Musings

The Junk Room

 

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Did you think I’d actually post a picture of the junk room?

I refuse to keep a junk drawer. When we re-did our kitchen last summer, it was the first thing to go and I’m pretty vigilant about making sure those extra random things do not end up in the silverware drawer. But a junk room I do have. Do you have one? A room where all the miscellaneous stuff we collect over the years and no longer use or need ends up? And also the stuff you use infrequently?

I came face to face with mine today and it wasn’t pretty. When I first became jobless a few months ago, I dove headlong into decluttering and then got stalled when it got to other people’s stuff (mainly my husband’s). I am not good with throwing out other people’s stuff because I don’t want to be blamed if something crucial goes missing. I also have not found a good way to motivate them to do their own decluttering. All ideas are welcome!

I know it’s not very sentimental of me, but I have no problem throwing out cards from Birthdays and other holidays within days of receiving them (I do enjoy receiving them, though!). It’s just one small way I try to keep the clutter at bay. But who am I to throw out the cards and mail my husband receives? And they just pile up until I stuff them in a basket I purchased just for this purpose. I’ll go through that same basket months later and throw out all the expired coupons I stuffed there too. But we know this is about more than cards and expired coupons.

A couple years ago we refinanced our mortgage and needed an appraisal and I was extremely embarrassed when I saw how the room was described in his notes. It did nothing to raise the value of our home either. If this room was the very first impression you would have of my home, you would call me a hoarder. Wait, am I a hoarder? Well the notes our appraiser made about our fourth “not really a bedroom” room was not even enough to motivate me to clean it out though because here we are again and it has only gotten worse.

Let me tell you what we keep there and tell me if you can relate. Please tell me you can relate. Part of an extra bed with the mattress leaning against a wall. Ten thousand lego pieces (probably more) in various boxes and bags and nothing is with its proper kit or put together. My son’s clothes and Halloween costumes he outgrew over the past 11 years (he is twelve). Extra dining room paraphernalia that never made it back to the room when we re-did it nine years ago. There are all the books we read to our son before he could read and then the early readers, and the complete collection of Jack and Annie books, Where’s Waldo, completed sticker books, uncompleted sticker books. Third grade spelling quizzes. Action figures. Inflatable beds and all the extra sheets and towels and things we bring on our annual beach vacation. Luggage. And much, much more.

Why am I pondering the junk room now? I needed to find a large duffle bag that had to be there someplace. Right? It’s the only clear place I could think it would be since it falls under the heading of luggage. Sort of. My husband was positive I’d never find it but I started tossing things out and 60 minutes later I had a very small path cleared away and a duffle bag for my trouble. I closed the door after I promised myself to finally tackle it soon, but maybe it can wait until the next time I need to find the chafing dish candle thingees.

Tell me about your junk room, please. I need to know I’m not alone in this.

MC

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