It's About Time
Unneededs need to go
Thank heaven for company! Lately it seems that the only time the house gets a decent cleaning is when I'm having company. As I write this, I'm cleaning for a house guest due to arrive tomorrow.
With my children grown and living on the mainland, I have two rooms empty -- but they are like giant vacuums, sucking in odds and ends from elsewhere in the house!
When guests are coming, I end up moving things from one room to the other. Do any of you do this?
This is the umpteenth time I've done this musical-chair game. Each time I think, "If I had a dollar for every time I've moved this!"
The problem is that I'm doing this at the last minute when there's no time to really sort and decide what I still need to keep. This indecision results in holding onto too much unnecessarily.
As I hastily clear out one room and move things to the other, some of the things I see are:
» The boxes my laptop and fax machine came in, and two boxes filled with empty boxes! Most can go to the recycling bin.
» An armful of infrequently worn clothes: Most can be donated.
» Bed dust ruffle: Donate.
» A box of old photos: Sort, keep the treasures and give or toss the rest.
» A box of photos from my in-law's house: I'll let my husband sort through those, as it's important to respect others' property. What might look like junk to us could be treasures to them.
» My son's Cub Scout shirt and scarf: A real treasure as it brings back sweet memories. I can't believe he was once so small! That I'll keep and find space for in my closet. Each time I see it, it will make me smile!
» A box with decorating ideas that I haven't referred to in years: I'll keep my favorites only if I can make room in my file cabinet.
» My guest room is now empty and ready for company. The other room is packed to capacity. Now my task is to empty that room, too. I need to dare to decide about each item.
A friend once told me she aims to get rid of 1 square foot of clutter a day. Doing it by quantity is one way; doing it by time (e.g., 15 minutes a day) would also work. It's the consistency that counts. What do you have that's been moved here and there to get out of the way? Isn't it about time to dare to decide instead of just moving stuff around physically (or mentally)?
It will be time well spent! See you in two weeks!
"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong
, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail email@example.com