spring cleaning

due to an upcoming change of apartments, i’m finally joining the millions (thousands? hundreds? few?) who partake in a yearly spring clean. before having the gargantuan task of moving put upon me, usually i’d just tidy up a bit. i’m a neat, organized person, but dusting and scrubbing and throwing things out? forget about it.

but now? when faced with the option of having to lug all these things down three flights of stairs, into a moving van and back up another flight of stairs, i am suddenly objective and unburdened and can throw things out. this is a huge step for me because if there’s one time in my life that i procrastinate, it’s when throwing things out. “i may need that in june.” “i may need that if it rains.” “i should keep this for when, if, it snows in august.” “i’m going to read that. someday. i’ll keep it.” the excuses i used to make are now as big as the piles i’ve trashed.*pats self on back.*

and, in addition to dust bunnies that are bigger than the easter bunny, it’s amazing what i’ve found after not having looking at the bottom shelf of my bookcase or under that table or in my nightstand. i found a bunch of old college papers, poetry final exams, and my papers from my first and second creative writing classes. honestly, they’re cringe worthy, which is exactly why they landed in the “keep” pile. as much as i despair about the state of my writing now, HOLY COW, it’s miles different from where it started all those years ago.

one of the things i was excited to find was a comment from my very first (and scariest) creative writing professor. the comment that often rattles around in my brain because she managed to articulate what i never could about myself:

“…I think you might be the kind of student who makes great leaps between semesters as a result of study. Just a hunch.”

— LC

it’s not the most sparkling thing i’ve ever heard about myself, but it is the truth. my mind works at the speed of molasses. i can know something, but it takes time for it to sink through the layers to reach the part where i can be productive. it’s so freeing to know this because it’s a grand thing to know how my mind works. it’s also troublesome because it means i have to work overtime to understand the intricacies and be as productive as someone whose brain processes faster… but i’m always game for a little competition. it keeps things interesting.

who knew that spring cleaning would not only lighten the load, but dispense advice as well? it looks like i’ve got some wise dust bunnies. perhaps i should keep them around?

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10 Responses to “spring cleaning”

  1. Linda G. Says:

    Yeah, keep ’em. You can name them Socrates and Plato. ;)

    Wish I could do a little spring cleaning of my brain — it could use it about now.

    • abby mumford Says:

      by giving them such lofty names, perhaps they’ll live up to their wise predecessors. deep thinking dust bunnies, i like it. it seems like your brain is working at its usual optimal level of snarkiness. i see no need for spring cleaning there.

  2. Karla Nellenbach Says:

    ha! i spring clean every year, but for some reason, this year is like spring cleaning on steriods and then in the midst of a particularly scary episode of roid rage…yeah. its like that :)

  3. In London, they call it rubbish Says:

    I’m too scared to look at old papers, especially from my travel writing class. That was a bust. I do wish I had my papers from my high school lit classes. My teacher was hard core intimidating but I liked that (even as I cowered in front of her).

    Keep ’em, I says.

    • abby mumford Says:

      it was SO PAINFUL re-reading my early schoolwork. it would have been way more awesome if it was from first grade or something because that would have been hilarious whereas the stuff from college, man, i should have known better.

      but i guess that’s how we know what we know — by doing.

      hopefully i can keep any future dust bunnies out of my brain.

      p.s. i heart this name because i’m partial to all things british.

  4. Kelly B Says:

    Moving is the one sure fire way to ensure that you don’t keep the things you always thought you needed.

    I do a massive cleaning twice a year. Cleaning out the closets. Fumigating the garage. Things that no sane person ever wants to do. But we always get a lot of stuff together to donate to the misison and that is always something that makes me feel good. I hate to just throw things out. It makes me feel wasteful. So kudos to you and as for keeping the dust bunnies. I hear that there all pretty smart and I can guarantee they will find you in your next place as well.

    Congrats on the new place.

  5. Grandpa Says:

    Just read your piece. Wanda helps me keep from saving what I/we don’t need ever since we moved to this apartment. Before her my plan was to leave the BIG clean-up to my children. Where are moving to? I understand your NJ family are coming there for the weekend. Will they be there to help with the move? Any how, Easter Greetings – Christ is Risen! – three days early, to you and to them. Love, Grandpa

    • abby mumford Says:

      it’s very refreshing to throw things out. i feel lighter physically and mentally! surprisingly so. i’m just moving to a different apartment, no roommate, all on my own! eek. yes, the family will be up here for easter weekend, but no, i’m not moving until may 7. i have a lot of packing and throwing out to get done before then!

      happy easter to you too!

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