I think it’s pretty safe to say that no matter where in the U.S. you live, this winter’s been rough. Snow. Ice. Freezing rain. School delays. School closings. More school closings.

As if the weather and having the kids home (and eating you out of house and home) for umpteen unplanned days in row isn’t enough to make you want to run away from home (which you would if you weren’t snowed in), there’s the non-stop doom and gloom weather reports delivered way too earnestly by nearly mummified reporters who clearly enjoy baiting death by coming to us “live!” from the backs of salt trucks, icy highways, and – horrors – the barren snow blower department in Home Depot. Talk about taking your life in your hands.

“Go home and stay home,” they implore. “But first, run to the supermarket and stock up on milk, bread, and toilet paper!”

toilet paper

Toilet paper. Of course. Because you know how a snowstorm brings on a bowel movement.

Or in my case, a bout of de-cluttering.

As I confessed in a previous column, I’ve stayed warm and staved off cabin fever by tearing through every inch of our house. At this point, I’m pleased to report that the creepy stuffed deer, foxes, and turkey, seventeen cans of dried paint, and an impressive collection of wine glasses so mismatched they practically matched, have been banished from the basement, and the equally impressive assortment of cardboard boxes, ratty dishtowels, old dog collars, stained place mats and take-out menus, dead pens, dried markers, orphaned Tupperware lids, and one particularly questionable piece of “art,” have been ousted from the attic.

Over the past several frigid, house-bound weeks, I made sure we were stocked up on the aforementioned essentials as well as two other even more important items: fifty-five gallon trash bags for whatever room, corner, or crevice, I was tackling, and wine for when I was done. With those necessities addressed, I attacked and re-organized the kitchen, the bathrooms, and my office, the china closet, and the curio cabinet. I even thinned out the bin of sheet music beside the piano. I kept my Springsteen, Jackson Browne, and Billy Joel stuff, but anything by anybody named Phil (Collins, Vassar, etc.), went in the trash. Sorry, but who needs reminders of that rodent that stole our spring?

Not me.

What I need is for it to stop snowing. Why? Because my de-cluttering compulsion has moved into my closet, and if I’m stuck in this house much longer, I’m going to end up running around in a pair of heels and maybe a hat.

close up of shoes

I say maybe because while I have heels, lots of heels that I love and wouldn’t think of parting with, I don’t have a hat. I used to, but I gave it the boot, along with a couple of pairs of boots, as well as jeans, skirts, sweaters, shirts, and scarves, the last time it snowed.

It’s gotten so bad, I leave a shopping bag in my closet and when I go to get dressed, if what I put on displeases me in any way – it’s too big, too small, too itchy, too old, too “what in hell was I thinking when I bought this?” – it goes right in the bag, and the bag goes to my favorite consignment store.

In all honesty, I’m down to the clothing in my dresser. Underwear, pajamas, socks, tee shirts, shorts, yoga pants, and jog bras. That sort of stuff. And it’s snowing again. And school’s closed again.

And those fifty-five gallon trash bags are calling my name. Again.

Do I heed the call and run the risk of having to pair my beautiful Jimmy Choos with my beat up birthday suit? Or do I fight the urge to purge, grab a book, and lock myself in the bathroom?  After all, I’ve got enough toilet paper, and it’s way too early for wine. Or is it?


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