The Deacon’s Effects – when junk bubbles up like water from a broken pipe under the floorboards

The last three months have been a whirlwind. We bought our first home after ten years of renting. Yet despite the fact that I take a box of superfluous items to the thrift shop every two months or so, when I really got to packing, the junk bubbled up like a water from a broken pipe under the floorboards.

I took multiple van loads of boxes to the thrift store, in 30 degree weather with no air-conditioning, straining my arms and back, and still there was more to unearth. And here I’d thought my house was relatively organized and clutter-free (with the exception of toys which fill every corner). Yet when I took things down off shelves and out of closets and drawers, I thought, “Why on earth have I been hanging on to these items?” The last thing I wanted to do was clog the new house with trumpery.

Then we moved and as I began to unpack, there was that broken pipe all over again.

It was as if some little bric-a-brac gnomes had infested the moving truck in conveyance. Again I filled boxes for the thrift shop. I was unpacking one box, only to fill another marked for removal. Charles Long, author of “How to Survive Without a Salary” said we buy a garbage can and bring it home in a bag; then we take it out of the bag and put the bag in it. It’s ridiculous but this was exactly my scenario. Multiple boxes have gone to Goodwill, and still the sorting continues.

Perhaps some of it can be explained easily enough by a different layout, but for the most part I think to myself, “if I can donate this without any sense of loss, why did I move it here in the first place?” I guess it’s like weeding. You think you’ve finished the garden and then you move a pot to another corner, exposing a hidden patch that was growing behind it.

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