Each time I venture into our basement I cringe at the sight of inaccessible stuff piled high to the ceiling. Today I hope to unload at least a few items and make a trip to the Salvation Army Family Store in order to donate them. Usually I can be seen leaving the store with a bag or two of items each week. Yesterday, I returned home with mostly things I will give away as gifts plus a nice large cookie tin for next December’s cookie event. We are finally down to the last two or three gingersnaps. They have remarkable staying power and a little more snap at this point.
A nice solid wood queen sized headboard and footboard will return to the SA. It came without side rails and as a result the headboard just leaned against the wall behind the bed. This also made a lot of noise, not welcomed by me as I toss and turn in the middle of the night. The likelihood of finding or creating side rails seemed slimmer and slimmer and I just decided it was time for some action. A few handmade wooden shelves that I picked out a a garbage heap when our neighbors sold their house will also go to their new home. We have no free wall space to hang anything else. Every wall is covered with art and since we have built in book cases in both the living room and the bedroom, there is really no need. I just couldn’t see sending them to the dump. The TV shows on hoarders scare me and the last thing I want to do is burden my children with getting rid of my stuff when the time comes. Hopefully this is a long way off, but if we whittle away at the collection, we might eventually get down to the stuff we actually use.
This brings me to the issue of an idle Rainbow vacuum system also taking up precious space. Over the course of our life together Ron and I have purchased a ridiculous number of vacuum cleaners, always searching for the one that would really deliver. We presently have a Dyson all floor model and I actually like it. In a weak moment, years ago, we bought the very expensive Rainbow. It promised to do everything but pay college tuition, and for a while, it was a nice way to rid the house of pet hair, dust and bad air. I always found it difficult to maneuver and a real pain to clean. Emptying dirty water, rinsing parts, and reassembling each time we used it got on my nerves. I remember saying then that I knew a man designed this thing, since he would most probably never use it. To my husband’s credit, Ron did operate the Rainbow and actually grow fond of it. I might add at this point that if there are any women looking for a new career, why not try ‘industrial designer?’ The world could certainly benefit from a female point of view when it comes to the many items we use daily that could be better designed. Back to the Rainbow. When it reached the point that this machine was not functioning to its fullest capacity, we brought it to the dealer to have it repaired. They claimed to find nothing wrong with it. Even Ron defended the performance. I maintained it sucked, and not in a good vacuum cleaner way. Today, when I suggested we donate this gem, Ron, as expected, thought such an expensive system might actually sell. It will not sell. It needs to go. The two color TVs in the house also need to go. Unfortunately, they were refused last time we tried to donate them. Of course subsequent visits to my favorite store found a plentiful supply of old, but working TVs. Even though they remain on the donation list, I hesitate to drag them out, only to be rejected again.
There are also three nice wool rugs in the basement. One was purchased for our NJ living room, where I imagined it would be safe from the bladder belonging to Ferris. Of course I was wrong. Dog urine bleaches out the dyes on wool and leaves an indelible mark. So now, an expensive, pretty rug I might use in the bedroom is in the donate pile.
Christmas wreaths, the tree Frederick got stuck in, icicle lights we will never hang outside and probably any other junk I might cram in the car, is leaving today. Let’s not forget the pile of cardboard boxes I broke down so that they could go to recycling and the remaining U-Haul boxes we used for moving along with a wealth of packing peanuts and bubble wrap. It all needs to go. It would be so nice to be able to see the walls of our basement.
P.S. We did bring all the above mentioned items to the donation door of the SA. Apparently they will only take television sets that are less than five years old. Looks like we still have two in the basement. They are actually interested in the U-Haul moving boxes. Only used once, these boxes still have life left in them and are quite expensive when purchased new. I guess there will be a run to the recycle center and also a return trip to SA. Oh, I also found a plastic container of Christmas cookies in Ron’s car that I packed for him a few weeks ago to bring on his road trip to NJ. They are still pretty good and I didn’t see any ginger snaps.