Thursday, July 26, 2007

Can opener, anyone?

I've been cleaning - or decluttering, rather - my mom and dad's home. This is what I found in the "miscellaneous utensils and knives" drawer:

I threw away one before I thought to take a picture - an effigy to the ridiculousness of it all. So there were eight of this version (all in that drawer), plus (on the counter above that drawer) one electric version. That adds up to NINE can openers, folks.

Why? Because you can never have too many can openers...

Of course, my dad reminded me that one of those eight can openers was supposed to be in the RV. Then why isn't it in the RV, Dad?

Can openers aside, today, I spent about six hours cleaning out the laundry room. No, it isn't a huge laundry room. The space is enough for a washer, dryer, a sink, and a small counter. Cupboards are above the appliances and beside and above the sink. Because I spent so much time on this one room, one would think that I either scrubbed the room floor to ceiling with a toothbrush or that the room was a trash pit. Actually, the room looked fairly clean when I began. It was the emptying, sorting and organizing junk from the cupboards that took so much time.

As I began emptying each cupboard, the stuff just kept coming and coming and coming and coming out of there. It's like my parents secretly went to clown college to learn how to cram all of that crap into those tiny cupboards.

Cleaning. This is one of my projects while I am here visiting. Really, I am not a "neat freak." I have four children - I couldn't be a neat freak if I wanted to be one. Anyway, while my parents are at work, I sort through their junk and throw and give stuff away. I know I won't be able to completely declutter their house because too many things hold sentimental value for my mom. But I want my parents to be able to open up their cupboards and drawers or go into their garages (yes, they have two sets of garages - and a storage room - and a garden shed - and a shed for the larger gardening tools such as the mower) and be able to find the stuff that they need more easily. Having less stuff will help.

What do they have stored in all of those spaces, you might ask? It's hard to say. Wouldn't it be cool if there were tons of well cared for antiques? No such luck. So what kind of stuff do they have?

I asked Ch@ndy this same question regarding her mom and dad's four car garage that is supposed to house the RV (which of course doesn't because the RV won't fit into the garage because there is a bunch of other stuff that is taking up garage space). She came up with this descriptor: haphazard randomness. Oh, such as the large crouched pig and piglets with googly eyes that is in my mom and dad's garage? Exactly.

Ch@ndy and I now have a pact to help each other clean out those garages when our parents die. I told my parents that I was going to have to get rid of stuff for them now because sooner or later (you know, when they die) I would have to do it anyway. I want to get a head start on the project.

Ch@ndy thinks that's a great idea. She plans to ask her folks to get rid of 10% of their stuff every year for the next 10 years. If only she could convince them to not buy any more stuff to replace the stuff they toss...

1 comment:

supergirl said...

Eeek! I don't envy you, bsp. Decluttering is one of the worst chores ever. I've gotten into tons of fights with my parents when trying to throw away their junk.

Now I get around having too much clutter because I share a 200 sq ft apartment (maybe smaller!) with a roommate. That'll do it.