Recall that I filled one barrel Sunday night? I almost filled the other one tonight. Result: the other trash barrel has enough room left in it for household trash, but I had to stack bags of basement trash in the garage until the barrels are empty; they'll go out next week.
One of the boxes that was remaining to do, today, was a box that had originally held a microwave oven. I filled it with videotapes I will never watch--which have been in the basement for a decade without even being disturbed!--and dumped it into the trash; then I did it a second time.
The result is that I took two 18-gallon totes and three boxes full of videotapes of TV shows I recorded, and condensed them down to one 18-gallon tote. Babylon 5, Enterprise, Deep Space 9, the Saturday morning car shows--and a good forty or fifty tapes which were unlabeled and which had never even been rewound.
I was confused as to why I'd bothered to record all that shit--but then realized, in retrospect, that I recorded those shows at a time before DVD had really gotten going, before you could buy entire seasons of TV shows for a relative pittance. It used to be that if you wanted to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation more than once, you had to record it, because its availability was questionable after the epsiodes had aired.
Now, of course, it runs on BBC, and if you have a subscription to Netflix you can watch it until you wish the Borg has wiped them all out, Data included. I bought a box set of Firefly for about $20; those tapes went, too. Nowhere Man and Voyager--I gave up on the latter about the time they introduced Seven of Nine, because the show started out crappy ("This highly advanced starship has been neutralized by cheese!" ...in more ways than one) and turned even crappier as time went on. I haven't ever had a hankering to watch the former since it was aired; particularly not the "UHF over-the-air crappy-vision" version I had on those tapes.
I did save a few of them; but the result was that a huge pile of videotapes was cut down to a single 18-gallon tote of them, and most of the remainder are things which are truly irreplacable (copies of camcorder tapes) or commercially-produced tapes for which I paid a nontrivial sum. (Though I did toss Battle Skipper and Roujin Z, as they were horrible.)
Also thrown out: backup copies of the Ranma 1/2 tapes. No need for 'em; I have the originals in a safe place, and anyway you can get remastered box sets on BluRay now. I also tossed all the anime I recorded from Cartoon Network, things like Sailor Moon and Gundam W, because I have the un-fucked-with versions now.
I added a bunch of books to the "donate" pile, too--going through a box of paperbacks, I asked myself, "Why the hell do I have all this Spider Robinson?" They're getting donated; if you're read one "Callahan" novel you've read them all and the older I get the more I find that I never really liked his style all that much to begin with. The last straw was him portraying Bertie Wooster as a gay bondage freak, begging Jeeves to take him back, which was both nauseating and highly irritating. Jesus doing carpentry in a whorehouse didn't help much, but I expect that kind of crap from Robinson's ilk the way I expect water to be wet--it's just their nature--and anyway Jesus wasn't portrayed nearly as badly as the gay S&M Bertie Wooster was. So, no more Spider Robinson for me.
I found a box of old books under the desk, really old--but they were so mildewed and water-damaged and smelly I threw them away. There was an old doll in the box that I was going to keep until I actually looked at its eyes; they open and shut correctly but when opened the formerly pretty blue eyes look like they have bad cataracts. I actually yelped and threw it down when I saw them. Egad.
I actually did start working behind the stairs--that's where I found that decrepit box of books--and rearranged things a bit. I still have work to do back there but I sorted almost all the books out and only have a few more boxes to work on.
The next step, then, is organizing.
Organizing will be the hard part. I'm going to buy at least one more set of shelves, and I have a lot of things to sort and find homes for, but the pile is now so small compared with how big it once was, it's a completely different room--and most of the pile now is furniture rather than useless crap, like chairs from the dining room and some other things we don't use.
My poor wife has to pull me away from cleaning, else she doesn't see me. That's how intoxicating my cleaning binge has become. Even when I'm not working on it I periodically find myself going downstairs to gloat over how much better the basement is than it was.
What a great New Year's resolution I picked!