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Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s resolution’

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

Day 2: I labored over whether I should include purchases in this challenge. As the sole board member, I voted “yes.”

When we were in New York City in early December, I saw this nifty little device in Pylones that allows you to stack up to 10 bottles of wine safely and efficiently. I realize that other people have wine racks on their countertops and walls and even on top of their kitchen cabinets, but proper wine storage demands protection from light and temperature variations. Thus, most of our everyday wine (“everyday wine” … we sound so sophisticated) is stored in the bottom of the pantry, far away from the stove and other sources of heat.

The bottles, however, tend to arrange themselves in a mishmash, no matter how carefully they’re initially placed. Any stacking at all requires something extremely heavy and unneeded to prevent rolling, and unstacked bottles rolling around on their sides waste a tremendous amount of vertical cabinet space.

Thus, when I saw the incredibly neat pyramid of wine bottles enabled by the Wine Stack, I pointed it out as just the thing we needed to fix the wine problem back home. My husband looked at it and declared that we would definitely figure something out when we got back.

I should have picked up the Wine Stack and carried it to the register, but what I didn’t realize at the time (yep, still learning after 15 years) was that his comment could be translated as follows: “I do not recognize this wine problem you describe; therefore, I shall forget this discussion in approximately 3 minutes.”

So, when I was trying to put the pantry in order last week after a round of holiday baking, I mentioned this solution we were going to figure out. The husband paused for a couple of seconds, and said, “I guess we should have bought one of those wine things while we were in New York.”

Sigh.

I ordered my Wine Stack on Sunday night, and I’m counting it as my second Do One Thing act of the year.

Day 3: I cleared off the piano bench, a hotspot for downstairs junk like books, magazines, gloves and scarves. Every house has a spot like this. Of course, now that I’ve swept it clean, I need to maintain a subresolution of keeping it clean.

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Only one New Year’s resolution here: I’m stealing an idea from Real Simple magazine to “Do One Thing” every day to organize my life and home and make my environment nicer and prettier. This seems like a much easier way to tackle the mountain of “to do” projects that seem to accumulate daily. (And I must note that I don’t know if Real Simple says to “do one thing” or “do just one thing.” I can’t find any of the pertinent emails. You get the spirit of the resolution, however.)

It’s all about the baby steps. So, today’s Do One Thing is not to organize my photo collection. Instead, I will prepare a box of old picture albums for shipment to ScanCafe to be digitized, a task I’ve been putting off for months despite the fact that I bought myself a half-price gift certificate for this project last year.

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Too late for a New Year’s resolution? Fine. I sort of started this one in November, anyway.

I’m tired of disposable bags. I have a few of those hip reusable “green” bags that I do my best to keep in the car and use, but I don’t always want to or remember to drag them around with me. What I am aiming for is to reassess how I transport purchases and take some responsibility for decreasing the distribution of single-use bags.

I realize that some bags double as marketing. You can’t walk around Bridge Street without seeing a half dozen women and teens/tweens toting those distinctive pink Victoria’s Secret bags. The statement: I buy underwear. It may be risque. Or cotton.

Several weeks ago, I took a post-Gap trip to Victoria’s Secret. On a whim, I told the cashier that I would just put my purchases in the Gap bag. She hesitated, holding my undies over the pink tissue paper that is also part of the Secret overpackaging, so I gently took them from her and put them in the first bag. Still not really happy with myself for having a plastic bag for one pair of jeans, but I’m making one change at a time.

My next move is to stop accepting bags for small purchases. I was fast enough to stop the Pier 1 guy from giving me a plastic bag for five easy-to-carry chocolate bars (fancy, on clearance) this week, but I wasn’t quick enough to keep the used bookstore lady from putting two paperbacks in an oversized plastic bag. I’ve learned that if you tell cashiers you don’t need a bag AFTER they’ve already put your purchases in one, most will remove your items from the bag and throw it away. (I won’t insist that this action is taken out of spite, but it would be if I did it.)

I can’t change the world, but I can change how I treat it, even if it’s just the smallest of actions.

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