This morning I went looking for a new booklet of checks to put in my checkbook. I looked in my desk drawer but found only an empty box. I remembered that Ted had given me a new new box of checks but where did I put them? I looked in all the desk drawers and came up empty. Could I have put them in the cabinet across the room?
I opened the cabinet with some trepidation because I knew that opening it would be a lot like opening Pandora's Box. Let's start with the good news. The checks were in there, right in front.
The bad news was that the cabinet was horrifying. I am a person who prides herself on being neat and somewhat organized. Not label-every-shelf-in-the-cabinet-organized, but organized nonetheless. Looking at the jumble of contents in the cabinet would have actually made anyone who didn't know me think that I was auditioning for Hoarders.
This is where the real trouble started. I decided to take everything out and clean things up a bit. Not a good idea for an otherwise peaceful Sunday morning.
Here are a few highlights of what I found:
A complete set of school directories dating back to Charlie and Kate's elementary school in Los Angeles;
A collection of bar mitzvah, wedding, and other special event invitations covering at least the last eight years;
Seven empty, never used loose leaf notebooks, all in pretty prints. I actually remember purchasing these binders for a recipe organizing project that obviously never got off the ground;
Gourmet, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart Living; and Cook's Illustrated magazines dating back to the beginning of time;
Plus, all manner of odds and ends to numerous to catalogue here. (A example would be 5 Maine fisherman bracelets purchased, no doubt, on our various summer camp visiting day trips to Maine over the past eight summers.)
Need I say more?
But I will. I got myself a couple of big garbage bags and started throwing stuff away. It was painful but cathartic. Who needs all this stuff? I showed no mercy. I went through those cooking magazines and culled out, only leaving myself a pile to quickly go through in case there's something really good I want to keep. Most of it's already online anyway. I was a cleaning machine.
So now I have two empty shelves in the cabinet. Plenty of room to start accumulating stuff all over again.