Friday, March 5, 2010
Awhile back, I gave some advice on the process of remodeling your house, the first two steps of which involve purging your belongings and then cleaning everything. I like to do a little purging and cleaning now and then, but not like I've done in the past week. It started just before I went to Vegas, and I was having drinks with Vinnie. I was lamenting about how dirty the Happy Kitten Highrise was, mostly because I hadn't felt like wasting time cleaning during Maddy's last days. Now I felt bad about cleaning because her hair, the last traces of her presence, were everywhere, even on the dropcloths and sheets I had laid over the furniture I bought for the 2008 DA holiday party that I still hadn't been able to sell. Vinnie's advice was 1) go to Vegas and get out of the house for a couple of days, and then 2) come home and clean and do some clutter-busting in order to reclaim the house for Guy, Hazel, and myself.
It also occurred to me that my sister was flying into town in a week (which is today), so with a week to work, I cleaned like a mofo. So far we've taken about 25 cubic feet of clothing and such to Goodwill, and I have about 6 cubic feet of books ready to donate to a women's shelter (per my mom's suggestion, cuz she's smart). I've chucked probably a little over 2 cubic feet of stuff into the trash and about 12 cubic feet into the recycling. Friday afternoon was spent cleaning out my bathroom cabinets and counter, and a Saturday morning trip to Container Store provided some inspiration (I swear, wire storage racks are the gateway drug) to keep cleaning and clearing. I got my bathroom cleaned, most of the master bedroom clean (shelves and general clutter), and the living room shelves and desk cleaned and sorted. This may not sound like a lot, but these are three places in which I spend a lot of time, and it's three areas in those three places that can drain a person with all their clutter. Plus, cleaning these three areas allows me to clean and clear some other places in the house, like the dining room (where all the mail tends to congregate) and the guest room (where random stuff and papers to file tend to land).
I also put the mid-century furniture from the Mad Men-themed office party back on Denver's Craigslist for the third time in 15 months, albeit for about 20% less than I bought each piece. I managed to sell a couple of chairs ($40 for the pair) on Sunday, and we'll see about the rest. That's $40 more than I had, and if I can at least make back half of the money I spent on the stuff in the first place, I'll be happy. I just want to get this stuff out of my living room--it's been in a pile in one corner for way too long, and I could really use the money. I also managed to sell $200 in gold jewelry from old boyfriends during the clear-out. Turns out one of them gave me an "emerald" in a gold setting that turned out to be glass. There's a reason I didn't marry him--he was as fake as his "emerald."
There are several benefits to doing all this purging and cleansing. Number one, Vinnie's right: I'm reclaiming the house for those of us still here. No amount of cleaning will remove Maddy's presence from this place, but it will not be a place that remembers death but rather life. Number two, clearing stuff out gives me real peace of mind as well as visual peace. I love having order and cleanliness; it calms me down, and calm is something I could really use, especially lately. Number three, cleaning is physical activity that I can do with my iPod in, nice and meditative but active, which also calms me down (see above). And number four, I'll have the house nice and clean (or cleaner) for when Kitty arrives, which happens today.
Thing is, Kitty doesn't actually care how clean the HKH is or isn't. She's always so happy just to be on vacation and hanging out that she's just fine. She's like a kitteh herself: all she needs is a warm and comfy place to sleep, some noms to eat, and someone to play with and pet her, and she's fine. And I will be too, once she's here.
Update Saturday 7:15am: I managed to sell a coffee table and an aluminum-and-naugahyde chair (I know, I know, many naugas died to make that chair) last night for $100 together. The living room is almost mine again. Huzzah!