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  • Writer's pictureMark Stefan Reinoso


Updated: Sep 11, 2019

The last few weeks have been a blur, working, trying to pack up our house, getting rid of junk, things we don’t need, things we don’t want. I feel like I am living in chaos, with no purpose, no end in sight. It doesn’t seem real to me that we are actually doing this. I keep expecting something to derail our plan, cancer, amputation, martial law, necrotizing fasciitis…or maybe just cold feet? Are we really doing this? One minute I am excited and sure of what we are doing, and the next I am panicking, wondering…”what was I thinking?” I mean, really, who does this? Who takes their kids out of school, moves into a crappy condo and travels the world? I can’t think about this too much, just because of the logistics of it all.

What we have to do is a little extreme, move out of our 3200 sq foot house that we have been renting for the last 2 years, complete with beautiful views on the mountain, swimming pool, hot tub and lots of space, and relocate to South Scottsdale into a 970 sq foot condo with none of those things. That is a monumental undertaking, compounded by the fact that my wife comes from a family of hoarders. My wife isn’t a hoarder, but she definitely has those tendencies. I won’t go into too many details about her and her family, mainly because she’s going to read this and I would very much like to have sex again in my lifetime.

We have boxes of stuff we haven’t opened in years, we have broken pots that are somehow incredibly important, we have old keyboards and old records, old furniture and old 8 track cassettes. We have paintings, some valuable and some not, we have approximately 831 keychains that apparently we will absolutely need in case of emergency. We have huge boxes of CD's because for some reason, Spotify doesn't exist in our universe. We have stinky rugs from Ecuador, batteries that don’t work, clothes we will never fit into again, shoes that Cinderella couldn’t get into, and literally 3 old rotting pumpkins on the back patio(a testament to my wife’s gardening acumen).

Normally our house is very picked up, I hate clutter and my wife does a very good job of keeping the place picked up and presentable. What I didn’t realize is that, much like a clown car or a sports bra, what’s hidden inside is a lot more than you would expect. The sheer amount of junk adorning our hallways and upstairs landing is incredible. I am not going to lie, I am not even mad…I’m actually impressed that she could hide so much stuff in closets, cupboards, under the bed, in the garage and who knows where else. I was amazed to find out that we have(had) exactly 29 coffee cups in our cupboards.

I have taken so many trucks to Goodwill that they know me by name. I have thrown so many things away, its no longer cathartic. I have donated so many clothes people think one of my family members has died. What’s crazy to me is that our house looks messy and cluttered, like we haven't done anything. What do we keep? What do we throw away? I’ve lost all objectivity, my compass is completely ruined. Do I keep an incomplete checker set? Do I keep my stuffed turkey mount? Copper pots from Italy? "Wreck it Ralph" stuffed toy? I only need 2 gardening shovels, so I think am going to get rid of the other 4 that were underneath my bed, WTH???!?!?! I no longer think or feel, my muscle memory keeps me going. Take things from the garage, into my truck, to the donation center or trash. Its my whole existence. I’ve been completely lobotomized, zombie-fied… but instead of consuming human flesh and brains, its 23 year old Glen Campbell CD’s. I need Rick Grimes to put me out of my misery.

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