Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Dumpster

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 Not to mention boxes of outdated clothing and toys, most of which wound up mildewed and were no longer usable.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.


Lisa said...

But doesn't feel better when all of the "stuff" you have been storing is gone?

When I moved out many years ago, I asked my mom to store my "treasures" for me too. It did not last long, as with every visit or so, she would always manage to send stuff home with me. After awhile, I just told her to pitch it. For the most part, it was not really worth keeping.

priskill said...

It feels good afterwards, though, doesn't it? I'm a huge packrat, so we routinely rent big old dumpsters to clear out -- god knows what! -- that accumulates around here. I rented a similar big 'un to clean out my mom's cellar this summer and realized it is much easier to throw away someone else's stuff.

Storage rental space is a huge industry -- paying to save the junk I don't really need. At least your kids got to store stuff for free!

Bob Lowry said...

Americans rent over 2 billion square feet of storage space, much of it to keep things they no longer need or want. Your dumpster solution is so much more logical and satisfying.

MasterPo said...

MasterPo and Mrs. MasterPo have filled several dumpsters with debris and junk over the years.

An amazing tool.

Sharon said...

I always feel so much better with clear open spaces.

Great job, Grace! :)!

Louise said...

well done! thats a lot of stuff to get rid of, nice to have free-ed up that space so you can use it again.

LC said...

My sympathies on the major cleanup. But since the only time we straighten and do moderately major, for us, cleaning is when company is in the forecast. That is another thing I appreciate about guests.

My kids,too, have been out of sorts over the years at my failure to safeguard their childhood treasures. In my case, however, things have simply disappeared.

No basement, but I have always suspected things are tucked away in our attic which is not a finished or even partially finished storage space. Think no lighting and no floor and a foot through the ceiling below with one slip of said foot off a rafter.

It is entirely the domain of husband, and more recently a family of raccoons until hubby evicted them via traps and relocation to rural, wooded areas.

The dumpster-rental day is getting closer for us, also.

Living Almost Large said...

I just yard sale and got rid of a ton of stuff.

Renting Dumpster said...

Dumpster as this can be prohibited by your local authority or your Renting Dumpster company. It’s better to ask your Renting Dumpster company about the size and type of waste materials you are allowed to dump into the dumpster