Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cleaning Out

My main project for the summer is to clean out certain areas of the house.  While the kids were at camp I successfully overhauled their bedrooms to help maintain some order.  It took four full days, but now they both have desks and a cleaner room to help them.

We have a bedroom in our basement that is used for guests.  It also doubles as my sewing room.  Unfortunately this room has de-evolved into a dumping ground for anything I wasn't able to get rid of.  Over the past ten years I had collected quite a bit of fabric, notions, patterns, and other items that were filling the room with clutter.  This summer I decided to deal with it five minutes at a time (a philosophy learned from The Flylady--if something is overwhelming then tackle it five minutes at a time to whittle it down).  It worked!  I went through the room, repeating in my head "if you haven't used it, you don't need it!" and "let it bless someone else".  This works for me.  I ended up donating a lot of fabric and notions to the music department at work, which really cleared out tons of space.  I felt good knowing that a costume mom could actually use all of the fabric that would otherwise sit in a box collecting dust in the closet.  I was also able to let go of tons of items most people would consider junk.

Last night I finished up by going through my "organized" file cabinet.  You see, ten years ago I started reading organizational books, and I spent a huge amount of time creating a filing system where I could file all of those magazine articles about craft ideas and home redesign, because, you know, I just HAD to keep them since I would use them someday.  The system included me assigning a number to each item and cross referencing the information on hand-written index cards.  I had up to 200 different items filed in that cabinet.  Last night I went through and threw out approximately 190 of them!  I kept my teaching certification information and a few recipes, but really, what was I doing with those magazine articles?  How much time did I spend organizing that garbage, and couldn't I have been doing something much more useful with my time?  Ugh.

The room looks great now, with plenty of open closet space and an entire empty dresser for guests to use when they visit.  However, I have to admit one downfall--I found my old Martha Stewart Living magazines and I couldn't throw them away.  They are just too gosh darn--beautiful!  So, for now, I've sacrificed a huge dresser drawer to hold the magazine of perfection.  Perhaps some day in my spare time I'll peruse those magazines and create some beautiful crafty Thanksgiving centerpiece . . .

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