...stays on Wednesdays.
Recently I started a decluttering process for the house. Well, that isn’t completely accurate, because I feel like I’ve been making decluttering attempts for most of my adult life. But now that I’m not working, I actually have the time and energy to deal with things on more than a superficial, get-it-out-of-the-way level.
It hasn’t been easy, and it’s certainly slow going. I’ve always had an attachment to Things that makes it very hard to get organized. Getting rid of things is the hardest, but I’m gaining ground. I’ve donated a bunch of books to a local organization that puts them in the hands of needy children. I’ve also brought them my daughters’ outgrown clothes. I’ve recycled piles of magazines that were pushed “out of the way” but now seem in the way as I want a cleaner space.
Sorting various things is the hardest job so far. It takes me forever, and when I’m done — no matter how much it seems that I’ve thrown out — it doesn’t seem like I’ve made much progress. But at least in this job there is one mini-bonus: It’s like a little archaeological dig.
I tend to keep “important” papers together to deal with them and shuffle through them from time to time to find what I need. In this shuffling, some get tossed or used or filed and so the pile shrinks. It’s like compost. All the leftover papers end up in a plastic filing drawer, pretty much in the order they were as I was kinda sorta dealing with them. So now, as I’m going through these drawers, I’m finding three-year-old school essays, birthday cards, random photos, news articles, report cards, and my daughter’s drawings.
I love this.
It takes a lot of time to shuffle through it again and remove things that are now useless and/or bulky. Old class catalogs, random magazines, school newsletters, junk mail, and reminders for events long past. But I love these little looks into the past all contained in handfuls of paper. What we were doing in 2008 is reflected in this seemingly random collection of paper that includes an editorial about Obama’s election, several drawings of fairies, a presentation about the solar system, a map from Disney World, a photo of our baby tree, and flyers from school plays.
I’ll keep decluttering. I’ll keep culling papers. But I am keeping my piles.