In the Norwegian fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon, a young woman accidentally spills three drops of wax as she peers at her sleeping husband. (Whom she’s never actually seen in his human form before because he spends the majority of his time as a giant polar bear.) Anyway, this is a major plot point in the story, because in order for the couple to be together, the heroine must ultimately wash the wax stains from the spill out of her husband’s shirt. (It could be a commercial for laundry detergent! Wait, maybe this is the real origin of the soap opera?)
Meanwhile (while the heroine is off solving complicated quests in order to get back to her sometimes-human, sometimes-polar bear beau), three troll women each try their hands at washing the stains off the shirt. However, as much as they try, the shirt only gets dirtier and dirtier.
I came to a realization today: I am a troll woman. No, not literally, but everything I do to increase order seems to only produce more chaos. I have been sorting and donating stuff for the past several days in order to prepare for my move out of my parents’ house. There is a lot of stuff. Alot.
Some of these items were retrieved from my parents’ storage unit. (After 2 1/2 years of not noticing their absence, I finally decided it was time to get rid of them.) Other of these items have been accumulating in slow drifts around my bedroom and closets. Some of these items were originally my possessions. Others acquired by my siblings, but have been deposited in clutter middens co-mingled with my stuff. All of them need to find new homes.
It would be simpler if I just stuffed everything into gigantic trash bags and was done with it. Sayonara, stuff! Bon voyage to the landfill! (But that is not how I roll.) Instead, I am trying to maximize the utility and lifespan of the items (some of which are quite nice pieces of clothing, books, and art supplies). You can check out my list of KC-area reuse and recycling resources. Only after items have been assessed unfit for donation or recycling, are they deposited into the Black Trash Bag of Doom!
I have made quite a few donations since Monday (books, clothing, household items, art supplies, etc), but even as I get rid of many boxes and bags full of items, the place only seems to get messier and messier. I despair of ever hitting bottom. So instead of actually cleaning, sorting and packing, I have decided to drink tea and compare my frustration to the lot of troll women in a dimly-remembered fairytale.
This process is rather time and effort intensive. Part of my problem is that though remorseless, I lack method. I get easily distracted by each new treasure trove I encounter (“So that’s what happened to my essays from sophomore year Western Civ…”). Instead of strategically clearing one area before starting on the next, I’m falling all over the place: Tripping on overlapping piles and conflicting intentions, in a miasma of dust and misplaced nostalgia.
Maybe it’s best to get some sleep and start over in the morning. I just wish I had some tangible notion of progress, instead of the vague idea that my room is just becoming more and more filled with things. (Mysteriously multiplying like tribbles when my back is turned!)