Lucy Wightman
lucy wightman

Getting Rid of Stuff - Part One: The Rubber Mallet



I want to share about stuff, fonts, things, digital images, cardboard boxes, emails, plastic tubs, office clips and the like.  All objects that makes life hard.  I don’t think I will ever use Bodoni 72 Oldstyle and I don’t even like the name of the font.  There is a refreshing calm that covers me when I imagine life with a font list that only includes Comic Sans and those that are required to read web pages.  All that blank space on the tail of the pull down font list seems dreamy.

The theme that holds the events of the past 8 years together is stuff, things I have used, or think I will use up the road, and multiple items of the same ilk that I presently do use.  While I am not sure I see a way to use this theme as the skeletal backbone to my book, it is, nonetheless, a common denominator among all of us in our 50’s.  Whether we want to admit it or not, our stuff is killing some of us.  I want to share my good fortune without cluttering the page or the blog, so here goes! 

My first wake-up clutter call came when I downsized and then abandoned my business following a personal tragedy (more on this somewhere, sometime).  I had multiple desks approximately 4 feet deep, by 9 feet wide, weighing in at over 100 pounds each.  No, I don’t think I remember how many I had,  More than three. 

Through trial and error engineering in the darkness, I learned that I could utilize thick, nice towels, bath-size, and large cardboard boxes cut open and laid out flat.  Through sliding and swiveling and more than enough hoisting, I managed to clear out an entire 8 room office.  I have had experiences from this time forward, and that was only the beginning.

My advice to you is make sure the ground is very dry.  Mud patches easily give way to heavy desk corners that are dragged, thus creating a miniature bulldozed build up of wet dirt.  Realize that one you start the physical exertion of pushing large, sharp-cornered, heavy objects away, your emotions will turn for the better and you will see these giant meteors of crap as the enemy.

Fast forwarding to now, I recently discovered the joyous benefits of the rubber mallet.  It still makes a shocking noise when contacting the joining points on furniture pieces, but there is not that bone shaving reverberation that comes with the metal hammerhead.  It is fabulous for clearing out your life of those items no one will take at the transfer station swap (this is deserving of it’s own article).

The feeling of relief comes swiftly when the right angles to what was once your beloved wooden bookcase, you know, the one you have lugged around because it was your “childhood bookcase,” therefore made very well, with real wood backing instead of the cardboard you get nowadays, falls to the ground.  Once flattened, it can be taken to the dump or some similar space for unusables.

Good transfer stations make it possible to recycle almost everything we own.  Sadly, some things like particle board furniture, covered with formica, will not make the recycling cut.

That is it for today.  Don’t lose hope, you can get it all managed, one day at a time.