Something different. Something true.
I don’t cry.
I just don’t. I can’t.
Every time I feel like all my emotions are about to spill through my tear ducts, I mentally slap myself in the face and walk them all back into the deepest parts of my chest, squeezing them into this small box they got out off. Just so that they can stay there for a little bit longer; until they’re about to spill again. And suddenly, it’s all fine. It’s all back to normal.
For as long as I ignore them.
There’s one hook though. The box isn’t endless.
Like trying to close an overfilled suitcase that consists of five swimsuits, twenty-seven dresses, four hats and eight pairs of shoes you obviously need for that five-day trip to Hawaii, I sit on top of my little box, and I try to keep the lid in place. And every time I overestimate its storage capacity, the lid can’t hold it anymore. And then all the shit spills from under the lid, and I’m trying to put it back into its original container.
I succeed. Suddenly they’re all back in there. And then there’s me, satisfied that I managed to put it all back where it’s supposed to be.
But obviously, it’s not that easy.
We all know how easy it is to just squeeze all the rubbish into the overflowing bin. You just need punch it, jump on it, cover all the existing shit with layers of new shit, put the lid on, and pretend nothing happened. We all know that the trash needs to be taken out regularly, otherwise you won’t be able to fit any more in there, it will fucking stink, or what’s worse – you’ll get fucking cockroaches, and trust me, they’re nearly impossible to destroy.
Even though you’ve learned your lesson and even though the bin, the box, the you, overflew and spilled a billion too many times, you’re still there, where you were, sitting on that lid, trying to prevent the content from spilling again and again and again.
It’s been too much. Enough. The bin, the box, the you – starts to break apart, and you can’t let that happen. What do you do then? You google for answers.
Step 1: Know when your garbage collection day is. Change your garbage and get it all to the curb the day before. This will prevent damage to the bags/cans from weather, animals, and anything else that might rip, topple, or destroy the garbage.
Whether it’s every Friday evening or 10th of each month, plan ahead and think about spending a few hours on emptying your trash cans – the more time you have, the better. Sometimes an hour will be enough, sometimes a whole day will be needed, especially if your bins are already overflowing. If you will ignore it, as you usually do, by the time the next date of collection comes, your little boxes will not be able to store anything more, and their contents will spill… and we don’t want that, love, so – make yourself a cup of tea, sit down, relax, light up some candles, and prepare for the dirty work.
Step 2: Have bags handy. You can buy garbage bags from a store specifically fitted for almost any size trash container. Find the brand and size you like. Usual sizes include tall, short, kitchen, or can varieties.
In other words, make sure you’ve got appropriate tools in handy. You can’t just tilt the containers and shake them pointlessly, whenever the collection day comes. You need a plan. A plan of action. You sort the trash out before you empty it – you recycle. Whether it’s a box full of fears, embarrassments, toxic relationships or superstitions, it’s always worth making a tick-sheet list of all the different kinds of rubbish you need to get rid of. It does makes the life easier, doesn’t it? Lists are so helpful, I love lists. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing things off the list, and being able to stay calm, knowing that you haven’t forgotten anything. Just like with some basic grocery shopping list, or packing a suitcase for holiday – lists are your best friends. Of course, you can go yolo and do it all on your own, but in case you ever forget something or get lost, what’s the point of going back and forth trying to remember, when you can do it all at once, once and for all?
Step 3: Get the old, full bag out of the container. If the bag has drawstrings, handles, or anything else to grab onto, pull gently on them, as to not spill any of the contents over the sides. If the bag won’t come out, pull with a little more force, or hold down the bin so that it’s not off the floor.
You must be gentle. It’s very fragile. If you pull too hard, the bag will rip, spilling everything around. Think of an appropriate technique of taking the bag with your rubbish out of its container. Usually a crying session, phone call to someone close or an angry workout do the magic. If you need a little help, you can always use a hand, of course. A friend, a fluffy puppy or a therapist will do. In my case, writing everything out works like a charm. Sometimes music, food or a true, loud scream may be of use as well. They will be helpful when getting the bag out. Test and try and find out what works for you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help of needed. We are not superheroes, and some bin bags are just too heavy to lift on our own, remember.
Step 4: Replace the bag. Open it by unfolding it, then open the top. Catch air in the bag by waving it around, which will open it the rest of the way. Slide in the bag, and fold the top of the sides over the lid of the bin to hold it in place. Replace any covering you may have on top of the bin.
Something that’s often useful at this point is repairing your bin. Check if it doesn’t have any cracks and it’s not leaking. Clean it out, reach all the darkest, deepest corners, and take a good care of it. Give it a mini pamper session. Recharge the batteries. Try to make it feel at home again, as removing the bin bag can be quite wrecking. From my own experience, I believe that sleep works best. And chocolate works well, too. Also, make sure that the bags you’re keeping your trash in are strong and clearly described. You don’t want a leakage of any sort, do you?
Step 5: Repeat these steps on any other garbage’s you may have in your house.
It takes time, but walk around, look carefully and take your time, making sure that you haven’t forgotten a single piece of shit you kept in your box for way too long. Make lists and recycle. Make it easier, simpler – you will thank your past self for taking care of it sooner, rather later.
Step 6: Take all these bags out to a master can, such as a large can.
Prepare them all. Empty the bins and put all the trash in one place. Perhaps a cosy bed with fairy-lights sparkling around? Or maybe a hot bath filled with billions of delicious smells, some nice music and a box of tissues? It needs to be ready for the collection day, and the better you organise this, the quicker it will be over – and the whole process will be much nicer.
Step 7: Take the trash out to the curb. If your master bin(s) use a bag, remove it using the steps above. Carry it or the whole can itself to the curb.
Same as above. Make sure you’re 100% ready for the collection day, so it all goes nice, smooth and easy. Even if you know it’s not going to be all nice and pretty, you will feel so much better prepared, rather than panicking when the bin randomly overflows, without the smallest warning. And even if there’s not much to take, empty it all. All at once. Because why not? It’s better to do it now, rather than to wait till the next date, not being sure if the bin bag will leak, or if the bin will overflow.
Step 8: Put a new bag in your can(s) if necessary. If you took out the whole can, remember to put it back to wherever you store it (garage, shed, outside, etc.) after the garbage collectors are gone.
When everything will be back in its normal state, it is going to be much easier for you to collect the trash till the next time you need to empty it. It’s healthier this way. Think of it as your tool, as something necessary, something inseparable – it’s not just a bin, just a container you put all the shit in – it is an inevitable and inseparable part of every human being, so it needs to be working. It can’t fail in the middle of the waiting period. It needs to be ready to handle all the trash you’ve got in there.
Useful resources in taking care of your trash can: a gorgeously smelling bath bomb, a glass of wine, some good comedy or a quality time with your friends.
Tips and warnings:
- Your bin bag could turn out to be very heavy. Don’t strain yourself. If you can’t lift it, find someone who can give you a hand.
- Keep a pocket-size trash with you at all times – you know, just in case. It can be a notebook, a journal, a voice memo, a text to a friend. Anything that takes the lift off your shoulders, so that you can take care of it later, when the right time comes.
- Put a lid on any cans by the curb. If cans were to topple over, items inside could scatter across your lawn, the sidewalk, or the street, posing a safety hazard, hard to clean up. To avoid unexpected accidents, check your trash cans from time to time to make sure they’re in a good condition. A simple check-up, to make sure your containers will last till the closest collection date.
- Don’t leave emptying the trash till the very last moment – the bin bag will be so heavy, it will be nearly impossible to deal with it. In that case, sort one kind of rubbish at a time. It may take a little longer, but it’s worth it. And you don’t have to empty it all at once. If there is a lot to sort out, just take it easy. Baby steps.
- Sometimes it all gets just a little bit too much. That’s why you’ve got all the amazing resources and devices available around you. Plan, unpack, recycle, sort and take out. Use help if needed.
Hope emptying out your bin will be a little bit easier now.
All the best,
Disclaimer: quotes used in the titles of steps 1-8, as well as some tips are warnings mentioned in this post, are copied and/or paraphrased from the article found on wikihow.com (http://www.wikihow.com/Empty-a-Trash-Bin). I claim no ownership over them.