Husband returned a few days ago from a two week trip to Ireland. There were some plumbing problems in our Irish home caused by the unusual inclement weather that needed attention. So flights were booked and off he went.
The house was quiet after his departure, yet lacked serenity. I was unable to put my finger on the cause of the uncomfortable, stressed aura that surrounded me. Putting on the kettle…because this is what I do when deliberating about most everything. With tea in hand I walked from room to room trying to determine the reason for this atmosphere of unease. It obviously wasn’t husband. After two mugs of tea and two visits to each room, inspecting closets, cupboards, refrigerator and drawers I came to the conclusion that house was burdened, weighed down and moaning under the clutter collected over the past months.
I was shocked at the volume of unorganized stacks of paper stashed in just about every corner. I gathered all the paper piles and placed them on the kitchen table. The purging had begun. Seven hours later I had wadded through the mountain of paper. I shredded four binfuls, sorted, filed or recycled the rest. My next area of attack was the refrigerator and freezer. Best before dates were carefully scrutinized. As I tossed things into the bin my surroundings began to feel lighter. I emptied the freezer finding things at the bottom I was hard pressed to identify. Deciding this was one mystery I had no desire to unravel, the unidentified frozen objects joined past best before dates in the bin. Now the freezer is neat tidy and all its contents are identifiable and usable.
My next target was the pantry. Again best before dates were examined. I am not a stringent best before dater. Call me cynical because I consider these dates a marketing ploy. I am meticulous about dairy product dates though. All except yogurt that is. After all what is yogurt? Getting back to the purging. The pantry was now sorted. Each shelf had its theme and all products on the shelf were repackaged if needed, sealed and labeled. Closets, drawers, sideboards etc. were all subjected to the same. After two weeks of moving through the house like a bat out of hell, filling the rubbish and recycling bins along with boxes and sacks for Goodwill I took a breath and put the kettle on. With mug of tea in hand I moved through the house to observe my handiwork. To my surprise and slight disappointment everything looked the same. I had to open doors and drawers to see the results of my efforts. The house looked the same and yet it felt lighter. As I moved quietly from room to room sipping my tea I was sure I could hear the house say thank you. Then husband arrived home and the dining room table once again sagged under travel debris. I began to feel restless and uncomfortable again. Thankfully the table was cleared within two days and calmness restored.
There is still much purging that needs to be done. I didn’t have the time or the energy to tackle the basement. But it is on my list.