My little dog Alfie passed away late last week. Those of you who have lost pets know how traumatic this is.
As I always do when life feels out of control, I immediately went into organizing mode. I knew that I would end up writing about this experience, so after I couple of days, I searched my blog to see what I had written when my first dog Taffy died 9 years ago. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to discover that I acted exactly the same way back then. Here’s a link to that post: Love, Loss, and Organizing.
As I wrote then, “In the past few days, I have devoted myself to tracking down every bit of dog paraphernalia in my home. I threw out old medicines; returned or donated unused dog food; laundered her dog bed, collar, and leash; removed her dog shampoo from the bathtub; and put her food and water bowls in the back of the cabinet.” This time, I am going even further. I’m changing things up all over my home, even the areas that were not dog-specific.
While I’m in the process of reviewing, tossing, giving away, cleaning, and/or packing up Alfie’s things, I’m giving a closer look at everything in my apartment. After removing his dog food cans from an open kitchen shelf so that I could post them on Buy Nothing, I rearranged everything else on those shelves, allowing me to get some things off the kitchen counter. While moving his dog bowls to a less prominent spot in the cabinet, I saw other things in there that I haven’t used in a while and I am getting rid of them. I changed up the placemats on my dining table and purged a lot of old placements I had been saving. The refrigerator has gotten a thorough makeover.
It’s a bit disorienting to not have things where I expect them to be. But I’m already disoriented by not seeing his dog beds in the various corners, or his food and water bowls next to the dining table. By layering desirable changes on top of changes I did not desire, I feel more in charge of my environment and my life.