Why Is It So Challenging To Clear Clutter? Part 2

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (#COMe)



Sorting through the boxes of papers 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.

The first part of this article, Why Is It So Challenging To Clear Clutter? Part 1                       , explains why. In this article I offer an example.

This magazine is a keeper---it has my article on Flight of Valor published in it.

This magazine is a keeper—it has my article on Flight of Valor published in it.

This week I pulled an old magazine, the September/1980 Mother Earth News, from a box and began scanning its articles before willy-nilly disposing of it. My goal was 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.

Unfortunately, I’m not certain what to do with this magazine (an all too common dilemma).

The first article had me hooked—The Plowboy Interview with Isaac Asimov. It was meaty with great information, and is likely to become a post in the near future

Remember, the 1980 magazine was before the Internet was so universal. It was likely typed on a typewriter (for the electronics savvy who never typed on anything else, a typewriter is a desktop tool with a keyboard that typed on pages of paper). I haven’t checked, but it’s highly unlikely that the articles in this Mother Earth News issue are online.  Thus, if I want to keep the article for reference I must rethink disposing of it.

I continued to scan through the magazine to review what other golden nuggets were hidden in its 196 pages. On page

10 pieces…bits and pieces…bits —small items in this column, possible illustrations for future posts, can be typed. Eg. WHY THEY DON’T “DO IT” IN THE RHODE! The Rhode Island Supreme Court has upheld that state’s fornication law, ruling that sex between consenting unmarried adults doesn’t fall within the people’s right to privacy… In another strange decision, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a person who aids and abets in a federal crime can be prosecuted, even after the principal suspect has been acquitted of charges…SYNCHRONIZE YOUR WATCHES! Intersonics Corporation has taken out a patent on a woman’s wristwatch that gauges “pregnancy potential” by measuring the negative-positive polarity of the currents flowing through the body…

26 economic outlook: the most penetrating view into the future is a careful look at the past, offering a lesson I’m learning from my novel-under-construction (She Saw Her Promised Land). Referencing  a thesis by Walter Prescott Webb in his book The Great Frontier: Western Europe was—from about 1300  to 1500—virtually static. It had an area of approximately 3,750,000 square miles and an estimated population of 100,000,000 people. And that was it. Period. Decade after decade. The carrying capacity of the day-to-day world known by the average inhabitant of Western Europe had been reached…”Progress” and “growth”—the concepts that modern society values so highly—would have befuddled medieval Europe’s typical citizen…

31 an article on Dutch oven outdoor cooking—with the threats of electric grid interruption, might not be a bad article to have on hand.

44 MAKE A WOOD-FIRED LAUNDRY WATER HEATER I have an article-in-progress about different ways of doing laundry, especially in early times or difficult locations.

58 SUCCESSFUL SWAPS  Something we could learn to do in today’s milieu. One person swapped cords of wood for a lawyer’s bill.

64 HICKORY NUTS: THE “INSIDE” STORY tells with illustrations how to crack open hickory nuts in a way that the inside nut can be extracted whole. Now, when I come across a hickory nut tree I’m encouraged to harvest its fruit.

72 A LAND FOR ALL SEASONS  Only a comment within it within this article: PART OF THE TAPESTRY  Despite the fact that mankind has come to divide the year into spring, summer, fall, and winter…such seemingly separate time periods are each, in truth, only a part of one fine vestment that Nature—in her great wisdom—weaves to display Earth’s beauty to its utmost. But one thread, no matter how brightly colored, cannot indicate the fineness of the finished garment. The only way to experience the full scope of such majestic variety is to become aware, over a period of time, of all the fibers which make up that incredible attire. In other words, we should allow ourselves the space to look at the land in every one of its seasons…and not just in the time of the tourist.

80 MOTHER’S BACKYARD GREENHOUSE  Something handy to get an early planting start in northern  U. S. gardens.

83 FALL PLANTING FOR SPRING SALADS  (sowing) leaf lettuce on top of a late spring snow…(what) can be sown  in the fall for spring harvest…and more…

88   A 15 (CENT) SOLAR WINDOW GREENHOUSE Hmmm, an early start for summer planting?

97 MULLEIN Uses of mullein, …known to you by one or more of its 30 common names (velvet dock, Adam’s flannel, etc.). An article for St. Patrick’s Day: …officially known as a weed, this prolific biennial is the herb of St. Fiacre—the Irish patron saint of horticulturists…

104 YO-YO SHAWL  A friend of mine, Marcia Gallineaux, enjoys making yo-yo quilts. Should send her this article.

112 HALLOWEEN MASKS! Made from papier mache…good idea for a Halloween post

124 COOKING WITH TOFU Two tofu recipes—pancakes and garlic dip—for my husband Monte, a vegetarian who cooks with tofu.

136 PROFILES (IN BRIEF…) HATTIE BILBREY has always been independent, so it was no surprise when she landed a job—at age 72—demonstrating her skill at carding and spinning wool. Today, 13 years later, Hattie is still toiling at her sixteenth-century wheel in Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town, and she has no plans for retirement. “I want to keep active,” declares the California craftswoman, “and I want to keep on spinning.”

140 GRANDMOTHER KNEW BEST  About curing colds…Get into bed, bundle up, drink plenty of hot liquids, and take cod liver oil and garlic.

152 ROACH PRUFE NO. 1 IN UNIVERSITY TESTS Good info for my cartoon character, Cochran Cornell the Cantankerous Cockroach

153 WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A 40-POUND SQUASH?  Recipes for pumpkin or squash pumpkin butter, a banana-pumpkin milkshake, and pumpkin butter pie.

158 AN OLD-TIME DOUBLE-POST POLE FENCE  Good to use the many fallen trees in our community.

168 Dog cartoons: St. Bernard—dog with angel wings; dog in preheat—dog with heat rising from its back; dog catching a cent: dog catching a coin, a penny, etc.

184 DOLLARS FOR DAFFODILS  Background on daffodils, with info on making money selling them.


Some magazines are easy to dispose of. But how can I dispose of a magazine with this much information in it? Yet I can’t keep every magazine with good information. The mental decision-making fight is on.

Oh, what is a person to do to clear clutter from their home? Guess I’d better move on to an easier to dispose of magazine or set of papers.

I wonder how many of my readers resolve a similar fight. Are you likewise embattled? I welcome you to share your clutter-cleaning fight and to give me encouragement in the comment box at the end of this post.

NOTE: The WordPress prompt for March 18, 2016, is fight. I consider clearing clutter to be a noble, worthy, fight, battle by battle.

About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com. My novel site is www.intertwinedlove.wordpress.com.
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