The cleaning was the hardest part

A goes to B, and B goes to C

The cleaning was the hardest part when I was preparing to hold my near-annual hearts card game on Saturday, March 2. My wife talked about vacuuming the living and dining room floors. But from my point of view, I needed to take another tactic first.

The first point of attack was to figure out what were in the four bins that took root on the second-floor landing. Two were my wife’s stuff so that I could ignore them. The third contained miscellany from theater programs to the bulletins from funerals, plus pens, coins, and newspapers too old to bother to read, among other things.

The next bin contained clothes I could not fit into when I put them there. But since I lost a bit of weight in 2022, most of them now fit! But where would I put them?

Sans closet

Here’s the saga of my ever-shrinking closet space. When we first bought the house in 2000, my clothes were in a closet in the smaller spare bedroom. But a few years later, that room was renovated to become our daughter’s room. My wife acquired an armoire for me; it was never adequate, especially when the clothing racks in the attic collapsed. Since 2019, that room has become my wife’s office, as my daughter had moved into the guest room.

So, where will I put all those new old clothes? I asked my wife if she would remove her clothes from the armoire side panel. She said that they were my apparel, and she was correct. But there were boxes of eye care medicine that WERE my wife’s, all from 2021 and thus expired. There were also her jewelry boxes. With these gone, I was able to squeeze some clothes in.

But this was not enough. I needed to deal with – oh, the horror – my JUNK DRAWER! Specifically, the top drawer of my dresser. I found enough loose change to take someone out for dinner. Sample-sized toiletries are now on a box atop the armoire. I also had expired meds and enough other crap I could dispose of that I could put my socks and underwear in that section, making room for more T-shirts below. I have a LOT of T-shirts.

(In case you were worried about it, we’re not throwing away the expired meds but rather taking them to a pharmacy with a bin designated for disposal.)


Now, I can go down to the first floor and tackle those boxes in the dining room. I found our 2022 tax filing and a bunch of mail, some unread, from about a year ago.  Some family friend of my wife’s had given us some coins; I don’t know if they are of any value, but they don’t need to be clogging that floor. By the end of the tedious process, everything was off the floor, some in the trash or recycling, the rest upstairs.

The bay windows still have a bunch of stuff in front of them. That was intentional. The cats had mauled the window treatments so badly that the boxes looked much better.

This process took about twelve hours, and frankly, it was exhausting. Thank goodness for lots of music. I cannot clean without music. My wife can listen to people talking on NPR, but I cannot. I need Tom Petty or Johnny Cash or George Harrison or movie soundtracks…

Our garbage gets picked up early Friday morning. By early Saturday morning, the large recycling bin, emptied 24 hours earlier, was full again.

THEN I vacuumed the floors, and we had a lovely time playing hearts, eating O’s lasagna, and solving the world’s problems.

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