Tuesday, February 16, 2016

40 Bags in 40 Days: Days 3 to 6. The Bunny, the Comic Books and other Difficult Decluttering Decisions.





Preamble: I have decided to participate in an on-line challenge to rid myself of 40 bags in 40 days. I am interpreting 40 bags as a metaphor for simply decrapifying and decluttering. I am focusing on my basement. Yes. Again. Shut up.


Here's my progress report.


Day 3: The Bunny Saga, Comic books and a Mop.

I
Before he was my husband, Chris gave me this stuffed bunny. Stupidly, in a phone call (and on Valentine's Day, no less) I told him we were pregnant with our first child. Well! As soon as he got off work he hit the stores...looking for a Raggedy Anne or Andy. Of course he couldn't find one--but he did find this.



But he was over two hours late for our Valentine's Day plans and I was livid. I told him what for!

And then he presented me with Mr. Bunny. With the tag on his ear.



Ever since, whenever I'd look at the bunny, I'd wince. I have kept it out of guilt and shame for nineteen years.

I discovered it in the basement, in a box. I talked to my husband. Brought up that day. Asked Chris if he minded if I let it go.

He thought I already had.

(p.s. As a result of working all this through--it's no longer an emotionally charged bunny. It is just a stuffed, dusty, dirty bunny. I'd like to wash him up and donate him to Ronald McDonald house, if they'll take him.)

Er. Scratch that. I had the bunny out to take these photos of it--and my son asked about it.

"Don't you know about the bunny, Ben?"
(He is my first born.)

"You never told me the story of the bunny."

"I've never told you the story of the bunny? Your father gave that to me when I told him we were expecting you. It was Valentine's Day. I've had him for 19 years. Read the tag."

"'I love you Mommy.'"

"I'm going to give it away--unless you want it?"

He wants it.

I asked him if I could keep the tag. He said no. "It's part of history," he said. And off he went with it.

Well then.

II
I found two large, barely manageable boxes of Chris's comic books. It will be a huge project to get rid of them as he wants to make whatever money is to be had from them.

from Box 1:


from Box 2:


Grrr.

III
For instant gratification: I took this mop out of my closet (I've already bought--and used! its replacement). I chucked it into the dumpster at work.




Day 4: Emptying out the plastic drawers.



Tedious. Full of scrapbooking odds and ends. I wonder if I'll ever scrapbook again?


 Day 5: The Picture Shelf

This was a lovely half hour project.
Frames were everywhere.

the donate pile:



Day 6: Decluttering Difficulties

My head is going to explode. Too many things to take away!

Here are things I am trying to sort out how to get rid of:



1. perfectly good plastic storage containers (and cardboard file box without a lid).
2. Children's table. Well loved.
3. Kitchen chair. Gah, I loved that set. Last one left.
4. Rocking chair I got at a garage sale for $20. I enjoyed it for years.


1) Should I schlepp some of it to my Mother? (if she wants them.)

2) Should I sell them? For what? List for them for free, maybe?

4) Perhaps I should take the things to the end of the driveway and put a "free" sign on them. Oh wait. It's just a puddle the size of a pond out there.

5) Schlep them to Value Village. (Ugh. Loading up the Jeep. Unloading the Jeep.)

ugh.

The basement is beginning to look simply amazing.



If you care to read more, check out these links:
Introduction:  The 40 Bag Basement.
Day 1: Clearing the Decks
Day 2: I Can See the Table!

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6 comments :

Janina Laird said...

Hi Alana!
The basement is certainly changing! I need to do the same thing here since I just came back up from mine and it's a mess down there (my first trip down in months due to foot and ankle surgery). I discovered that the Christmas decorations that the dear husband had 'put away' for me were all piled along the length of the couch. I guess I can't complain because he has been doing everything since the last week of November. Cleaning, laundry, and cooking. I've certainly got some major tidying up and clearing out to catch up on once I can get up and down those stairs more easily. We replaced our old coffee maker since it had given up the ghost just after Christmas. I thought it went out in the garbage but no, I found it sitting downstairs on the carpet in front of the couch. *sigh*

As for your bunny- having worked in Child Life Therapy on Pediatric wards, I can tell you that hospitals do not take used donations of toys or stuffed animals. Anything that gets dropped off by well-meaning donors is turned away at the door. Just an FYI.

Jan

Chris K in Wisconsin said...

First, I have to tell you I LOVE your blog. I so enjoy your de-cluttering and challenge posts. I retired about 7 yrs ago, and we did a big purge, and I sighed and stated I was SO HAPPY that it was over. Little did I think, or know, that purging is a life-long challenge because we continue to buy and accumulate more STUFF, and the purging is never ever done.
The Teddy Bear..... oh, I, too, would struggle with that one. Now my daughter and daughter-in-law would tell me to just keep the memory and get rid of the thing. Take a picture of it if you need to see it. sigh....
I would struggle w/ the plastic drawers, too, because of storage issues. But then I would remember if I got rid of the STUFF in those drawers (which I wasn't using), I wouldn't need the drawers. But then.... I MIGHT, and then I would have to go BUY more plastic drawers. sigh.
And the little table.... I could use it for...... and it would go back and become a nice flat surface again so I could pile some things on it....ensuring another purge down the road. sigh.
So I want you to know how much I appreciate your honesty with the struggles of purging. They actually have me LOL'ing and nodding my head.
I truly look forward to seeing your posts in my emails. Thank you!!!!!!!! 😀

Alana in Canada said...

@ Jan The whole thing with the bunny has been quite transformative. I am glad my son has taken it. I wasn't sure a used stuffed animal would be acceptable to anyone but an animal shelter--so I am glad he wanted it. Glad to hear you are up and about! That's wonderful news. I can imagine it was quite overwhelming for your husband.

@Chris--why, thank you so much! Wonderful to hear from you. It is a bit of a shock to discover the decluttering thing goes on and on. But clear space is always gratifying!

MMarie said...

Hi Alana,
I too loved the bunny story! My son has taken a liking to my childhood stuffed bear so it's sweet to hear your son is mature enough to appreciate the history of the bunny!

Here's a thought on taking things to your mom's...are they things you like, even the remotest? Because if you hate them and take them to her home, they will be the "bunny" in the future...you will have to deal with them later! The last 5 or so years of my mom's life I began giving her Christmas and b-day gifts that I would want to inherit some day. It sounds awful but they were all small things I knew she would like yet I also loved. Now when I drink tea from a certain red cup, I think of her!

Ginny said...

I will be honest, I'm glad you guys are keeping the bunny. My husband bought me a bunny for our first easter dating, I don't think I could ever part with it, lol. Your basement is looking great, I really need to get down to mine.

Alana in Canada said...

MMarie--that is very clever! No, if I take somethingto my Mom, she has complete permission to get rid of it. She is a recovering hoarder--and the last thing she needs is to worry about what I want. In fact, tokeep my life simple, I have already decided that there isn't anything I want to keep of hers. Maybe a mug--but even then, I doubt it.

Ginny--strange but true, when I posted this to my fb group I had people quite upset at the thought of me getting rid of the bunny. I am glad he decided to keep it. Are you wearing bunny slippers in that photo?

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