Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Decluttering Diary: Day 4

We have plucked all the low-hanging fruit, which means we have reached a dangerous place.

Why is it dangerous? Because now progress slows considerably and the culling will be more difficult and take longer. It's invigorating to think, "I'm gonna go through this box and I'm going to throw most of it out in thirty minutes or less!" You can be energized by that idea.

It's another thing entirely to open up a box of grad school stuff. It's the opposite of energizing. You are (if you're me) confronted by what a waste your twenties were in general, how much bad writing you did, the ways you weren't always a good friend. It's tempting to toss that box and just not deal with it. Except you (if you're me) also did some very fine writing (for your age), and you had great friends and great fun, and you traveled to Berlin and London and have all sorts of neat stuff to look at from those trips. So the box must be dealt with.

Yesterday I linked to an article I liked with a lot of great decluttering tips. One of the tips asserts that going through personal papers takes five times longer than you think it will. True dat.

Things are also starting to get a bit clogged up (don't scold, Jo!). I have more stuff to be recycled than my bin will hold, and if I fill up the trash bin with my decluttering trash, we won't have room for our regular weekly load of junk. Right now I'm looking into filling up the van and taking it to the recycling/waste center on the other side of town.


Good news! The Man tells me I can take it the recycling to the recycling/waste center without any special permission or paperwork. So that's number on my list for tomorrow. Number two, put Freecycle offerings online, including my lovingly cultivated of holiday magazines, mostly Martha Stewart Living Christmas issues, but also several very nice Halloween and Easter issues as well.

By giving these away, I'm finally acknowledging that 1) I hate Christmas (the secular side, except for the presents people give me and the cookies), and 2) there's a reason I've never done any of the Christmas crafts or baked any of the Christmas goodies that hum to me from inside these magazines' pages. The fact is, we have our decorations. We have our traditional goodies. We are not deviating, adding, or subtracting. We're fine.

I will say, the magazines are beautiful to look at, and I'm sure I'll buy this year's issue. Who knows, maybe I'll start a new collection to give away ten years from now to some young mother who thinks, quite mistakenly, that her Christmas is going to look like that.


Speaking of Christmas, I have started my shopping. I plan to be done by Thanksgiving at the latest.


Today, it's 65 degrees and feels like fall. I wore a light jacket, scarf and clogs out to run errands this afternoon. I looked for a long time at knitting magazines, though I'm not allowed to buy any or start any new knitting projects until I finish the sweater I'm working on.


I keep forgetting to tell you this interesting thing! I'm taking a free, online class through Missouri State University. It's called Laura Ingalls Wilder: Her Work and Writing Life. There's a new lecture every week, and you take quizzes. I took my first quiz today and got 100%. Aren't I something?

It's not too late to sign up. If you're interested, go here: http://outreach.missouristate.edu/180450.htm


Pom Pom said...

The class sounds fun, Frances! Yay for 100%!
You're making progress! Every box that goes OUT is a victory!

Tracy said...

Maybe you could alternate a burn-through-it box with a this-will-take-some-time box? That way you still get lots of success interspersed with the harder ones. I keep looking at my Uni books and folders and wondering at what point I'll ditch the lot. Right now it seems like there are so many precious gems in there that I'll need again very soon!

Go you - 100% is so awesome!! Nothing like a 100% score to make you feel super smart!

magsmcc said...

I'm looking for a nice correspondance course. Will our Christmas really never look like that? Or our pumpkins? Or our Easter twigs? No, you're right; they won't. Sigh! Keep going!

GretchenJoanna said...

You are...you are...
What you are thinking about Christmas, I am thinking about more and more parts of my life. Why deviate when you have perfection?

Gumbo Lily said...

As a young woman, I used to try to make my Christmas tree and gifts underneath look like the magazines, and then I had children and everything changed.

I bought a few books for the grands for Christmas. I feel so smart.

I like Laura Ingalls Wilder. I'm glad you're enjoying the class and that you are such a smart student.

Jo said...

I am getting a bit over the decluttering as well. Today it's the book case. It is so much easier to take the books out than it is to think about what to do with them next..

Heather said...

I have a problem throwing away all my Christmas/Thanksgiving magazines. The problem is that they are all piled up in my office/junk room and I groan every time I look at them. I just need to toss them and celebrate the holidays in my own traditional way (the way I do every year anyway).