Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I don't know why I'm doing this, but

I am in the throes of some rather obsessive cleaning and sorting out. I've been at it for several days now and there is still loads to do, but I think I'm getting there! I am, normally, a member of the out-of-sight, out-of mind school of thought as far as this is concerned, where I can happily tidy up all visible signs of mess, and then forget about them.
But my drawers and cupboards are protesting, tired of this overload, so I've finally got my act together, and am ruthlessly sorting out and chucking out whatever I can. Which, strangely enough, seems to be releasing endorphins into my system, and I'm actually enjoying the process.
My household is more than thirty years old, and despite various moves over the decades, during which a whole lot of things are disposed off, we seem to be breeding stuff. Strange stuff that may never be used, but which doesn't want to be thrown away on the specious grounds that you never know when you'll need it. That you will be unable to find it when you need it is another matter, of course. Of the various kinds of stuff, paper is a villain in my house. There are papers, and then there are important papers, and also very very important papers, like income tax returns and financial documents. Although we have more than thirty drawers of various sizes in the flat (yes, I just counted) , we do not possess a filing cabinet or dedicated cupboard. For a decent sized apartment, we have woefully inadequate storage.
Maybe it's us, lugging our accumulated possessions across the country........
Maybe it's the SRE, buying strange objets d'art from across the globe- some beauties, some horrible dust collectors.......
Maybe it's the younger son, our weekend resident. He loves to create things out of waste materials, and then the waste materials keep sitting there.......
Maybe it's just me- my father was a terrible hoarder, and I seem to have taken after him in several ways. Some of my youngest child's toys have been kept for posterity. A trunk full of children's books is a treasured possession, which also has some of my own childhood tomes. Some things are too precious to even think of giving away, though I wonder if they will be in good enough condition for our grandchildren to read. The now rarely played cassettes are waiting for the day they will be converted to CDs.

I need to throw out all the unused and now obsolete cell phone chargers that are sitting pretty in one drawer. Two brand new packets of the joora pins my mother used to use. Old magazines which I want to re-read, but I know I never will. Three and four tier stainless steel tiffin carriers. Will we ever use them again, I wonder? Fliers from Dominos with discount coupons. No, we don't have to buy their pizzas. The four-in-one music system which gave up the ghost soon after
Mr. Bose made his appearance. The emergency light which stopped working soon after my father passed away. His electric shaver with blades that needed replacing but then weren't because the home nurse would shave him with disposable razors. I'd once asked the SRE to buy some nice bedsheets from Thailand. Unfortunately, they are fitted sheets which are difficult to fold properly and which are a little too big for our bed, so they have rarely been used. The tiny broken terracotta elephants which lurk in a corner of the sideboard. The list goes on and on.........


Thankfully, something has motivated me, and I'm at it for hours every day. I need to follow my sister-in-law's policy of cleaning out one drawer or one shelf every single day- all the time.
I wonder if I will suddenly develop the discipline to do so. But in the meantime, each clean drawer is a triumph.

I didn't think of this as Diwali cleaning when I started out, but now the weather is pleasant and cool and there is festivity in the air, so I think it has morphed into Diwali cleaning!


Happy Diwali, everyone.

11 comments:

Sands said...

Good luck with the cleaning. I know the feeling. It's amazing how we accumulate stuff over the years :(

The Bride said...

I kind of enjoy cleaning too. Not the dust aspect but the sorting through and arranging stuff. Weird considering I'm both disorganised and a hoarder.

Banno said...

Aren't all households like this? I think I discard lots of stuff, but every time I open a drawer, I find lots of things we have never ever used in years. :) Happy Diwali cleaning.

starry eyed said...

I could've written this post!!! I've hardly ever done Diwali or spring cleaning, but this year it's a frenzy. It definitely feels like decluttering our minds and lives too. And when you throw out the junk and organise the rest, why, there's space for new exciting stuff :) it's a way of healing too, you know.

Happy Diwali to you too!!!

eve's lungs said...

lol you mad un . Be cool calm and collected and continue to inspire me . I'm such a hoarder !

mandira said...

happpy diwali, dipali! (that rhymes!)

i hoard stuff only if it has sentimental value...other than that im quite ok with giving away things i dont use or need...

yasmeen sait said...

I love cleaning and go through manic phases of throwing out stuff,which is exhausting.I also find it very therapeutic at other times.
Happy Diwali!!

dipali said...

@sands-I've given myself a brief break, but will be back at it from tomorrow- all the woollens and silks have been pulled out, will be sorted tomorrow!
@The Bride: Soul sister!!!!
What I really really love is doing up the house. I'm forcing myself to sort and throw.
@Banno: I hope so- I'd be happy to know that I'm not the only one with tons of accumulated junk!
@starry eyed: I hope so! I've just taken out my parents' woollens to give away- seemed pointless to do it in summer.
eve's lungs: You've lived in the same place for years. Imagine having to cart your stuff across the country every few years- you have to keep de-cluttering. Mine is long overdue.
@mandira: I'm trying to get out of the sentimental value trap- as many years, as many sentiments, and so much clutter!
@yasmeen: happy Diwali to you too. Your homes have always been so neat and spotless, I'm sure you have the clutter monster well under control. I don't, despite my best efforts. need to do much more!

kbpm said...

i did my share of cleaning too - didnt dare tackle the paper, but the monsters and my clothes were axed.as a diwali tradition, i will be glad to keep this one! plus now i actually have some measure of space in both our closets for new clothes - if i can ever get over the trauma of diwali shopping :-)

radha said...

It happens to all of us. I have junk. Every year, I throw out some heartlessly, and accumulate more in the space created. It is a vicious cycle.

Sue said...

You know the Nokia Service Centre on S P Mukherjee Road just before the overhead rail bridge at Charu Market? They accept used phones and accessories for recycling.