pathology resources that -seriously- nobody will use again (they haven't been used in the last three years, all therapists tend to make their own stuff, and all these things do is junk up my place), piles of papers, old shoes and slippers that were too old to be saleable by charity shops and mountains of cardboard from old boxes.

We physically threw the lot into the Giant Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench. It was tremendously enjoyable for Jen, whose junk it wasn't. "Whee! What a wonderful feeling!" she shouted while flinging piles of Things No Longer Needed into the pit.

"Oh dear," I'd say, ruefully surveying well-used brightly coloured speech pathology word cards atop Filthy Oozing Stench. "Everybody else's junk is so yucky and mine is so pretty!"

"Whee!" said Jen as another box of things went into the pit.

I winced. It was one Giant Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench, now topped with my old ugg boots. Too old to be saleable, too worn-out to continue wearing, but certainly not in the category of Filthy Oozing Stench. Pretty awful to see the things you once held dear re-classified as Filthy Oozing Stench.

The job was finished way too quickly. There it all lay, just out of reach. No going back. I took one last look before I turned back to the car, hoping I'd done the right thing.

Then I saw it. In the piles of old papers I'd deemed no longer needed, there had been an old Pay Slip from work.


My father had always instilled in me a fear of allowing papers with any identifying information go to the dump without being torn into a million pieces. Heaven forbid someone should get hold of your name! Or your address! Or -horror of horrors- your Employee Number! And all of these things were on the Pay Slip which had fallen face-up out of reach, grinning at me, mocking me.

"PAY ADVICE!" it loudly proclaimed to the whole world, strongly suggesting that confidential information lay unconfidentially a few metres away.

"You've thrown things out that shouldn't be thrown out!" it hissed accusingly at me.

"Look over there," it suggested, indicating a second Pay Slip also mockingly lying face up a short distance away.

I felt gutted. I had been proud of myself - I'd thrown away areas of clutter that should have been thrown away ages ago. I had not wasted hours sifting meticulously through things but instead been ruthless and consigned it all to the dump. And now I was beginning to think that some of my stuff was too pretty, some too pre-loved and some too confidential to be thrown out!

Jen and I stood there wondering what to do. If we - okay, if I crawled into the Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench, I'd be sure to be noticed and get in trouble. (This is of course apart from the other obvious reason why I'd not be looking forward to a crawl through a Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench.)

I grabbed a rusty piece of an old bicycle that was near enough to reach, and threw it at the page, hoping it would turn upside down and disappear into the Filthy Oozing Stench. Instead it moved into a position where it was more visible. "What will I do?" I moaned to Jen.

"Maybe we could get a stick" - we found one - "and stab it" - she gave it a few savage pokes - "and bring it out that way."

And that's what my wonderful friend did. First one Pay Slip and the the other. Brilliant! We returned home, shredded the Pay Slips, and I privately vowed never to go back to the dump.

It's too traumatic.


Beth said...

Ohhhhh! You have my complete and utter sympathies. I'm in the process of having to do that right now. Luckily (or unluckily) I don't have the same urgency. But my husband and I are slowly sorting through the 14 years of stuff that has followed us around through 2 apartments and 3 moves (and 1 u-haul of stuff that my mother sorted out after my father died). It is a monumental task under any circumstances. I applaud your courage to just toss the lot and not look back!

scargosun said...

I need to do a pit run. As a matter of fact I have a whole room of crap that needs to be designated for the pit.

Why haven't I done it?

Jen said...

I have a whole basement that needs to be sorted. That is my next project, you know in a couple of years. For now, I will just close the door and forget about it. :)

Tracy P. said...

Oh, I am having clean envy! That would feel so good.

Your Creative Use of Capital Letters reminds me of Winnie the Pooh. I LOVE Winnie the Pooh!

Givinya De Elba said...

"It is a Very Splendid Thing," thought Pooh to himself, "that my readers can recognise the Inspiration for my Grammatical Idiosyncrasies with such simplicity. It shows that we enjoyed Similar Literary Upbringings."

Tracy P. said...

I took children's lit when I was in college, and remember reading House at Pooh Corner in my dorm room, laughing until I snorted at all that ensued when the game of Poohsticks was interrupted by Eeyore's appearance under the bridge. I was sure my roommate would come in and strongly question my sanity.

Maternal Mirth said...

I am a horder ... I admire that you can bring yourself to throw away the un-usable and the over-used. I can barely bring myself to throw away my son's old shoes!

Swift Jan said...

LOvely, it was probably a good thing that Jen helped you at the dump....

I would have said nah it's ok! hehe Glad she was there!

I am still proud of you for de hoarding!! ((hugs))

Mrs. S said...

thank you so much for stopping by! I wouldn't mind an S Club 7 but we may want money to feed them with...soo...I think it'll be just the trio for awhile. ha! And your blog is super cute!! I love the dots.

Anonymous said...

At least by the Grace of God (and our uncertainty about where to park!), we emptied the car at the furthest point of the Giant Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench not 10 metres from the Chute of No Regret, so that the pretty rubbish, Things Once Loved, and any confidential papers we missed will disappear to the Deep Blackness of the land fill ASAP.

And you now have a pretty, usable under the deck space where the clutter is NO LONGER!!! Yay, you are so brave, and I'm proud of you. Jen.

PS sorry your old pay slips have stick holes... and traces of Filthy Oozing Stench.

PPS Would this be a good speech therapy line? "Sorry your slips have stick stabbings?"

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the main reason that I wouldn't have climbed into the Giant Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench was not because we might get in trouble (although that wouldn't have impressed me); nor due to the general icky-ness of becoming contaminated by the Filthy Oozing stuff (although it would not be pleasant); not even due to the thought of all the communicable diseases and potential for puncture wounds that would be present (even though it comes a very close second.

The main reason was because I could see how deep the pit was up the other end where they'd pushed the rubbish away, and my over-imaginative brain had attributed malevolent intent to the mass that constituted the Filthy Oozing Stench. I had images of one (or both) of us being sucked under to drown and all that would have been left was a giant belch.

There's a reason I no longer watch science fiction programmes. Jen.

Givinya De Elba said...

Err, What a relief ... (?)

tinsenpup said...

I agree. Letting go of your clutter is a huge achievement, but you'll find it definitely gets easier with practise.

Mrs. Tantrum said...

I am inspired to purge the clutter. Although I won't take it to the dump, I will let the man do that. I will make sure shred all of the paper in the house first. That way I won't have to worry about anything or poke the pile of rotting stench with sticks or bicycle parts!

Whiney Momma said...

OMG, that sounds like one fun party, oozing stench and all. I am a pack rat too...can't wait to see that new episode about Hoarding on Discovery Health. Glad to hear you got through it all and that sounds like one hella of a friend to help you out!