Hail summer! Now would you turn the air-conditioner setting down to…..Antarctica?

Spring-cleaning time has departed through the dizzying haze of our quarantined existence. With all the projects we accomplished throughout this interminable self-isolation, (We had to do something!) we never threw out that busted toilet seat leaning against a wall in the garage or that tattered roll of webbing for a lawn chair. The hope was that, in our mind it’s worth something, so why toss it away? Oh, we can give them to other accumulators, but that’s an endless cycle.

This is a problem most accumulators have. We can’t throw anything away. We’re what, you say? Hoarders? I beg to differ. I have called myself an accumulator. You could say collector. The difference between an accumulator and a hoarder is that the hoarder doesn’t want you to see their stuff. A collector does. A hoarder’s stuff is all over the place but a collector’s items are categorized and sometimes wrapped, they’re in size order, on the walls and neatly lined up on shelves, table-tops, window sills, any place with a flat surface. OK, semi-hoarders! How do we rid ourselves of the things we seem to value?

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Helpful hint: If you gift wrap what you’re trying to get rid of, it’s a much easier transfer. Do it on their birthday or other significant date and they’ll never forget you. Look at a yearly calendar of holidays and you’ll find that virtually every day is celebrated for something. Make use of that information.

You’ll never know if that person could use some webbing until you look them in the face and hand it over. Make sure the car’s running.

Hold on here, we can’t do to them what we’ve done to ourselves. To some, this means the occasional yard sale because you can sometimes make enough to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. “$12 for the broken lawn chair? I’ll give you a buck” (Remember that kind of back and forth dialogue?)

Who started this? I’m sure it was the cave people. When the winter freeze was over and old bison parts would thaw, the cave would take on the aroma of an unpainted locker room after the tri state wrestling match; it was time to clean up.

Since we have trouble throwing anything out, this is a big event that we prepare for starting in early February by repeating our daily mantra of Oh my God look at all this crap! Hercules had an easier task cleaning out the Augean stables. He only had to divert 2 rivers.

We’ve got magazines that we always wanted to read when we had the time. Those are hard to throw away, and you either rip out the pages of interest or just put them back neatly stacked in the hall closet. Cover them with a sheet. Now they don’t look so bad.

But let’s make more room because summer’s here, and I’m sure we’ll need room for those summer things we’ll accumulate, and in the fall, think about throwing them out next spring. It’s one of those deadly cycles you can’t escape; like telling your kids to put the phone down at dinner.

You need room because clothes hangers clone themselves faster than your medical benefit says no to any procedure. I’ve noticed a bad trend in our hall closet. Bags of bags are piling up and we haven’t filled enough of them with presents or garbage to keep ahead of the bag curve.

There are plastic bags and the decorated gift bags which have become the wrapping du Jour for gifts. You can buy a set of gift bags and some tissue paper and not worry about wrapping a gift box and getting all the ends squared. For anal-retentive types that’s a problem. I know one bald guy who spent an hour, a roll of tape and $16. worth of gift wrap and the package still looked like it was put together helter-skelter by a Kinder-Garden class prior to a much-needed recess. The average guy buying a gift for a woman can throw that socket wrench into a decorated gift bag in 2 seconds and worry about the feedback (And the terms of a divorce) later.

It all comes down to this: you’ll have to save some of those bags and clothes hangers and, yes, that broken toilet seat because there’s an unwritten law of the universe that says you’ll need those items a day after you throw them out. That’s why we won’t go against natural law. We’ll simply think about it once again next Spring!

We have developed a fool-proof method of weaning ourselves from all the clutter. Please spread the word. When you are finally able to throw something away, replace it with something SMALLER! It works! Soon you’ll only have small things and that’s a step forward, or at least you’ll be able to step easily through the house. Either that or call Hoarders, an Emmy nominated (Really??) American reality television series on A&E.

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Buzz Fleischman is a Humorist and singer/songwriter of ‘irregular songs for regular people’ and a character actor who has appeared in and voiced TV commercials and radio. He currently hosts and produces the Joltradio.org interview show “On the Record and Off the Wall’. http://www.joltradio.org/artist/on-the-record-and-off-the-wall-with-buzz-fleischman Buzz was the humorist on the NPR affiliate WLRN for 12 years and has been a featured speaker for significant local and national conferences, conventions and organizations. He is a docent at the Curtiss Mansion and is fascinated by the history of Miami Springs and its interesting residents. http://www.theradiobuzz.com

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