Spring Cleaning

Here’s how bored I am right now: I cleaned. And not just “sprayed some Lysol over the bathroom” cleaned. Like, threw out tons of shit I don’t need anymore.

You know how, when you move, there’s always a few boxes that never actually get unpacked until you move again, and you wonder, what’s in here that is actually worth moving?

I unpacked those two boxes today. Turns out the answer was: not much.

I also went through my magazine and newspaper collection and threw out anything that wasn’t of legitimate historical value, meaning about 95% of the batch is now in the dumpster.

Let me back up for a second: I’ve had several boxes of old magazines that I kept around for years (as in, the oldest one I found was the issue of Newsweek right after the ’95 Oklahoma City bombing).

I’ve dragged these boxes all over the country, since my mother moved out of the house I grew up in and into a much smaller condo, depriving me of much-needed storage space.

I started hanging onto this stuff after my dad showed me a newspaper he’d kept from the day Kennedy was shot, something I found really fascinating. I wanted to save similar stuff for the future.

But I went a little overboard: I saved dozens of issues of Guitar World, Rolling Stone, and other magazines that really are of no use to anyone. I saved every Oscar issue of Entertainment Weekly. I saved everything even moderately historic from Newsweek.

I’d long considered selling the collection on eBay, but when I went to look online today at what I might actually get for some of these magazines (answer: very little to nothing), I decided to just pitch them.

So I went through, saving a very few truly historical items, but otherwise pitching everything. I threw out four bankers’ boxes worth of crap.

What’s funny is that when I checked my email after doing that, there was email from my dad, who’d been looking for my Social Security card. He didn’t find it, but he did find a massive pile of other stuff, including correspondence from summer camp, report cards from elementary school, and various other pack-rat items.

At least I know where the hoarding instinct comes from.

After that, I went through the aforementioned drag-around boxes, digging up dozens of documents that needed to be shredded, and a whole lot of trash.

I wound up with so much stuff to shred that two things happened: First, my shredder overheated badly enough to be unusable for about an hour. Second, I filled a medium-sized moving box completely with the shredded remains of all that paper.

My bedroom is now almost disturbingly clean, and my cat is really, really confused, since all his hiding places are gone. I’ve kicked up enough dust to be sneezing like a madwoman, but it’s nice to feel like I’ve actually made progress on something.

Tomorrow, I’m attacking the living room. I expect to finish filling the dumpster sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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