What? I don’t get it.
You are really bad at knock-knock jokes.
So, supposedly spring arrived a couple of weeks ago. I had been so excited at the time. Mainly because it would mark the end of me standing there each day, hacking away (psycho-style), at the glacier on the windshield of my car. Also because I knew the end of March meant the start of all things new! That fresh smell would be in the air…I even started thinking about how maybe this would be the year to make my garden great again! Well…again? Okay, fine. For the first time. I swear my thumbs were already developing a greenish tinge…
Then very recently…on a day suspiciously close to April Fool’s Day, I looked out the window and saw a foot of snow. Really? Oh Canada. Okay, well maybe not a foot of snow, that’s crazy. This is Canada. It was 30 centimeters of snow. I looked down at my thumbs…maybe that was just kale-chip residue? Serves me right. Who eats kale-chips.
I refused to be disheartened. I still wanted to do something springy. Tis the season and--no, Canada, let Christmas go… (Canada looked all affronted…eh?)
I turned away from the window and to my closet instead. That’s when the idea of spring cleaning hit me. Figuratively…but also literally, because right then a box fell from the top of the closet and hit me in the head. It had been shaken loose by absolutely nothing except maybe an infinitesimal shifting of the earth’s axis. Pretty sure that it is the top shelf of this very closet that inspired the phrase "filled to bursting".
Okay, so how about spring cleaning then?!
I’m referring to “getting rid of old junk” aspect of spring-cleaning here…as opposed to the “washing the walls and vacuuming the curtains” aspect. So really more of a spring purging…but due to its connotations, purge is a word that should just never be said. Which is why I will say it from this point on.
My ideal method of spring-purging is illustrated in the following 6 steps:
- Pull everything out of every closet and drawer.
- Pick out approximately 7 items.
- Throw everything else out.
- Buy new stuff.
- Act surprised if you are confronted by anyone seeking old items. Poker face. Be strong, cave not. Eventually they will grow accustomed to the new stuff and stop asking where their favourite sweatshirt is.
- Wait a full year or two before visiting any thrift stores so that all your stuff can get sold. You won’t risk that “aww, remember I had a shirt like this? Wow, this one even has a stain in the same---heeey…”
This method of purging is effective, but not always practical. Sometimes people - through no fault of their own - accidentally drive vans into ditches (I’ve heard) and then find out that their replacement vehicle simply can’t fit all seventeen garbage bags in one trip. More than 2 trips to the car with stuffed garbage bags makes you “conspicuous” to the neighbours. They are already leery of you after that ransacking raccoon attacked the bags at the end of your driveway and graciously gave everyone an insider’s look at your actual garbage.
Even though it has to be done strategically, if you live with pack-rats, this purging thing still needs to be done. Although we don’t use the term pack-rats. It is offensive to some. By “some” I mean people who are still keeping that tiny canoe that they whittled from wood at the age of nine (when their whittling skills were nothing compared to what they are today…). It is in a box with similar items, on top of a box with similar items, stacked in closet with similar items, in a room with similar items. One (apparently) must always be prepared for when and if a wood-whittler’s convention will roll into town and it suddenly becomes of paramount importance to find the tiny canoe.
Here is a more practical approach.
- Arrange 3 separate groupings – “to stay” “to go” and “cake”
- Keep the stuff that stays, take away the stuff that goes and eat the cake.
- Experiment with icings, but even just plain is fine. Candles are a nice touch and I won’t tell anyone it’s not your birthday.
My sister does not take umbrage to anything. Thankfully I have no umbrage to offer her, just tons of other junk. Luckily she also is one of those people that we aren’t calling pack-rats. I’ll pretend I’m letting her take my girls’ old clothes for her own younger daughter and anything else of mine that I “just don’t use” and she will happily take it under that pretense because she can’t resist.
I will show my gratitude by providing cake with candles, regardless of birthday proximity. She is gluten-intolerant and won’t eat the cake, so I will then show my team spirit by eating it myself (of course still with the candles!)
I just looked out the window and my new plan was confirmed. It was snowing heavily yet again. Six days into April. So, while I wait for global warming to actually find Canada on a map, I will offer you this take-away.
Here it is.
Yes. It’s a box of junk.
Seriously. Take it away.