In what can be described as the most boring part of the "once in a while" chore, I have no doubt that cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering rank as the most mundane. It is not something that one gets to do on a daily basis, but it is such a mind numbing task that you secretly wish you are somehow over with it even before you have started. A dull everyday routine is usually offset by doing something out of the way once in a while. But, when your once in a while task gets boring, you end up looking forward to the routine stuff.
So, we decided that we would clean up the house today, freeing all the crammed up spaces from the world of unwanted information. When you talk of unwanted information, I really mean it, because there is such a big pile load of trash accumulated, knowingly or unknowingly. It is utterly painful to sort your way through the accumulated mess, but some time or the other, which occurs, rather, painfully periodically, you are left with no choice, but to actually do it. So, after a sluggish start on a damp, rainy morning, you can say almost close to afternoon, we decided that the house required some cleansing. As soon as the signs of the initial slack disappeared, we figured that about six of seven boxes of 20 quart boxes would be required to organize, if not, all the information in the word, at least, the information overload at home. The hall had a basket of letters collected from time immemorial. To top it, we discovered a truck load of offers. We discovered quite a lot of fancy stores near the neighborhood, that we would never have heard of otherwise. Not that we needed this information, for we are generally in the information overload mode. Nowadays, with the advent of internet, there is information all around, and the extra information can only be an hindrance. As such, my wife has this uncanny ability of picking everything from the internet and feeding me a daily dosage of what's happening around the world with the weirdest information. So, today, I had to put up with more of those. Praveen, looks like AT&T is offering a high speed internet connection. Why not switch to that? That would never have been a problem if you were cleaning up the place alone. It would have been pretty easy to tear that leaflet and set it aside without reading what is written on it, but knowing for sure, that it is absolutely unimportant. But, anyway, it has its own set of disadvantages.
Why did you tear that paper?
Oh, it is something uselessssss!
"But, what was there on it?" she asked.
"How would I know? There was something from the medical insurance provider about an old visit." The defensive mechanism in me was jutting out.
"Did you read it fully?" she questioned me again.
"Oh, I forgot what it said (which is actually not quite true, for I would never have read that in the first place). Why do you want all that?"
"Come on, you are such an impulsive guy. When you sit down to clean, you don't realize anything. You just want to throw everything. What if there was something important? I can as well do all this by myself." she would retort as if what I had done had cost us a fortune.
I actually liked her last point. But, I refrained from saying anything, fearing the worse.
The way we approach the situation is different, though the net outcome is the same. I would say, "Chuck it". She would say "Read it and then chuck it". I just can't get the "reading" part.
Then, I went in to trash out some more papers that were exclusively mine. I am sure everyone has this habit of accumulating everything with the mindset that it is important, but actually not worth even a cent. So, I have this special bag, which has virtually every possible paper that I have accumulated from the time I entered the United States. That bag is virtually a cornucopia of useless information. It was stacked with layers and layers of sheets of various thickness. It had print outs of air travel tickets that I had made four or five years ago. It had a few old WalMart receipts, some mobile payment receipts, introductory information about the Master's program, new student information from the university and some bank introductory paper work that I have not read in the past few years. In fact, I have been accumulating all along thinking it is important, but had not opened that bag all the while. I sat pulling one after the other, reducing the weight of the bag by quite a few pounds. If somebody says "Go Green", I am all for it. If not for environmental friendliness, at least, for the sake of having to get rid of useless stuff. It is actually so cool in your inbox; if you don't like something, it is not really necessary that it has to go to the "Trash" folder. It can just sit there causing no harm to anybody.
Talking about preserving stuff, one of my colleagues had moved from another place to the current location. I believe, while moving, he had discovered two boxes in the basement that hadn't been opened for something like fifteen years. These boxes were placed there during the previous relocation. I asked him what he did with those boxes. He replied with a laugh, "I just dumped it in the trash. If I did not need those boxes for fifteen years, there was no way I was going to need it now."
Anyway, the laborious process continued, well into the evening, and well past bed time. When we had finished, I heaved a sigh of relief. We wouldn't have to do this at least for the next few days. The routine job does not really look all that bad now.