Here's the thing about dumpsters--they are such a great metaphor for any number of things. Life for one. If you're an optimist, you can see a massive clean-up as a good thing. Or, if you're a tad more cynical, you can think of the dumpster itself as life. While there is undeniable pleasure at simplifying one's life, there are also a lot of memories that wind up that huge metal can.
I thought I was going overboard when I got a 10-yard drop box--it holds 2000 pounds and it takes up most of my back yard. How would I ever fill it?
Fast forward two days, and that sucker is filled to the brim. Why exactly I was storing a broken pink desk is beyond me. Ditto the miscellaneous mattresses, all with various urine stains. And the two vacuum cleaners that throw sparks when turned on. Not to mention boxes of outdated clothing and toys, most of which wound up mildewed and were no longer usable.
Oh and then there's nearly 300 VHS tapes, which recycling centers no longer take--these were movies I copied, and since I mostly did that more than 20 years ago, the movies now resemble a Seurat painting--besides which I can't find my VHS player. But mixed among the home-videoed movies was the tape of my oldest daughter's wedding--it, too now just a mass of pixels.
A couple of my kids who were helping me clean things out got irritated when it turned out I had not taken close enough care of items they'd left behind as they moved into their adult lives. I don't recall promising to take care of their boxes, though I probably meant to. But a damp basement is a damp basement--and damage ensues. And when it does, into the dumptster the 'saved' items go.
So what am I learning from my dumpster? Cleaning house is every bit as hard as cleaning up one's finances.