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Posts Tagged ‘decluttering’

The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 18: Put a blazer into the thrift store box. It’s a well-made wool blazer, but its cut is simply out of style and I don’t know when it’ll come back in style. I’m no fashionista, but in addition to being outdated, it’s also a little big for me.

Day 19: Manhandled my office bifold closet door to obtain the big Rubbermaid box filled with more photographs that I need to send to ScanCafe. Spent another 10 minutes trying to figure out how to repair the bifold closet doors so they both actually open and close. I hate those closet doors.

Day 20: Shredded documents like an Enron accountant, only with less desperation.

Day 21: Really started to dig into the photo box retrieved on Day 19. Remembered why every time I start to sort through this box, I quickly put the top back on and put it back in the closet. It contains everything from old photographs of family members I don’t remember to vacation photos from the late 1990s.

Day 22: I actually made headway on the box of photos, sorting out duplicates and choosing the best copies to send off for scanning.

Day 23: Finally bought the faucet, toilet paper holder and towel ring to go in the remodeled downstairs bathroom. This is why people buy new houses.

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The browser tab title of “Organize This!” — a New York Times story — is “Barbara Reich Organizes the Homes of New York’s Elite.” Clearly, this does not apply to me, but some of Reich’s philosophies apply to us all.

Her mantra is, “Stress is clutter, and clutter is stress.” We live in a time of stuff, and it’s simply stifling.

I know I have less stuff than a lot of people, but every time I clear another storage box out of the closet, I feel even lighter.

Clear space equals a clear mind.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 8: I have this bad habit of decluttering and then leaving the box of decluttered items in the house for weeks, turning it into clutter.

But not this time. I brought last week’s New Year decluttering remnants to the New Leash on Life Marketplace this afternoon. They can sell it faster, and I have a cleaner home office sooner.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 6: I decimated a pile of travel magazines taking up space in my home office. The recycling bin is going to be heavy next week.

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The “Do One Thing” series chronicles my yearlong effort to tackle one project every day to organize my life and home.

Day 4 saw the decluttering of one small shelf. Baby steps, people.

Part of Day 5 was spent waiting on the contractors to install a granite countertop in the downstairs bathroom, and the rest of it was spent obsessing about said installation and trying to pick out a faucet. Home improvement: It counts.

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Meet Franz. I bought him for $2 at an estate sale I attended just so I could get a look at the interior of some townhomes in my neighborhood. He looked lonely and in danger of being shipped off to a thrift store with the rest of the unsellables. Franz was hand-sketched in charcoal. He deserved better.

Plus, let’s just admit it, I decorate like a lunatic.

Franz hangs by my desk at home, though he’s not so much inspiration as he is entertainment. I just like him, even though I’m really not sure what sort of animal he is. I’m not even sure how I decided he was German.

I thought of Franz today as I was dropping off a few things at a thrift store, items that were cute and in good shape, but items that I just could not bring myself to love.

I decided a few years ago that open space was my decorating style, and I’ve been decluttering my way to that goal ever since. Gone are the knickknacks that someone else chose for me, the extra set of everyday dishes from my grandmother’s house, the candleholder collection that accumulated after a few people saw me burning candles at a couple of parties.

The things that stay are the things I use and/or simply love. The best part about bringing the rest to a thrift store isn’t the empty space left behind in a closet or on a shelf, but the idea that someone else WILL love these things.

Every item that I give away may become somebody’s Franz. How awesome is that?

My favorite thrift store, by the way, is A New Leash on Life Marketplace at 707 Andrew Jackson Way in Huntsville. It’s a cute little store, filled with a nicer selection than you find in larger thrift stores, and there’s sometimes a couple of adoptable animals there for a visit. A New Leash on Life is a non-profit animal rescue group that houses adoptable animals in approved foster homes.

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