My name is Sandra and I’m a basket-aholic

I’ve been in a spate of decluttering, mostly because I can’t find the friggin’ lithium ion battery to my new hedge trimmer and I’ve already ruled out the garage and the sun room by cleaning them up, so at this point it has to show up where I least expect it. (Most likely, as my stepdaughter suggests, I will find it as soon as I buy a replacement.)

I haven’t read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” yet, but I’ve peeked at enough blog posts about it to know that it recommends putting all like items together. That’s how I came to this stunning arrangement on my basement floor today.

A pile of at least 25 empty baskets of various sizes

And those are just the empty ones!

I already instituted another recommendation in the book — organizing my drawers vertically, so I could see the contents at a glance. The only issue with this is that it exposes a lot more shirts to cat hair when somebody decides that looks like an excellent spot to hang out on.

cat lying on shirts in a drawer

And by the way, if I had started this process earlier, I would have known that I already had a lifetime supply of dolomitic lime in an old cat litter container in the garage before I drove out to Agway to get more.

No doubt I should try to relate this to writing somehow. Perhaps freeing myself from clutter could be seen as clearing the deck so I can get down and focus. More likely it’s just another way of procrastinating.

Meanwhile, I haven’t actually given away any of those baskets yet. I’ve just created a tower of them. If I were Cassandra in The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire, I could probably find a way to make an art installation out of it, though I’d need to find a way to sexualize it a lot more obviously. If I were Professor Kinney at UMass, I would probably already see something sexual about it (bowls and baskets are very feminine in Freudian criticism).

For myself, they are (mostly) each lovely in themselves, and they represent potential. Potential storage, potential gift baskets, potential decoration, potential cat beds… but there’s such a thing as having too much potential. Where does potential end and become hoarding? And no, I don’t want to be a basket collector. At this point in my life I don’t want to collect anything other than writing credits and book reviews.

What do YOU accumulate too much of against all reason?

5 thoughts on “My name is Sandra and I’m a basket-aholic

  1. Apart from being too scared to throw away a single scrap of paper with any of my writing on it (understandable, if unhealthy), I also labor under the delusion that someday I’ll fit into the jeans I wore at age 16 again… I swear there is a part of my brain that doesn’t even consider this ridiculous after seeing it typed out…

    • Ha! You are a lot younger than I am, and have some reason to hope. If I lost that much weight now I’d be worried about my health. I also highly recommend volunteering at a thrift shop. Sometimes I think it is only my certainty that I could soon replace anything I’ve gotten rid of that allows me to get rid of old jeans … or even pieces of leftover string. It’s not my natural instinct at all.

  2. Books, magazines – even catalogs – accumulate in piles in my house. It’s like I can’t bear to waste potential reading material even if it’s just product descriptions.

    • The books pile up in my house, too. I clean out the thrift store shelves and I find way too many books I want to read … someday … I think. Unfortunately I’m the only one on my shift who seems interested in doing that job — I was much better off when I mostly cleaned out the toys. Cleaning out the clothes racks is very dangerous too, unless I stick to the men’s clothing. 🙂


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