Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Out With the Old - Continuing My Journey Thru Clutter Jungle

Greetings. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with plenty of Turkey and Pumpkin Pie! I know I did. It was a great time to reflect on the many things I was and am still thankful for. It's hard to be thankful for a messy house full of clutter, but all that stuff usually reflects the bounty that God has given us. although it doesn't necessarily speak well for how we take care of it.

Immediately after Thanksgiving I began 'Clearing the Path' in full force. I followed my own advice and armed myself with 3 things:

     1. Trash Can
     2. Clothes Basket
     3. Toy Box

I started by placing these three tools slightly ahead of me. It wasn't that easy to make room for them in the jungle. Sometimes I had to set them on top of clutter. I picked up everything within my reach that was clearly trash as quickly as possible. I used both hands most of the time to speed up the process. It was pretty easy to throw the clothes in the basket and the toys in the box I had set aside for them. I soon discovered that there were other things I really should pick up along the way. I didn't want to get bogged down sorting, so I just grabbed another box to pitch all the other stuff in.

Note: If you don't have boxes available when you begin this step, I would suggest a suitcase or large pans or bowls - anything that is big enough to throw stuff into. If all else fails, you can use trash bags. I don't prefer them unless they are used to line a a box or can. It slows down progress because you have to open the bag to put stuff inside. Our local convenience store gets milk in a cardboard box that holds four gallons. They are a great size and are all uniform and easy to stack. The stores will often save them for you if you ask. I used these for a lot of things and they are free. I have also bought bankers boxes from Wal-Mart or Office Depot. You can buy a package of 10 or 12 for around $15.00. The price isn't so bad if you can reuse them later.

Continuing on...
I had only intended to work on this for about an hour that first day. It was late in the afternoon before I got started however, and I pushed myself to get more accomplished. I worked closer to 4 hours. I was pleased with my progress. I had filled my trash can twice and took it to the dumpster. I washed 3 loads of clothes, dirty or not. One of these loads was blankets. These were easy to fold and stack. If I hadn't planned to use them soon, I would have put them in a trash bag and tied it up so I would know these were recently washed. The socks and underwear I sorted as quickly as possible and tossed them in the appropriate drawer. I am usually a stickler for folding and matching, but not this time. I had only 3 weeks to get the house ready for the grand kids visit. I figured my husband wouldn't mind matching his own socks for a week or so. (most likely he just grabbed two and put them on, matching or not.) For now I laid the shirts in a neat stack so they wouldn't wrinkle.

There weren't many toys since the grand kids hadn't been here since last summer. I had already dealt with most of them. I filled at least 4 boxes of 'other' stuff. Before I closed these boxes and taped them shut I did a quick sort, separating paper from everything else. I marked the boxes as 'paper' and 'other' and closed them up and stacked them to be dealt with later. I still had a little time before I absolutely must go to bed (after all, it was just 2:00 a.m.) so I quickly folded the shirts and put them on the shelf. We only hang our dress clothes, as we have very little closet space. Now I was done for the night.

I quickly jotted down my accomplishments for the day, then read them over. I was quite pleased with the progress I had made and was actually looking forward to the next day so I could continue the Journey through my own Clutter Jungle. I lay awake for a while that night plotting my next step. I was amazed at how much brighter my jungle had already become just by clearing a small portion of  clutter!

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