Cleaning Out

Since I am currently unemployed, I’ve promised myself I will take the time to do all the things I’ve been wishing I had time to do. This unfortunately does not include world travel, as that’s really not in the budget, but there are plenty of other options. Option number one at this point is cleaning out my apartment. I’ve discovered over the last five years or so that the older I get, the less stuff I care about keeping. Sure, there are some things that make it through every time I clean. But it’s getting to where there are always more and more things I don’t keep.

In any case, I was working on this project today. Opened up the hall closet, determined to go through the whole thing. Parts of it were really easy – those are extra blankets and sheets that I do use. Good, they stay. Suitcase stays – I don’t travel often, but it’s really good to have one when I do. Plus I got an amazing deal on it. Obviously the vacuum cleaner stays. Then I got to the tougher stuff. Craft supplies. Always challenging for me, but today was a win. I chose to donate about 60% of the supplies that were in this closet (doesn’t include any of the rest of them, but it’s a start). Surprise sentimental tub – thought it was more craft supplies, turned out to be stuffed animals and my baby quilt. Still not sure what to do with them, but they stay. Then the real surprise, the one I had forgotten even existed. Tub full of paper. Not just blank paper ready to be used, although there was some of that. No, it’s also notes and schedules and papers and bills from college. And an entire stack of work on family genealogy. Writing projects, most of them in the notes stage. All just sitting in this tub, taunting me. 

You see, I cleaned the filing cabinet two weeks ago when I started the whole cleaning out process. I thought I was done with paper. That I no longer had to mess with any of it. Now I have a whole huge chunk to go through again. Know why I started with the filing cabinet? I hate going through paper. It is mentally and physically exhausting, and I’ve just found more. Ugh. Not only is it more, it feels like just having this whole new chunk upsets the lovely balance I had previously achieved. Sure, if I had forgotten the papers were there, they aren’t likely to be that important. But some of it is. Some of it is stuff that fills in blanks I previously had. So now, I have another project. Or a redo of a previous project.

I’ve given myself permission to set aside the evil offending tub of paper and tackle it another day. Because once I did that, I was able to finish the rest of the hall closet. It is done. Looks great, I can find everything, and it even has a little more space -part of which I filled with the ironing board so it is no longer in my living room. It is a victory as far as the closet goes. I’m left with just a taunting little tub of paper sitting next to the filing cabinet, laughing at me. I’m leaving the hall closet open so I have evidence I did accomplish my task for the day.


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