Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dealing With "The Stuff", Part 1

Again this year, I made the "unofficial" Resolution of "Organizing My Home". I have started this project before, but it seems like I always get to a certain point and stop - but not this time! Here's Part 1 of my story, Daybed and Filing Cabinet Organization!

I have always heard: you must first admit you have a problem in order to deal with a problem, so here goes!

I have trouble getting rid of things!! 

There, I've said it! I have admitted I have a problem.

Why?? Why do I have so much trouble getting rid of things? Here are the reasons that I have come up with:
  • I will be the first to admit:  I am very sentimental, and I hate to get rid of anything someone has given me. I have a great memory, and I can always vividly remember when I received the gift.
  • I am very creative and crafty. While I am certain this is a blessing, it sometimes seems like a curse. It's difficult to get rid of anything, because I can always think of things to make out of everything!  Or, if it's broken, I say, "I can fix that!
  • There's not enough time to do everything, so when I have to choose between dealing with "stuff" and doing a project, I usually neatly stack things and store them away instead of dealing with them.
  • I am so afraid that as soon as I get rid of something, I will need it again. 
Do you share this DILEMMA?

It's not that I like clutter; I don't! I like for things to be neat and orderly. I just have too much "stuff"!! 

Today, it seems like others have the same problem that I have. Storage buildings are going up everywhere, and storage rooms are becoming increasingly more abundant. In January, there's always mountains of Rubbermaid crates for sale. The temptation is great to just buy another container, fill it up, and label it.

This year, however, I need to make a BIG change! Why?? We recently purchased a set of bunk beds for one of the bedrooms. Why is that a problem? I had previously separated the daybed and trundle, and the trundle was set up in the space where the bunk beds would now be located. The bad part is, I had stored multiple boxes and bins under the daybed and trundle. I need to get rid of a mountain of "stuff" in order to get the trundle back under the daybed!!

Now my excuses are gone, but although I am retired and do not "officially" have a job, it seems I am busier now than ever, so I will have to be diligent about this.

I have jokingly been called a "clutter bug" and a "pack rat", but I didn't think I was that bad. But as I look at all this stuff, however, I think maybe I am.

Past History

Obsolete Clothing
When I had the major weight loss, I kept the "big" clothes 3 years before I reluctantly got rid of them. I was so afraid that I would gain the weight back and need them again. I finally realized that it was okay to get rid of them before they were too out of style! I told myself that I would buy new clothes if I gained the weight back, and donated the "big" clothes to my sister's Yard Sale.

Dealing with Excessive Toys
Someone once told me to let my kids break their toys and then I would have an excuse to throw them away. Throw them away? Not at my house! I found ways to fix the broken toys. I once overheard my oldest son Jeff say, "My Mom has a glue gun. She can fix anything!" It was such a proud moment in this Mom's life!

When the boys outgrew their toys, I encouraged them to donate them, but they wanted to keep them. Once my youngest son Jacob was looking longingly at some Sesame Street figures that he had "outgrown". He lovingly picked up 2 of the "Bert-Ernies" as he called them and said, "I'm going to miss you guys!" He then began singing, "Love Is a Very Special Thing!" Of, course, I told him to put the figures back on his shelf. I could tell by his smile that he was pleased!

Advice from Friends & Family
My husband says to just throw everything away without looking at it. (Like that's going to happen!)

One friend said that everyone should move at least every 10 years, just to get rid of excess "stuff". I know we did get rid of a lot when we moved, so she may have something there.

Another friend told me, "I have excellent organizational skills; I just have no time to use them!" I can really identify with her philosophy!

I have read in magazines to take a photo and then throw the item away or donate it. That is too hard to do!

Progress Thus Far:

Filing Cabinet
A lot of things needed to be filed, but there was no room! The main filing cabinet was overflowing, but with what? I had labeled files, and they did look neat, so on the first observation, it didn't look that bad. On closer observation, however, it was a mess! It really needed to be cleaned out! 

The only option was to dump everything and start anew. Here's some interesting things I found in the "Warranties" Folder:

My Mini-Tramp -
a special memory! 
VCR that was discarded long ago

Twin Cassette Player
Long-gone bikes and He-Man!

My Bag Phone!
Lots of cards and assorted papers
 stuck in the back of the cabinet!

I will admit, organizing the filing cabinet took quite some time, but it was worth it. I did keep important papers and cards, but most everything was shredded or recycled. I bought "Hanging File" Frames, and my husband installed them in the drawers. I now have usable files that are labeled and up to date!

I dealt with everything that was stored under the trundle and made room for the new bunk beds. I bought the optional drawer unit, and my husband installed it under the bottom bunk for clothing storage.

The grandkids love the new bunk beds!!

The Daybed now has the trundle underneath!! The top of the daybed is now cleared off, and it looks like a daybed again!  It was even slept in recently when we had overnight guests!! If needed, the trundle can be pulled out and raised to make a king-size bed.

I feel great about getting this large project done! I feel like celebrating!

"Dealing With "The Stuff", Part 1, is accomplished, but I am not finished yet!

Coming soon, Dealing With "The Stuff", Part 2!!

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