I never quite finished unpacking when we moved to this house. I got about 90 percent of it done, and then I ran out of steam, or lost interest, or had other things to do, and the last few cardboard boxes got shoved into closets or banished to the garage.
One of those boxes ended up on top of the clothes dryer, where it sat for nearly two years, not only preventing me from putting anything else on that surface, but also partially blocking the controls. Assuming I do four loads of laundry a week on average, that's almost 350 times I had to lean over the dryer and reach around that box to set the dial, and every time, I thought to myself, I've really got to unpack this thing someday and get it out of the way.
Well, last weekend, someday finally arrived. I was straightening up the garage and decided that I might as well tackle the box as long as I was out there, so I heaved it down from the dryer and discovered that it contained:
1. A nearly empty detergent bottle from before we moved
2. A box of dryer sheets
3. Two half-crushed clay art projects G made at camp three summers ago
4. A bath mat that one of the cats had shredded
5. An cardboard sleeve that used to hold light bulbs
That's right. There was absolutely nothing in that box I really needed, and certainly nothing worth the hassle of reaching around it 350 times in 21 months. I saved the dryer sheets and chucked the rest unceremoniously into the trash, box and all, and suddenly the top of the dryer was a wide-open vista that led to the controls as if to the gates of Heaven. Every time I've done laundry since then, I've alternated between feeling gleeful at how easy it is, and wanting to slam my own head in the washer lid for being dumb and/or lazy enough not to figure out sooner that the box was full of junk. There's got to be some sort of metaphor for life there, don't you think?