Spring Cleaning Showdown


I have writer’s block. I am usually filled with ideas of things to write but for the last week I am a blank slate. So instead of being creative, I decided to clean. Deep clean. I am the type of cleaner who generally throws stuff under the beds and into empty rooms and closets so the house looks neat, but really it is filled with junk I don’t know what to do with. It is not my stuff I am hoarding away. It is my husbands. You see, there are two types of people in this world, people who look as everything as trash and people who think of everything as memories that must be saved. I am the first and my husband the latter. Our house is filled with all his worthless treasures. My thought was I could declutter my house and declutter my mind. I’d kill two birds with one stone.
I started with the laundry room. I found about twenty five baseball caps that I have never seen my husband wear. He claimed I couldn’t throw them out because he will need them if he ever goes bald. I pretended I didn’t hear him. Seriously, one said “Alaska Seafood”. If he goes bald I’d rather him wear a bad toupee then a hat that said “Alaska Seafood”.
I next went to the bedroom. I brought my husband to help me with that feat. Our closet has three sides of racks. Two are filled with his clothes and one has mine. The floor is filled with at least twenty pairs of his Timberland shoes, all different colors to match different outfits. Shoved in the corner are my ten pairs of shoes. My husband looked at the closet and said to me, “You need to get rid of some of your shoes and clothes. Here is a trash bag.”
“What about yours?” I said. “I’m pretty sure the woman is supposed to have more clothes then the man.”
“I’ll get rid of some.” he assured me.
I sorted through my clothes and ditched tons of stuff. Half of it was old and if I didn’t wear it in the last season I trashed it. I also got rid of five pairs of my shoes. My husband threw away two sweaters. No shoes. He then rearranged the closet so it looked neat and said he was finished.
Totally pissed, I moved into the bathroom. Another place the man has more stuff then me. I have my Moroccan oil and my hair dryer and one little bag of make up. My product whore of a husband has twenty skin products, at least ten hair gels, little mirrors, two tweezers, combs, and all kinds of joint rubs and tons of soaps and shampoos depending on if his skin is dry or oily that day. (I also found condoms that expired in 2002. Which means they moved three times with us since they expired. That also explained how I got pregnant in ’06 and ’09.) I took it all, and dumped it. Now we were even for the clothes.
Next, the office. We raced to this room because my husband has most of his treasure hidden there. Text books from college, articles on fitness dated 1999, movie stubs, every birthday card anyone has ever given the man, a chicken costume, boxing equipment, and old porn and old trophies. I pulled out a black trash bag to toss it all. He pulled out a box for storage.
“You can throw out the porn.”
“I can’t,” he stated, “What if there is a black out and you are on the rag?”
“The trophies? They are from summer camp in 1987. They are just for participating. Definite trash,” I proclaimed.
“Look, I have to show the kids my legacy. And these trophies are freaking cool! Look at this one its from Balloon Day in third grade.”
“The cards?” I ask, waiting for the excuse.
“They are from you. And if you die in a horrible accident I need to remember how much you loved me. Please don’t ask about the Rooster costume. It’s not going.”
“First of all, its a chicken. Second, you have worn it a thousand times and it smells like rotten eggs.” I say. This time I’m being forceful. He cannot keep everything.

But sure enough in the box for the crawl space it went. As did everything else we found that belonged to him.
By the end of the day we had cleaned for six hours and much of the clutter was still here. Instead of being in random closets around the house, it was all packed in neat boxes and stacked outside the crawl space. With an excuse for everything how was I going to get him to get rid of this stuff. (Well, maybe the porn if the electricity goes out.) I knew I had to act fast. I convinced him to wait until next weekend to put his “special stuff” away.
Today when he left for work. I threw it all away. Yup. I packed it all up in my mini van and took it to the dump. It took two trips, but it was worth it. Its all out of here. I win. Now, my house is decluttered and so is my brain. I finally have something to write about.

4 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning Showdown

  1. Okay…first of all, I am laughing so hard I’m crying. Second of all, how is it that you’re married to my husband when he’s always here? You did say he travels a lot… Third of all, the porn comment was hysterical!

    Greg is such a hoarder of stuff, that when we were first married, he stood up out of bed and the back of his underwear fell open like a flap–that’s when I knew I was going to have to do a whole lot of cleaning out when he was at work. Then there was the time that we put so much old electronic stuff in the attic because “it was his first commodore 64.” Or “It was my first cd player–it might have some value someday!” I was actually terrified I would find his first girlfriend living up there for sentimental reasons!

  2. Oh my god you have my life!! I secretly throw my husband’s stuff away when he’s not home. He has a childhood rubbermaid bin in the basement, which I can understand…but that’s it. what doesn’t fit in the bin goes in the trash. seriously…he played football from age 12 to 14…do we need to keep the damn cleats?

  3. I now know I am not the only one who purges their significant others items while they are at work. My favorite part ( perhaps a bit sadistic) is months later when I tell him I threw his stuff out and he asks what it was…I just tell him if I never told him he would never know.

    Reading your blog and others comments I don’t feel so guilty for my evil yet necessary actions!

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