Bring Out Your Dead.

As I have already clearly established, I am a hoarder. Hosts of reality television shows would take one look at my multiple piles of treasures, mentally calculate how many episodes it would require to resolve this mess, decide that I'm not that compelling of a character, and take a pass on the whole thing. I'll be found one day crushed under a three-ton stack of 2002 Atomic ski brochures and several decades worth of back issues of Bicycling magazine. Strangely enough, both of those have exactly the same value.
Since I'm not riding as much, I have more time to do things that I've been putting off for the last decade. Discarding crap was high on the list. I started with the obvious and went from there. I actually had a stack of stuff downstairs that I had set aside last year to throw away. It grew to the point that it became the elephant in the room, because it was literally the size of an elephant. I'm not kidding. The kids would tiptoe around it lest they waken the beast and end up as food.
I moved the pile out to the back porch little by little, and then I started sorting.
Some of the stuff I uncovered actually had value, but was consumed by the beast. That went into one pile to be put in its proper place (once that proper place is unearthed). Tools I had thought long-lost and had since replaced popped up with alarming frequency. Important documents I previously swore I'd never received floated to the top one after another. Enough Nerf darts to arm a small NATO partner state. Bags from REI full of expired gummy gels (they have a half-life of 500 years). This part was like a treasure hunt.
The next part was getting rid of the stuff that obviously had to go. Frame boxes (I kept two). Wheel boxes (couple of those). Broken plastic containers. Old kitchen chairs. Obsolete computers and CRT monitors. Odds and ends that were once treasured keepsakes but now are worthless (even to me). It was time consuming, but wasn't particularly painful.
The last pile was a little more heart-wrenching. It was a trip down memory lane, visiting each of the half-assed projects and hobbies I've had over the decades. That ski binding I broke in the start house one race years ago. Those ski poles adorned with a Barbie bike horn and rear-view mirror that I gave to a friend who was hit from behind by her husband at a race camp. Little accessories I purchased in my futile attempts to buy competency, only to set them aside when I discovered they had no actual utility. Some went into the save pile because they still retained some value for me, some went into the donate pile because there's a sucker born every minute, and some even I questioned why I didn't toss it aside immediately. Years of treasures ruthlessly sorted and disposed of.
Eventually I looked for a place to stow the "keepers". I opened the door to the shed and barely escaped with my life. With no other choice, I began sorting the shed. The piles grew. The shed became less treacherous. Shelves were packed neatly with boxes, ready for a time in the distant future where their contents will be thrown away too.
Not today. Not today.

I'm not close to complete with my task. I still have to finish what I started before I tackle the garage, and I may end up in traction when all is said and done. I'm already saving up for the U-Haul it will take to cart the pile away, and it may take several trips to complete. I'll be a familiar face around the ol' landfill, and I'll have to wear blinders so I don't take more than I leave.
It's a start.


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