January is a good month to get organizedPublished 9:33am Monday, January 14, 2013
Column: Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf
I can’t believe all the stuff I am finding hidden in my house. Believe it or not my new kittens, Boris and Natasha, have given me the incentive to finish cleaning out my closets and all of my nooks and crannies.
I have been on a decluttering journey the last few years. I got detoured from that when I wasn’t feeling good, but now it is a new year and a new start. I must say the cluttered state of my closets had taken a back seat to more fun pleasure likes writing and crafty creating but these two mischievous creatures have spurred me on to an empty closet life.
Remember this is not happening overnight but a shelf or a nook a day seems to work in my busy schedule.
The reason Boris and Natasha are helping me with my decision is that they are finding things I didn’t know I had in my house. I suspect it is more Natasha than Boris, as she seems to be the creature that is more curious and can fit into the tiniest crevices.
Natasha has been found playing with a dog bone (we haven’t had a dog for a year and a half). She has been found playing with a child’s necklace that I have not seen in many years. She has been found playing with a shoestring that both of us swear we have never seen before and our shoes and clothes are not missing any strings. Natasha is a little thief and stashes everything under my bed. Since she is so good at finding things I decided I had better clear out everything. There may be something I want to find first.
My family room closet was stuffed. There were table leafs for my dining room table, family pictures that I had sorted into boxes and stuffed into the closet before I got sick. I found jackets that I didn’t know I had. They were called larger and smaller. I had to decide which ones to keep. I am getting larger but it seems every time I get rid of the small, I get smaller, and every time I get rid of the large, I get larger. What was it going to be? There was no medium. Perhaps I had better add medium to my closet.
It was amazing what all was stuffed into that closet.
The problem I have with organizing is the fact that I organized my office. Now I can’t find a thing. Maybe I do better in chaos, except that theory goes right out the window when I see Natasha’s stash. Perhaps she is trying to organize me.
January is the month we see many stores advertising all their storage solutions. I want them all. At one time or another I probably tried them all. The problem with having all these wonderful items for storage is that you actually have to use them to get organized. I have friends that buy them, too, and when we sort their rooms we have all these unused containers.
Part of the problem with my organizing skills is that most of what I find doesn’t need to be organized. It needs to leave my house. I have found that works very well if I put things in a box and immediately move it to whatever charity I am donating it to. If these boxes sit in my garage for any amount of time I seem to happen upon them, because I probably forgot they were there, and I start going through them only to find all these treasures that I could not believe I had discarded, and, yes, they make their way back into my house because I must need them.
Of course then there are the family heirlooms such as the little glass creamer that used to be used in restaurants. I acquired it on one of my jaunts with my mom and dad. Do I ever use it? No. Will I ever use it? No. But I can’t seem to discard it.
The same reasoning goes for a little religious shrine that was my grandmothers. It is made of very thin metal and somewhere in our moves it broke. It was one of the last things my grandma gave to me. I remember always admiring it in her dresser drawer. I have always been going to see if I could solder it back together. It has been broke for years. In all those years I haven’t managed to do that, but I can’t seem to discard it.
I have been on the end of having to clean out a house that closely resembled a hoarder. I promised my kids I wouldn’t leave them a mess. Well, maybe I promised.
But how do I know? If I keep discarding maybe I will discard something they may want someday after I am gone. They would spend hours and hours and days and days looking for that special item that they had wanted to remember me by.
Maybe I would have thrown it out if I decluttered too much. And since I don’t know what that item is I guess I had better put everything back in the closets, shut the door so Natasha can’t get in and leave it alone. I don’t want to disappoint my children.
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.