Declutter and explore



I am bushed! Today was the day I finally tackled the closet into which we shoved everything when Bob went out of private practice and began working for Eye Associates. Yeah, I know, that was a long time ago, 2006 in fact. He’s been fully retired for about two years +/-, but I guess it’s fitting I’m taking on the task in October, since that’s the month he started with EA.

All that stuff we squirreled away? Into the trash, eighty percent of it. Old magazines, old questionable receipts, old eye drops, old letterhead… just old stuff. I still have TWO BOXES TO GO! But I’ve given up for the day.

I’m a person who believes that if you haven’t looked for or used something in three years, you probably don’t need it. Toss it out or see if the Salvation Army Thrift Store can make a little money by selling it.

Once a upon a time I was a Mary Kay Cosmetics rep. I wasn’t very good at it, but I learned this – and should apply it more often – act on it, file it or throw it away. Mary Kay was talking about paperwork, but it applies to a lot of things. How many cords to something do you have in your house but you’re not sure what the something is the cord belongs to? My husband is a pen and paper clip hoarder. Today – without his knowledge (tee hee hee) I threw a slug of them out – only the ones that didn’t work… mostly – and there’s still a bunch left!

So before your dungeon ­– oops, excuse me – storage closet turns into what feels like an insurmountable task, try the five declutter tricks below to bring calm out of chaos.

  1. Mary Kay was right. When it comes to paperwork deal with it immediately – act on it, file it or throw it away.
  2. That magazine you are going to read “later” might still be there three months from now. Consider carefully what you subscribe to so you don’t accumulate stacks of reading material so high the thought of reading it makes your head spin. Recycle by taking to nursing homes, hospitals, doctors’ offices, or preschools and day care centers to be used in crafts. Call ahead to make sure your donation will be accepted and useful.
  3. Take on decluttering one room (maybe one space in a room!) at a time. I’ve been cleaning my office for three days. Yes, it was that bad. Trying to do too much all at once will wear you out and discourage you from moving forward.
  4. Tomorrow isn’t a good day to declutter. Today is. Even if you tidy up your desk or the junk drawer in the kitchen, you will feel so good once it’s done, you’ll be inspired to take on something else… maybe tomorrow.
  5. Be ready for a journey of discovery. Go through everything carefully, you don’t know what you might find. I discovered photos of Bob’s grandparents in a double frame, the Optic announcing when I moved up from society editor to managing editor in June 1993, an Optic photo of me when I worked as a new accounts rep at First Federal, a carved elephant (quartz I think) and an article about Bob and Orville Hughes (prof at Highlands back in the day) announcing a Rotary fund raiser!

So, I’m done for today, even though there are still two boxes to go and a lot of shelf organizing to do, and yes, it was tiring, but it was also fun. More important, I can get into the closet without seventeen things falling out of boxes when I open the door!

Check out Tiny Tome #1.

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