Have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror and thought “Wow. What happened?”
I have. And I’m betting a fair number of you have as well. (And the ones who haven’t, well, it’ll happen).
What I’m talking about is weight gain. I mean, really, the older I get, the more I notice how the train’s gone off the tracks. I’ve got pouches and bulges in places I’ve never even thought about before. It’s hideous. Honestly, I look like all those old paintings from the renaissance. You know the ones. The ones with all the fat naked people eating grapes. Yeah, the paintings we’ve all seen at one point or another and have thought: “I don’t get it. Who would take time and waste all that paint to paint these people?” Yeah . . . now I get it. The artist probably looked like that, too and was painting these folks to make himself feel better.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure that most of us have, at one point or another, assessed ourselves and have decided we needed to lose weight. For me, that moment came when one of the kids asked me why I didn’t wear a bra. For you, it was hopefully something else . . . because let me tell you, that comment stung. But whatever it was . . . we’ve all felt that shedding a few pounds wouldn’t be a bad thing.
And really, that’s not a bad idea for your home as well. (Yes. This little blog is still about home improvement stuff.) See, just as we pack on pounds over the years, so do our homes. Oh, our pounds are packed on because of extra twinkies and donuts that we eat when we shouldn’t . . . but our house gains weight as well. Not like that–not from donuts–but from the old furniture you don’t know what to do with, so you stuffed it in the basement. Or the home decor you don’t use anymore that fills the shelves in your cupboards. For me, I’ve got an entire closet upstairs committed to the following items: 1 vacuum that no longer works, a big foamy sleeping mat that nobody will sleep on because somebody had an accident on it and even though it’s been washed, nobody will use it. 3 guitars I rarely play anymore, 1 keyboard I never touch, a mandolin I wish I knew how to play and a box of clothes my wife hid there because she didn’t think I’d look there and because she didn’t want to haul them downstairs and bring them to the mission.
My home, just like me, has gotten fat over the years. We’ve got every paper the kids have ever scribbled their names on stuffed into boxes. We have piles and piles of old CDs I never listen to anymore. We have loads of plastic storage units that just take up space in my workroom. We have what seems like 37 car seats because every time we buy one, the government comes out and says it’s no longer any good. We’ve got bottles the kids used when they were little because of the sentimental value they possess. We’ve got 15 1/2 sippy cups stuffed into our cupboards. 15 1/2 sippy cups for 1 child who still uses them.
And then, there’s the attic. That place of despair. That place that holds all the empty boxes of electronics that I bought–boxes I’m afraid to throw away because the minute I do, I’m convinced the electronic equipment will fail and I won’t be able to send it back to the company. That place of despair that holds extra interior doors that we don’t and never will need, a Christmas tree we haven’t put up in over 6 years, a fan that doesn’t work and mounds and mounds of ratty old insulation bats that I’ve just stacked up against a far wall because I don’t know what else to do with them.
Yes, my home is fat. Obese. Cluttered. And I know mine isn’t the only one. You’re home is fat, too. Oh, it may not be as morbidly obese as mine seems sometimes, but it’s still fat. And I don’t know about you, but that depresses me almost as much as seeing myself in a mirror.
I hate the feeling (especially over winter, when I’m trapped inside) that the house is bursting at the seams–that every closet and cubby and hidey-hole is stuffed to the gills with junk I don’t need. That makes me feel all itchy and claustrophobic just thinking about it. And when I’m stuck in the house all winter, it drives me nuts.
And I’m banking on the fact that it can drive you nuts as well in your own homes. And even if it doesn’t, I still know you’re going to feel tons better if you could find a way to shed the pounds in your closet and your cupboards and your attics.
So tomorrow we’re going to dig into it. We’re going to talk about some professional clutter removal tips and I’m going to prove to you that you can really, seriously make some money with your junk. I can’t help you get thin physically–look at me, I can’t help–but I do know how to trim your house down. We’ll start tomorrow.