I’ve gotten to that time of year where I look at the things in my house and think “By the gods, I’ve got a lot of old crap. I shall have to start de-shelling.” It’s marvellous.
Every couple of years I clear things out of my way. Normally I start on my wardrobe, then move on to my bookshelf and cupboards, slowly clearing things away and organising into piles: Good for charity, good for asking family and friends if they want it, good for nothing.
Over the last couple of days I’ve cleared through a lot of my stuff, doing the usual thing that everyone does when trying to pack, move or throw things away: Sitting on the floor, a box or passing pet and staring at old bits of paper, napkins, show tickets and other random bits of crap, sniffing, quietly reminiscing about things you haven’t given the slightest shit about for at least 2 years.
Sometimes I like to tell the things around me what I intend to do, but I do it a few days before the weekend, when I actually have enough energy to do anything besides wonder why I’m not a millionaire who doesn’t have to work, but can’t face the idea of housework. I imagine the books, films and random figurines on my shelves start trembling with fear, dreading the arrival of Saturday afternoon and my even handed destruction of everything in my path.
This morning I informed my underwear drawer that I despise some of its contents and will kill some of them. I declared my intention in the most Disney villain-esque voice I could accomplish, complete with hand gestures and a small song and dance number. It didn’t help me, but it entertained me and made me feel better about being a various underwear murderer. I’m so glad I shut my blind, my neighbour stands in his doorway a lot.
I know full well I’m not the only person who’s ever looked around and wondered why I was surrounded by shit. These things that were at one stage the most important things in my life. But I also know that it’s a sign of ‘shelling’ as I and probably a lot of other people call it. For those who have never experienced any kind of abject misery or reacted to things in a deeply unhealthy hoarder-like way, it’s where you can’t throw your old things away. You can’t possibly part with that stump of a cinema ticket or that shirt that doesn’t fit anymore or those shoes you can’t wear because they shred your feet to hell because that was the last good time you had, you have memories of it.
You still have those memories, that book may have been a way to burn your time three years ago, but you haven’t even thought about reading it since then. Worst case scenario, read it once more then put it in a box, with a load of candle holders, good shoes, clothes without holes and old children’s books and toys and take it to a charity shop. Someone else will treasure that book/shirt/candlestick/hat like you used to. And you don’t need it anymore, you haven’t cared about it or seen it for years, get rid of it!
With that in mind, I’m off to viciously glare at my shelves until something sacrifices itself for the sake of everything else