Monday, December 28, 2009

De-Crapping [Tutorial]

Do you know what being in my house for extended periods of time makes me want to do?


Like, de-stack my living room of old magazines. De-stuff my dresser drawers propped open by clothes not worn in recent memory. De-pile the books emerging from beneath large pieces of furniture.

De-stick the cupboards stuck closed because some errant and unused wok utensil decided to get wedged all the fuck in there on top of all the other long-handled utensils so that when I went to get the big tongs out I had to engage in a battle royal with the kitchen cabinets to the tune of jamming my arm up the back of the drawers to dislodge the offending spoon thus rendering my left arm useless for the better part of Christmas Eve.

And then de-redundant the kitchen counter because TEE DAH! Bubba got me some sweet new knives and now I am complete in the knife way for the rest of my days and can return the coutertop to things other than a big knife block and rest my brand new SHARPASFUCK knives in the forthcoming in-drawer knife organizer. Yay!

I drag along behind me, to these occasions of great reckoning, two bags. At the end of the day, one of the bags goes in the trash, the other goes to Goodwill/Hope Services/Salvation Army/The Donation Center Most Conveniently Presented at the Close of De-Crapification.

And once the de-crapification is done, the organizing can begin. And I think we all know that I love organizing.

Lawdie do I love it.

Look at that - only unread books. I *knew* they were in there. 

To open a drawer and, rather than see a random assortment of items all knotted up in hellfire and rubber bands, I see an array of useful things organized in a way that will allow me to, first, easily choose the thing I need and then, second, close the drawer without having to play chicken with the stuff that pops up in the front by pushing it down with my hand until the last possible second when I pull my hand free and slam the drawer closed SUCCESS. Phew.

I crown myself Queen of Long-Handled Utensils. Also, please enjoy the apron drawer.

Yes. That is a good moment. And when I can spread that good moment throughout my house after a successful round of de-crapification? I get all annoyingly gleeful and satisfied in a way that makes me question my sanity and what's wrong with me that something this stupid fills my soul with joy.

 De-crapping this nighstand took a whip and a chair.

So, my life is small.  But you knew that.

And thank you, Hope Services, for delivering a yellow "We'll be at your house on such and such a date to pick your crap up" card to our mailbox today. You are the official Donation Center Most Conveniently Presented at the Close of De-Crapification and therefore win the coveted Sack of Indiscriminate Bullshit. Enjoy.

For those of you wading through this mess of a post for a tutorial - here you go. It's a shortie.

Another thing to do with old cards: Thank You Postcards

Pick the good ones
Sift through your pile of old cards and pull out any that fit the profile:
  • Any that say Thank You on the front or have a pleasing design
  • Aren't destroyed in some way
  • Don't have a lengthy note scribbled on the back of the cover
  • Are between 3 1/2"x5"  and 6"x4 1/4"

Save the good part
Cut the card in half - recycle the scribbly half (and also absorb the thoughtful message, fine)

Say Thanks - Version 1
Scribble your own thoughtful thank you message on the blank left side of the back of the cover.

Send it away - Version 1
Put your address on the right side there,add a $.28 stamp and put it out for the mailman who may or may not have a searing case of Queso Gas.

Say Thanks - Version 2
Scribble your own thoughtful thank you message on the blank back of the cover from corner to corner.

Send it away - Version 2
Slide it into an envelope, address it like you normally would, add a $.44 stamp and put it out for the mailman who may or may not secretly love you for introducing him to Skillet Queso Dip regardless of any aftereffects.

And then you can bask in the super de-crapified glory of your organized house. And read a book from the unread pile, maybe What the Dog Saw.


  1. Wow funny! We bought ourselves a gigantic, ceiling height bookcase system thingamabob that takes up an entire wall, and it has caused massive cleaning, organizing and decluttering, house-wide. Fun, this holiday season. And the only book left on my nightstand is What the Dog Saw. Sweet!

  2. The perfect time for de-crapping! It is, after all, Discardia.

  3. Yes, it's that time of year for de-crapification. Looks like you're doing swell with it. But one must is the yarn stash closet???

  4. It must be nice to be able to do that. I will have to wait until my MiL is no longer with us before I can go through all the hundreds of drawers, cabinets, dressers, closets, shelves, etc. that house a truly dizzying array of paperwork and randomness squirreled away over the last hundred years or so in this house.

    I suppose some people might think it's fun to open up a random drawer and find the tax records from 1974. I don't find it so fun, myself.

    I dig your new knives. Watch your fingers with them sharp sumbitches.

  5. Yup- I'm the bitch that writes on the top part of the card therefore ruining any chance of turning the card into something else. I'd hang my head in shame but I don't know if I care that much. :)

  6. Good word, de-crapping. Yes, yesterday was the kick-off of an official week of de-crapification in our household, but I'm not sure that I'll be left with as impressive results as you have here. Very inspiring stuff!

    And I'm liking the postcard idea. From now on, I'm going to do my part for the recipient of any notecards I send out and leave the back of the front part blank, so they can get another use out of it, too. It's the least I can do, right?

  7. We also enjoyed some good clean de-crapping at our place and even landed ourselves a new duvet cover and sheets in the process. There actually isn't a pile of clean laundry stacked anywhere, which is amazing for us.

    Leeor did an especially impressive job on the junk drawer, and your description of chicken-playing with yours was a little too close to home so I truly appreciate his efforts at the de-crapping of said drawer. It's so peaceful and easy now to get a new battery or something (we even recycled the old bag of batteries and took the change to coinstar). It's exactly what the holidays are for. Cheers.

  8. I never do New Year's Resolutions, but there is something deep within me that cries out for organization at this time of year.

    I've gotten as far as taking pictures of the 'Before', but that's about it.

  9. I have been wanting to do this forever...but I am a hoarder and it hurts to let go. But really, what does one do with a 1/4 inch of yarn? Nothing.

    Also, I have the same iPod as you! Nice choice.

  10. we are so on the same wavelength this week!

  11. We call it de-clusterfucking here, and I`m postponing it till the hangover from New Year`s wears off. As we speak, a tower of not-so-suitable-after-all toys is teetering at the top of the entertainment unit. Too noisy? Set it up there. Too many parts to think about right now? Add that. Marshmellow gun??!! Who gave them THAT? Top of the pile.
    So yeah. It`s a clusterfuck.


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