Clean Freak

I’m not a clean freak. Never have been and never will be, because there’s way too much to grab and enjoy in this life. But some little switch flipped itself in the past couple of weeks and all hell has broken loose. I can’t stop cleaning.

So far I’ve emptied, considered, purged or kept with a stronger hand that I ever thought possible. I’ve gone through everything that comes under the heading of “what happens when you inherit from both sides of the family, their spouses, their parents, their children, their children’s children, nieces, nephews, visitors, and a dog or two. Kidding about the dog, but we now have a GoodSized GoodWill pile, all of which I washed today. 

Sterling candle snuffer well over a foot long, statuette of a cherub riding a dolphin, miniscule ashtrays, a lovely blue cut-glass boat headed by a cherub and two oars she could never handle on her own, a globulous set of pewter cream and sugar servers that appear to be posing as five inch tomatoes (and still have decades, and I mean DECADES, of sugar inside them, a sterling bed warmer (honestly, how old could that be???), and 175ish sterling baby spoons marked with happy slogans from travels around the world. Yes, you read this correctly. It’s interesting learning the guts and bones of your families, isn’t it?

And then I cleaned out the no-man’s land under the sink and found all kinds of treasure, which I tossed anyway, mostly because it comes under the heading of Very Old. I did however, keep a dried up tub of Wrights Silver Polish, which I was able to re-hydrate, primarily because I used to date Mr. Wright, who was not at all dried up at the time.

In the happiness category, I came across an old dress which had once been floor-length with a looong ruffle at the bottom. I had (some decades ago) whacked it off a bit below the knee and placed pins for hemming and then tucked it away for another day, which was apparently this day. I’m not quite sure how I got that side zipper closed, but I did, and I proudly wore the dress for most of today, AND soon I’ll be raising it up to well-above-the-knee level and flaunting it. You gotta make cleaning fun, right?

And then I decided to tackle the 12 sheets of 2” thick PINK insulation foam that I had leftover and which has graced our living room for the past year. Sigh. I did well for the first 10 sheets, but then my ankle (also known as styrofoam-snapper) rebelled just as Vernon walked in the door to hear my scream. It’s not broken, but now it’s looking at me with that I’M DONE FOR TODAY kinda look. And yeah, maybe I am.

6 thoughts on “Clean Freak

  1. Yeah, it’s hard to part with things that refresh fond memories, but I’ve found that photo’s of them take up a lot less space! Besides, when we’re gone, unless these memories are passed on as well, they are simply inanimate objects that are subject to the tastes of those who inherit them and, quite often I’ve seen, they end up being recycled, given away, or simply tossed. Best to part with them on your own terms. By the way, this reminds me of the “garden sculpture” that I re-gifted to you a few years ago when I was cleaning out my attic. Now I really feel guilty!

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  2. The beautiful things our family cherished over the years have also begun traveling by my life. What to do with them? The grandchildren don’t want them. I can’t keep them all moving to a smaller place. I’ve decided to keep a few of the ones with the best and fondest memories and give away the rest. They will have new lives where others will love them, such as my mother’s china which someone grabbed immediately for future use. All the good and bad memories of life as a child float by and are remembered. I am anxious to begin the rest of my life in a beautiful and loving place where memories and not things are more important. The cleansing has been helpful, as I see it has been for you, too.

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    • I so admire your strength! I feel like the time comes when it comes — I couldn’t have done this ten years ago, but now it’s pretty easy. As you noted, the memories float by, and that’s a beautiful thing.

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