The heavy “krr-chunnk!” sound of the dumpster being delivered to our driveway stirred me from doing the morning crossword puzzle. I ran outside to greet the driver and waved as he pulled out of sight, leaving behind a 3-cubic yard drop box. It was ours for five days. Five precious days! To fill with all the unsaleable, non-charitable junk we had accumulated in the prior ten years of living our typical suburban lives.
In preparation for the arrival of the dumpster, I had spent the prior week going through my office closet, spare room closet, guest bathroom, art studio, and several other nooks and crannies of our home. So when the great bin arrived, I was ready to spring into action.
It was almost like a game, a race against time, to make the most of the five days. And the clock was ticking…
My husband and I spent the entire weekend cleaning the yard and clearing out the double car garage that had seldom had room for more than one (small) car. Old, soggy doormats; broken garden pots; unsalvageable debris from a recent remodel; and remnants of ancient, half-finished craft projects were heaved into the abyss of the dumpster. Gardening supplies, power tools, and sleeping bags all found their way into neat, organized shelves.
But as we got deeper into the project, it became clear that the dumpster was only part of the solution. So much of our stuff was recyclable or reusable and not something we could simply throw away. The collection of old paint and toxic cleaning chemicals and fertilizer and motor oil filled the entire cargo capacity of our car. Dropping it all off at the (free!) hazardous waste center was such a relief! Likewise, it was wonderful to donate a box full of outdated computer cables, cell phone cords, and miscellaneous computer hardware to Free Geek for refurbishing and reuse.
As the five days flew by, we did manage to fill the dumpster with unusable junk. I was delighted when the driver came by on the appointed morning and carted the giant drop box away.
While we were nowhere near completing our task, this whirlwind dumpster-cleanse served as a great kick-start to our purifying purge and shift towards minimalism. And, yes, two cars could now conceivably fit into the garage. If only there were not a ping-pong table in the way!