Thursday, January 1, 2015

Clutter Behind Closed Doors

Happy New Year!  I decided a long time ago to forego making New Year’s resolutions and instead set New Year’s goals.  We’re thinking of downsizing.  Not this year; probably not next year, but within the next five years.  It’s time to get rid of things we no longer use.  My good friend and fellow blogger Adrian, of Adrian’s Crazy Life, frequently writes about ways to reduce clutter in your home.  I’m tweaking a couple of her strategies in dealing with my unique clutter problem.

I have CBCD – clutter behind closed doors.  It’s a particularly insidious brand of clutter because it’s not visibly annoying and thereby clawing at my inner sense of neatness.  No, it’s safely tucked away in one of the many cupboards and closets that a larger home tends to feature.  Out of sight – out of mind.

Twenty years ago, when we moved to this home, I had every intention of getting rid of stuff I no longer used before we moved.  Sadly, that didn’t happen.  I brought a lot of stuff here that I should have thrown out then – and shoved it in a cupboard.  Not going to do that again.

Here are my rules to getting rid of CBCD:

Rule #1.  Attack each instance of CBCD with the knowledge that the stuff is never going to be used – or worn – or displayed again.  It’s either going into a garbage can, a recycle bin, or a box headed to the thrift shop.

Rule #2.  Exceptions to Rule #1 will be made only when a) items are not mine to deal with, or b) the items will be better utilized in a different location.  I’ll write more about what I’ll call storage optimizing in my next post.

Rule #3.  Items with sentimental value will be photographed before the application of Rule #1.  (Thanks to my good friend Sue for this rule.)

I started a few days ago.  So far I’m doing pretty well.  I cleared out three stacks of paperwork from former jobs.  I laughed out loud when I found a cost reduction proposal I had prepared back in 1984.  My boss at the time was Fraser Bullock, and had told me I’d hit a home run with the proposal.  I should have taken it to show him back in 2002 when he was second in command (and Mitt Romney’s right hand man) for the Salt Lake City Olympics.  He’d have hired me on the spot.  Or not.

I smiled as I reviewed the “farewell” cards I received from my co-workers at Hill Air Force Base when I left to join Wells Fargo.  I can still put several of those names to faces, and their messages were still touching.  But thinking of my military co-workers reminded me to stay on mission.  Adding a new rule:

Rule #4.  If you must read something, read it once.  Then apply Rule #1.

I’m looking forward to a new year filled with empty cupboards!  Happy New Year!

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