Friday, October 29, 2010

The Bag in my closet

This evening after work, after spending some quality time with my cat Harry, after eating cottage cheese out of the container while watching clips of Michael J. Fox talk about Back to the Future (it's the 25th anniversary of when he went back in time, didn't you know that?), I settled in to do a bit of picking up. I picked through my aromatherapy oils and put something suitable in the burner, pushed play on the stereo to listen to Death Cab for Cutie, and began.

Putting anything away in my closet usually involves taking the contents of my closet out. The air conditioner has its own place, but to get to the empty box I had to pull out the mini trampoline and flattened storage boxes. Not a perfect system, but it works. I realized that there was no empty space in my closet and decided to pull everything out that didn't have a place, namely everything wedged behind and under the hanging clothes.

Out came rolls of wrapping paper, shoes, a purse, boxes of cat litter (actually those belong at the bottom of the closet, that is their designated storage spot) and last but most important, I pulled a Bag out of the bottom of my closet. Bag is capitalized because it means a very special sort of bag. The kind of bag that develops from my haphazard way of dealing with messes, stressors, company coming, lack of available surfaces, the urge to clean, etc. I end up with these bags stashed all over my apartment. They can be plastic grocery bags, but I seem to have moved on to paper grocery bags and more substantial reusable shopping bags.

Anyway, let's look at the contents. For the first time I am going to list what I find.

The bag itself - a paper shopping bag from The Container Store. How fitting!

1 pair of pants - put in the bag when they were a little too small. Now they are too big. Into the donate bin!
1 scarf - a friend had one like this and it looked good on her. I have never worn this - would be good for a gift?
1 paper bag full of stuff - a Bag within a Bag.
silver tissue paper
2 cancelled stamps
1 plastic lid - recycle
3 unused Band-aids
1 expired coffee coupon
1 sewing kit
1 6 outlet power strip
my knitting needle gauge!
1 double pointed knitting needle - I've been looking for this for at least a month
1 crochet pattern
1 empty plastic grocery bag
unused tissues (yes I will throw them out)
1 teddy bear filled with catnip (now I know why my cat disappears into the closet all the time)
bubble wrap
1 return envelope
1 mini notebook with pen, with only the 2 pages used
8 plastic hanging file labels
4 bits of trash (post it note, wrapper, etc)
1 trouser sock
1 black lacquered strip of wood that looks like it fell off of something - wait - that's off a picture frame in the living room?
name badge from a sci-fi convention in January 2009

Phew! But wait...there was a Bag within a Bag. What is in THAT Bag?
cassette tape of a bootleg Phish concert, 1997
1 used Band-Aid (I know, gross)
catalog of accessories for my cell phone, in Spanish
freebie 2009 pocket calendar book
email printout of family Christmas lists, 2009
1 Christmas card that came back in the mail - maybe I should send it to my friend for this year?
1 birthday card from last year
Energy Guide sticker and new owner paperwork from the refrigerator in my apartment
hanging file folder labeled Astrology Stuff, which yes, contains my astrological chart
half of a Real Simple magazine, March 2008
paperwork from LL Bean return from 2005
pamphlet on the nutrition department at my doctor's office
sushi menu
pet store loyalty card
instruction sheet for my mini trampoline
a book forced on me belonging to someone I no longer know - donate
1 filter that fits into the lid of the litter box, but I tossed the lid this summer
crossword puzzle book
Comcast cable agreement pamphlet
insert from the Boston Sunday Globe, January 4, 2009
2008 wall calendar
Obama cross stitch pattern

I wonder if this could be considered a Time Capsule, a term that professional organizers and clinical psychologists often use when dealing with hoarders. Everything from one particular time gets dumped into a container, and time stops for those things. Time seems to have stopped mid January 2009. Eep!

Interesting that I did not find:
a rock
a marble
I forget what else my sister says lurks in every bag I open, but whatever that stuff was, it's not here. I think this bag was worked over a bit before it ended up being a bag in the closet. There is a definite pocket of paper that should be in the recycle bin at the bottom. Hmm.
Well, that's what I did with my Friday night.


3goodrats said...

I am so glad to hear that I am not the only person with these mysterious bags o' stuff. Thing is, I can't figure out where some of it SHOULD go. (Well, some should be in the trash, but not all.)

Paper Shopping Bag said...

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