Carolyn’s Online Magazine (#COMe)
WHY IS IT SO CHALLENGING
TO CLEAR CLUTTER? Part 1
Sorting through the clutter stacked up throughout my house and garage, and the piles of magazines thrust in many corners, is, at times, challenging, a constant battle, a fight I cannot win.
Some people suggest I’m a hoarder when they see the boxes of papers piled up in various spots in my house and garage. My desk often competes with Laurel Mountain, the almost-3,000 foot rise of which we live in the foothill.
I take issue with the hoarding description. You see, I’m a writer and must have reference resources to make my writing interesting, to use as a ‘hook’ to capture the interest of my readers. Thus, I keep papers that aren’t online or that I have yet to enter into my computer files. That I’m writing a historic novel that requires much research doesn’t help.
I also take issue based on my nomadic, work and servant lifestyles.
- Our nomadic lifestyle involved numerous moves. Packing was sandwiched between continuing and closing down my activities in the community I was leaving. By the time moving day arrived, whatever remained on my desk and other surfaces was shoved in boxes, which were often not opened in our new location because I was immediately thrust into its activities.
- Much of my paper collection involved the work I did in each community—child day care, craft sales, counseling adult survivors of childhood abuse, leading writing and ovarian cancer groups. Other papers are related to traveling and genealogy. Now I’m writing a novel and have a collection of papers related to the learning curves necessary to my task.
- Servanthood. While the piles of papers continued to grow in my house, I was involved in cleaning out at least three residences—that of a friend who moved away, of another friend who entered a nursing home, and finally, the estate of my brother-in-law (located in Northern New York). It takes time from my personal and novel writing time to sort through these papers.
Is it no wonder I have all these boxes of papers?
And yes, I’ve been working my way through them. In the winter of 2015 I emptied 6 boxes. I’m not certain how many I emptied that 2015 summer, nor do I know how many I’ve emptied this 2016 winter. It must be at least 4 boxes.
I count my sorting success by pitching a plastic grocery bag pile of papers and magazines each week.
Sorting through the boxes of papers and piles of magazines is, at times, especially challenging. For example, this week I came across an old magazine, the September/1980 Mother Earth News. I began scanning its articles with the goal to release it from my possession—somehow—hopefully by passing it on, not tossing it out. This is what I expect to do with each magazine I encounter. Sometimes it’s easy to decide how to dispose of a magazine and other papers. Other times it’s a fight.
Unfortunately, I’m not certain what to do with this magazine (an all too common dilemma). I’ll be fighting an either/or decision for a while.
To read why, watch for the second part of this article to be posted next week.
NOTE: The WordPress prompt for March 18, 2016, is fight. I consider clearing clutter to be a noble, worthy, fight, battle by battle.