Sara Whitman

Dumpster Nirvana

Filed By Sara Whitman | September 05, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: nirvana, out with the old

For those of you who have followed my writing for a long time, you will know this is a day that will be marked in my personal history forever.dumpster1.jpg

Jeanine has agreed to let me have a dumpster.

Now, Miss Pack Rat has been very clear that none of her things will be thrown away and I completely agreed to the terms. Believe me, we have plenty to toss without touching her stuff. And ever since our town changed the rules and we can only have one trash can of garbage a week, have to call to have anything extra picked up... well... it's time.

An old wicker couch, a broken treadmill, construction left overs from when my office was redone... we have some big things that need to go.

Okay, you all know I just cannot wait to get rid of all the crap I can possibly stuff into that dumpster. I will be in a frenzy and one better make sure I haven't tossed the kitten in there by mistake.

My hope is that if I can do one big purge, I can get back into a good rhythm of recycling everything possible, and only needing one can for garbage a week. Being married to Ms. Pack Rat is hard enough but when you fall behind with big items to toss... well... it's a nightmare for someone who would be happy with a minimalist approach to life.

I need a single, sharp chef's knife (and a steel to sharpen it), one large bowl, one wooden spoon, one spatula, a butter knife, a spoon and a fork to cook. Couple of pots. We have every known kitchen contraption known to mankind. That is the ying and yang of my relationship with Jeanine. She needs stuff. I do not.

The dumpster is a sign. A sign that she's ready to make some changes. Might sound silly but we did have a moment at the end of the summer where I had a fit. I, as always, got to the place where I was done with her working all the time. I wanted to be adored.

Heck, I wanted to be noticed.

She heard me. Because when I asked the other day, for about the 857th time, she said yes. Just don't touch my stuff.

I would never touch her stuff. I respect her need to hold onto some things even though I don't quite understand it. I know there are underlying, deep psychological issues represented in all those computers downstairs. I will be the model of restraint.

I'll call her mom and let her know the dumpster is coming and she'll be up here in a flash to help me out. Jeanine's mom can throw things away I cannot.

Weezie!!! It's party time!!

It's left me feeling hopeful and happy. The accumulated stuff doesn't taunt me, I simply smile and know that soon all will be restored to order again. It's that time of year. Time for new beginnings, new school books, new routines, new shoes. My life has always been dictated by the school calendar.

This year, though, feels different. Big changes are in the air. New treatment for my sister's cancer. New Executive Director for Mass Equality. New school for Ben. New brilliant idea for a shareholder resolution.

And a dumpster.

Nirvana. Pure nirvana.

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Sara, instead of sending some of the more useful stuff to a landfill, simply go to Freecycle and look up the freecycle page for your area. One woman's junk may well be another one's treasure. You get rid of it and your landfill doesn't get stuff that doesn't biodegrade. :)

I was going to suggest FreeCycle as well! (For the same reasons)
It is a great way to make something you hate turn into something another person LOVES!

Calling her mom what a genius move. Have fun with the dumpster, do it around here every five years or so. Same house for four generations, my father-in-law was born in what is now my bedroom. My son has tools in his tool box that belonged to his great grandfather. There are things here that I can't identify but I'm not allowed to get rid of. I feel your pain and you excitement.

freecycle?? I have never heard of this. I will call asap to find out! I love the idea and I have to say, it will make jeanine much happier.

thank you!!!

Now you're telling me you can cook without a blender, a hand blender, a food mill, a cutting board, a lemon press, a spice grinder, a sushi roller, at least four or five mixing bowls, one of those flatter spoons with holes in it... We have very little space here, and yet we manage to pack it with cooking equipment.

Check out or to find the closest Freecycle, Freegle, ReUseIt or Full Circles groups to you.