These bags are scented.

I’m in the process of clearing out my house, and I bought garbage bags to make it easier.  All day, I’ve been like “God what the hell do I have in my drawers that smells like perfume?”

Turns out I bought scented garbage bags. I hate scented things, and I’m not even sure how I did this, but it makes it easier to get it out of the house. I apologize ahead of time to the people at the SA.

Anyway, let’s talk about books. What do we do with them? I have TONS of books. I’ve re-read many of them, but I think it’s time to let them go. Tomorrow, I’m going to put them in these scented garbage bags and take them to a local shelter or something. Otherwise, they’re going in the garbage. I’m sorry I’m doing it, but they’ve become too much stuff. It’s nothing against those authors (there are a lot of books I’m keeping) so much as it’s stuff that has to go. I have a tiny attention span lately when it’s not baseball, so I moved on.

I started on my dresser because I’m not taking those books anywhere today. Thong underwear I don’t think I ever wore (I’ve never really cared about panty lines – I wear underwear, so deal with it), mismatched socks (some of them go to this drawer to die, but WHERE DO THEY GO – seriously I wonder about this), socks I’ve never worn, pantyhose I used to wear. GONE. So I go on to the next drawer, full of sweaters I once loved and will never wear again because I’m getting rid of them.

And he grabs my arm and tells me to stop yelling. That nobody cares.  I’m fighting against him, but he’s pulling my skirt up and laughing.

“You know you want it bitch, shut up.”

I don’t want it, but I do what I can to fight before I give up and pray this is over soon.

“You know you want a piece of this.”

God no, and I’m fighting again because I asked for help but this isn’t help, this is a nightmare, and please just let it be over soon.

“chirup!”

I look up, the room is still dark.

CHIRRRRRRP and something hits my arm.

It’s a milk ring.

It’s twenty plus years ago, and it’s like it was yesterday.

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Operation Clear My House (aka Nevertheless . . .)

Operation Clear My House to help clear my mind has commenced. It’s long overdue, and I’m being ruthless about it. I’ve already recycled at least 10 big reusable grocery bags of stuff (lots of cans – see below about the kitchen) and two garbage bags of crap I don’t want and will not hold onto to take to the goodwill, a food pantry, or SA. Some of that was prepackaged food things I haven’t eaten in years. I didn’t bother checking dates. If I won’t eat it, it’s not going to a food pantry. I’ll make a donation to one tomorrow. They’d rather have money anyway.

I started tonight with the kitchen. We won’t talk about how old some of those bottles of dressing were. No more buying things just because they’re on sale. I love going to the grocery store, so I’ll go buy things at Devon market when I need them. Only cat food, soda, and things like tp will be stocked up on. There was no need for an eight year old can of chickpeas to be in my cabinet because I once loved making hummus. Lemon pepper that I remember buying in my first fucking apartment. I don’t even LIKE lemon pepper that much (as evidenced by the fact that it was basically full).

Tomorrow I’m tackling the bathroom. The linen pantry (that has TONS of half used bottles of things I’ll never use again), under the sink (bottles of nail polish from years ago, half used things of hair products, various barrettes and clips that are probably broken anyway), and all the crap on the counter. Sets of sheets that I haven’t used since I moved in here over 10 years ago? Those I will take to the SA, but they must be taken within a week or they go in the trash. A laundry hamper half full of clothes that I don’t like that much anyway and haven’t bothered to wash? Trash. All of it. Which reminds me I need to find my key for the dumpster. Prying the lid open to cram stuff in isn’t going to work tomorrow. It’s time to be ruthless.

I recycled the cans and jars from the cabinets (thank god for a garbage disposal in the sink), but the bathroom stuff is just getting tossed. I’m fucking diligent about recycling about 80% of the time, better than most people, I’d bet, so I cannot feel guilty about this. I have to take better care of myself, and it’s starting at home, goddammit.

I got my new tattoo on Thursday to commemorate all of the powerful women in this country and to remind myself that I cannot just fucking give up on my home and my life because it’s too hard to tackle. People that give up end up on Hoarders. I love that show, but I don’t want to be on it. I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t kill myself for any number of reasons, but a big one was knowing that people who love me would see my home in its current state. That’s not right, and I will change.

Yeesh, is this what confessing feels like? If so, I’m so glad I’m not catholic (not the only reason, but I digress).

I rarely, if ever, invite people into my home. If you’re a good friend you may have noticed this, or you may not. In my circle of friends, we go to places rather than meeting at each others’ homes. This has been a huge relief to me.

There is one person (not counting a few repairmen, and I apologized profusely the entire time they were here out of shame) who has been in my house in the last three years.  ONE. This isn’t right. I’m a wonderful cook (and a braggart apparently!), and I love to have people over. But I’ve been ashamed of my home, and it’s well past fucking time for that to change. Mind you, I keep the bathroom and kitchen clean amongst the clutter, but the clutter has to go.  The not dealing with this shit because it’s too hard? The being careful about taking pictures of my cats so you don’t see the stuff? It has to stop.

Now, I’m never going to have a home that looks all perfect where people apologize for the mess that you can’t even see. That’s just not my nature. But when I was thinking about hiring a person to help me with this, I realized that I have the power and the skills to do this, and it’s gotdamn past time for me to start. I have to start on this persisting.

So, I started tonight with the kitchen, which still needs some rearranging but looks better than it did by far. Tomorrow, the bathroom and hopefully part of the dining room. The bathroom needs to be done tomorrow (or should be done tomorrow – I need to be kind to myself), but the dining room can wait until Monday because tomorrow night the Grammy Awards are on, and you know I’m gonna be with my ass planted on the couch cheering my heart out for Chance (there will be a FB thing – I feel more strongly about this than any other award show ever – Chance is great. He’s probably saved my life, but that’s another blog). So I need to get on it early. Maybe I’ll leave the politics shows on after I watch CBS Sunday morning – that will motivate me. Make my life better = making me stronger = more will to fight.

Then the rest of the dining room and living room on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday. I only say to Wednesday because I do have shows I like to watch on Tuesday. I still have to be a little bit me. My bedroom will be last because if I can’t get the rest of my home right, I have no reason for anyone but me to be in there.

I’m going to a concert on Friday (RUN THE JEWELS!!!!!!!!!!!!), and the friend I’m going with lives somewhere in the city that it would cost a lot for him to take a cab home after the show is over. At one point, I considered paying for his $50+ cab ride home so he wouldn’t sleep on my couch. This is stupid, and asking him to accept my home as a cluttered awful mess is also stupid. So I guess I have him to thank for finally kicking me in the ass. Or maybe it’s me, getting that ink on my arm and realizing that I can’t do it if i continue to give up.

I think all of the times I’ve sat with pills, a razor, a sharp knife, or even googled other ways to kill myself (and while I wish I was never in a place that awful and never am again), and I have to thank Mitch McConnell, Senior Senator from Kentucky. And Elizabeth Warren, Senior Senator from Massachusetts. She was warned. She was given an explanation.

 

Nevertheless, she persisted.