August 30th, 2013

planet

next year's garage sale and my Clean House obsession

So don't ask why but lately one of my favorite netflix shows is Clean House with Niecy Nash. It's like "Hoarders"-lite. The houses are definitely over-the-line cluttered with junk, but the people aren't "I can't function in society" mentally ill. They don't find dead cats under the furniture or closets full of feces in grocery bags, the sorts of things that just made me feel hopeless and awful after I watched Hoarders.

I guess this show went off the air like four years ago so damn... but I love it. It's Niecy Nash being sassy and fabulous, which definitely makes people with hangups a little easier to take. The format of each episode is the same. First they visit a house that you can barely walk through because there is junk EVERYWHERE. Then they hard-bargain with the owner to get rid of some stuff. This part is a little tense because the residents think the staff can make each room look magazine-perfect, and still provide space for their precious 30-year-old floral couch with a missing arm. After all the arguing is complete, they have a huge garage sale and sell whatever they can to use the money for the redecorating and make the house awesome.

Most common reasons I see that the people cling to their junk:

1) It belonged to my (mother/grandma/aunt/special person) - Oh really? This was the ONLY thing your grandmother left you, it was her favorite thing and you have a million happy memories involving it? On her deathbed, she said "Please take care of this coffee mug"? Do you think she's happy that you live in a house crammed full of crap?

2) It was a GIFT - There was a great episode with David Alan Grier's brother, where DAG was even shown saying "Yes, I gave my brother these shoes. I wouldn't have done that if I'd thought he'd keep them for 20 years!"

3) This is my collection, I'm investing in these antique footstools - Well if they are worth something, let's sell them now, no time like the present!

4) This is who I am, it represents me, it's from my favorite time in my life - Don't you want some new times of your life too? Quit clinging to everything old. Your future life is going to be okay, we promise.

5) I'm going to use that someday - Well you haven't used it this year. Give up. It won't be hurt because it's a thing. If you saw it in a store today, knowing what you know now, would you buy it? Probably not!

This year Marc did a wonderful thing for us - picked up the scary room in the basement. You know, the one where we moved into the house and put lots of random boxes in that scary back room where we could close the door and never open it back up again? Some of the stuff is okay - Christmas decorations, camping things, things we really use once a year every year. Some of it is not - old coats, ugly lamps, CDs, baking dishes that are not proportionate to the amount of baking we do. He did not organize it - Marc is not the organizer in our family. But he did throw away lots of trash, and he got everything into clear bins on shelves so we can see the floor, and I loved him for it.

So next spring we are going to have a GARAGE SALE. I close my eyes and imagine myself just like Niecy, with a big flower in my hair waving my hands around while everything just vanishes. We will clear out the scary room. Sell the baby stuff. Sell our furniture and buy a couch that actually seats four people, since that's what size our family is. I will walk around the house and just grab things left and right and get rid of them. We will be minimalists. I will stop hoarding fabric and craft supplies. I will sell all the zipper pouches I made that didn't move on Etsy. They were fun to make, yes, and now they need to be out of my house. I even read an article about how your wardrobe should consist of only 30 articles of clothing... I'm going to see if I can't get down to that. It's a little hard to know what to dump now, because I was just pregnant and still changing sizes, but in a year I will be whatever size I really am... that's why the garage sale will be wonderful. Life-changing. Money-making!

Just thinking about it makes me feel so free and liberated and wonderful, I can't wait.