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Taking Back the Black Hole

We have a dirty little secret.  Literally, it’s filthy.  And I suspect it’s not really that secret, from our friends and family at least.  But we’re still shamed by it so we keep it hidden… again, literally.  I take some small comfort in knowing we’re not the only ones with this particular problem but still, it’s a problem we need to address.

Our secret is the mess that is our spare bedroom, which we affectionately refer to as our black hole because we cannot explain what goes on in there.  The room seems to have a gravitational pull, accumulating item after item but always having room for more.  Things disappear and reappear months later without explanation.  And it’s dark – once again, literally, because we keep the curtains and usually the door closed.  Whenever we don’t know what to do with something, we put it in there, and it’s kind of gotten out of control.

So we needed to take the space back, and we’ve made some amazing progress.  It all started with the new year, and a realization that we may very well be moving in 4 short months.  That got us thinking that we’d better start the purge and organization process early to save ourselves painful last-minute packing stress.  So a couple weeks ago we went to it, and 6 hours later we had at least 7 bags of recycle, 5 boxes and a bag for goodwill, and a box full of old filing to burn.  It was amazing!  We ended with putting the garbage and recycle out back, and the goodwill items straight into the car, and Tavis took the goodwill items to the centre the very next day.  It was incredibly cathartic.

The room still looks a tad chaotic, but the two biggest accomplishments we made was to sort through filing and put it all in one location (we have 2 filing cabinets), and we properly sorted whatever items we didn’t trash or donate into bins… no more cardboard boxes for us!  Did I say it was amazing?  Cause it was.  What remains now is to actually organize all of the bins.

We pre-bought a ton of plastic totes in preparation, and as we went through all the items we roughly sorted them according to function, e.g. craft supplies, stationary items, tools and other garage-type items, recreational/fitness equipment, electronics and cords, etc.  The craft bin in particular looks a tad ridiculous – yes I have craft supplies galore – and it’s the only one we couldn’t actually close.  Part of the reason I don’t want to organize it yet though is that there are numerous other items around the house that should probably also go in that bin.  It may take multiple bins before the end.

In any case, it was a Sunday well spent, and we both feel great now that we bit the bullet and boldly went where no one has gone before (Trekkies high five!).  The room is no longer a black hole, and we’re hoping we can prevent any future ones with a little self-control and a determination to make immediate decisions as to where things should go.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!


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