Welcome to Repo Week!: Adventures in Room-by-Room Reclamation, with a slight pollinary diversion

Before the real meat of this post, a quick update on the bees. As of last week, I can report that they are schlepping pollen to their hive. I expect to find baby bees when we open it later this week. Meanwhile, here are a couple of close-ups of my girls with full pollen baskets.

The yellowish ball hanging underneath the bee is pollen.
The brighter yellow ball hanging underneath the bee is pollen.
Another shot of a bee with a full pollen basket.
Another shot of a bee with a full pollen basket.

One of the most amazing things about having a job is paid vacation. This past year, I jealously hoarded the week and change I had left after my daughter’s wedding in order to begin addressing The Landfill I Call Home.

When we moved to this house six years ago, I was in grad school and working full time. I made a conscious decision to put unpacking and housekeeping last, focusing my energy on doing a good job for the People (I’m a public sector employee) and excelling at my studies (I graduated with honors). During that period, I moved my mother across six states into an assisted living apartment and then to a single room in a nursing home. Which did nothing – and continues to do nothing – to help decrease the stuff in my house or increase the amount of time needed to deal with it.

Anyone wondering about Sweetheart and this process? Fuhgeddaboutit. He’s the love of my life. He feeds me and calms me, and that’s huge. But when it comes to housekeeping, he’s more a problem than a solution. If I ever write a screenplay, it’s going to be a horror movie/romcom called “When Packrats Fall in Love.”

Bottom line: Last year, I got my masters degree. I did a bit here and there, but the cleaning/organizing/purging process does not come any more naturally to me than it does to Sweetheart.

Nonetheless, this week, it’s happening.

My dream would be to Marie Kondo the entire place wholemeal. But one thing I have worked hard to be good at is seeing things as they are. Trying to take on the entire house in a single week is a recipe for defeat.

So I am going to attempt the following:

  1. My study
  2. The pantries
  3. The front and back hallways

I started the study a couple of months ago, when I had a long afternoon. It went from okay to terrible in about three hours. I was so traumatized that I stopped.

The Ultimate Before Picture. I am mortified to be posting this, but if all goes well, the next picture of this room will look way different!
The Ultimate Before Picture. I am mortified to be posting this, but if all goes well, the next picture of this room will look way different!

But today, as soon as this post is posted, I head upstairs to turn on some good music and start again. I’ll be on my own for a couple of hours, and then Grace is coming over. Something I learned when I first started breaking up Mom’s house is the utility of having a friend who really understands your pathologies. It’s the equivalent of hiring a stand-in for your rational self, someone who can bypass your freaked-out inner child and reassure you that getting rid of your (insert possession here) will not, in fact, cause your soul to wither and life as you knew it to end. Unless, of course, you’re defining “life as you knew it” as “being so overwhelmed by clutter that you can’t function.”

I’ll probably be posting every other day or so this week, maybe even daily as this process unfolds.

Stay tuned.

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