And the closet: stacked high with boxes and books and shoes and clothes and old computers and God-knows-what! I didn't even want to think about the closet, which was good, in a way, because at the moment, I couldn't really even get to the closet, surrounded as it was by the aforementioned piles and stacks and mountains.
I gazed upon the wasteland in despair, until finally, my saving grace caught my eye!
I had a shredder.
The shredder would be the beginning! I would start with the bills and medical statements, and stacks of un-read papers stuffed every which way into the filing cabinet. I would go through them, shred what I didn't need, file what I did need, and go from there. Hell, just getting rid of 10 years of bank statements had to be a start! Plus, in order for Charlie to get me on his medical insurance, he needed a copy of our marriage license. I was sure I'd find one amongst the fifty thousand dead tree remains that filled the filing cabinet and various parts of the room. I even had a goal: find the marriage certificate. This was the place to start, indeed.
And so I did: start, that is. For the last year or so, I'd been piling stacks of stuff into the drawers of the filing cabinet. It was filled top-to-bottom with paperwork. I pulled out a giant stack from the top drawer, and started shredding. I pulled out files, labeled them neatly with "Medical" and "Pay stubs" and "Vehicles" and "Tax receipts" and "Pets" and a few other things.
For hours I filed and shredded and shredded and filed. I filled two giant garbage bags with the forlorn remains of "THIS IS NOT A CHECK" things that looked like checks but weren't, fake "YOU ARE PRE-APPROVED" things that looked like credit cards but weren't, invitations to refinance other people's homes, insurance coverage notices for insurance companies I hadn't patronized in years, payment books for student loans and paid-off vehicles -- I was on a roll!
Finally, I got through an entire filing cabinet stuffed full of paper. I was left with a set of neatly filed papers filling approximately one quarter of one drawer. I took a deep breath, sighed with relief, and looked around the office.
Unfortunately, since what I had been dealing with was stuff that had already been hidden by the filing cabinet, I was back to the same dilemma. An office that looked like the aftermath of an explosion in a thrift store, and no place to start.
I needed boxes or tubs or something, but what?
I then decided that there was nothing for it but to get some of those big Rubbermaid storage tubs. I could fill them with winter clothes, clothes that were too big (or too small), toys and memorabilia that I couldn't bear to part with but which I didn't need to have around for immediate use. I could then seal them and stick them in the storage shed. Excellent. Excellent!
So, I did what anyone would do in such a situation of dire need: I called sushirob. Shortly thereafter, we were off in search of tubs. I would later regret this trip, necessary though it was, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
The main mistake was going to Wal-Mart.