Saturday, March 30, 2013

Restless in spring

It's a beautiful today in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures in the 60s, sunshine, trees and flowers blooming. Days are getting longer. There's no place better.

But I get restless in the spring.

I think it's because this is the time of year when I want to declutter, make lots of trips to Goodwill to drop things off I no longer need. Clean up the yard. Go through closets and thin out the excess. I did that for many years of my life. But not so much in the last twenty or so.

My husband is a collector of things, a saver. He's a handyman with multiple ongoing or potential projects, a man with many tools, lots of wood and PVC pipe and corrugated metal sheets and parts and gadgets. He never knows when he's going to need something - so he keeps it all. I love that he's a fixer, a repairer, an assembler of Adirondack chairs, a washer of trucks. I don't love it that every scrap of wood gets kept, every old nut and screw and bolt is retained, every ancient sponge and squeegee stays with us.  The boxes climb haphazardly in the garage, or they spill over the metal storage racks.

I think about the possibility of downsizing sometime in the next few years. I can't imagine how that will happen. We have so, so much stuff. Well, not really. My husband has so, so much stuff. We may have to get several storage units. Or a small house with an enormous garage or shed.

There are lots of things I'm grateful for about this husband. He's generous and hard working. He does all the shopping and cooking. He's a wonderful traveling companion. He's smart and, most of the time, good company.

In the springtime, though, I could use a little order.





22 comments:

DJan said...

I am married to his opposite. My guy throws things out and goes through drawers and organizes them. He will come to me and ask when was the last time I used an item. If I don't need it, it's gone. So now I am feeling quite sparsely fitted. But he doesn't fix things, either. You win some, you lose some. :-)

Linda Reeder said...

I have never had the spring cleaning bug, at least not inside the house. I do clean outside, garden beds, patio furniture , and so on. We have a lot of stuff too. to the point that if we bring anymore into the house or garage, something has to go. We can do that.

rosaria williams said...

Ah, that possibility may become a reality in no time! I'm always trying to pare down; yet, things arrive at the house in some form or other, and very little leaves. We now have three sets of outdoor seating, enough for a crowd; enough for many people to sit and eat.

Yet, throwing big parties wears me thin, and I'm no longer looking forward to all the fuss that a party entails.

Perhaps, we just shouldn't worry at all about downsizing until the hour is upon us.

Out on the prairie said...

I see myself a bit in this,it's a guy thing.

MyMaracas said...

Could be worse. My husband and I are BOTH packrats. People like us are why God created basements and barns.

;-)

Ms Sparrow said...

More power to you! Spring cleaning is good for lifting your spirit and
getting out the figurative cobwebs.

Barbara Torris said...

Oh my dear...I do know what you mean. Sponges are just a symbol for what we can absorb in our daily lives.

I will say though that I have searched through the rusted coffee cans for that illusive screw or nut and been glad for not needing to make a trip to the hardware store.

We visit our pickup load of books at the library now and most of our sponges have gone to the dump. Praise small miracles.

b+

Tom Sightings said...

Well, a little restlessness is not necessarily a bad thing ...

Arkansas Patti said...

I just read that the thing woman find most appealing in a man is when he wears a tool belt and is handy at fixing things. Sounds like you have a candidate for "sexiest man alive."

Olga said...

Spring cleaning has always been a big part of my life, an important ritual. My husband has things he collects, but he is very organized. He doesn't hang onto things that "might be" useful in the future. I clean and he tidies. Works for us.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

The grandkids weren't here this week, and I used the time to do more cleaning than ever before. Lots still to be done, though. And I have to admit that Peter can almost always find just the right screw or scrap to do a repair or improvise a solution. He once made a top-hat cymbal for Augie out of an old spring, a toilet paper roller and a chicken pot pie plate, all found in the basement.

#1Nana said...

I've been spring cleaning too. Started on the RV this afternoon. We had cleaned it out at the end of the season, but today I started cleaning for the new season...airing out the bedding and getting rid of all the things the spouse thinks would be handy, but just take up space. In the house I'm starting today to implement the rule of 5...5 things a day go out the door. It always has to be a multiple of 5. I will have no trouble keeping this up for several weeks.

Pearl said...

Hear, hear!

I am currently going through the house... Not only do we have a Goodwill pile, we also have a "toss" pile and a garage sale pile.

We have piles. :-)

Pearl

Madeline Hill said...

You might be surprised that when you two are really
ready for the downsize, you'll both be throwing things out with abandon.Or donating.Or selling.My husband was the packrat, but last year he totally shocked me with his ability to pare down.. we had to go through books,handmade furniture we not longer had room for in the new place, clothing, old sentimental items,papers, and "STUFF" we had collected on travels.Now, we have JUST WHAT WE REALLY WANT, the pearls of our possessions and it feels so much lighter!

BOTH of us got in to that feeling that "freeDOM" was worth it--and it is true..we love our new smaller home and backyard..MUCh less maintenance!

Deb Shucka said...

I get the same urge to declutter in the spring. Fortunately we have enough room here that Walt gets to keep his stuff separate from mine and I mostly don't have to see it. It's a puzzle to me how with this annual urge, every year there seems to be more to get rid of.

:-)

Grandmother said...

I like to de-clutter and organize come spring. My father was like your hubby and my mother restricted him to the basement for all his "stuff". When she died and he moved to smaller digs, I brought big garbage bags to clear the stuff out and share it with appropriate people and places. It was a monumental job!

Retired English Teacher said...

We downsized before we move, and then we downsized again after we moved. In fact, I am still downsizing. It is a huge job. I like Jann's idea: five items a day. That is doable.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I just spent an entire day going through my office pulling out loads of things to either finish (projects) or donate to Goodwill. The rest of the house will follow suit. I'm a purger and loathe clutter but Matt would be a collector of all those random bolts & screws if I let him have free reign lol

Galen Pearl said...

Tough to reconcile two different styles! But downsizing will force some letting go, I'm sure.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, I so understand. I live alone, but sometimes I simply stop putting things away and then all of a sudden I look around my house and it's so cluttered that I get claustrophobic and must clean! Clean! Clean!
Thank heavens your husband has so many good and admirable qualities! Peace.

Bob Lowry said...

Betty used to be a real pack rat but is getting much better. As the grandkids get older dozens of boxes she has been saving for them move from our storage shed to their home. After one of our daughters moves out in the fall we will have more room than we know what to do with.

Like you, I am a declutterer and a simplicity bug. The 220 sq. ft. of the RV is just about right for me!

JudisJems said...

Hi Linda, I'm new to your blog thanks to Jenn Flynn-Shon, my daughter.
I live in Tucson year-round (since last July); so glad to read you enjoyed your first snowbird winter.
I would love to communicate directly with you regarding how you found the place you stayed out here and more. I'd appreciate it, if you have the time, to drop me an email at judisjems@hotmail.com.
I look forward to coming back to read more in the coming weeks!
Peace, Judi