Even if there is still a wicked lot of snow on the ground all through the month of March we’ve decided spring is in the air. On Fridays this month the Wickeds are celebrating spring by talking spring cleaning, for the home for the body and for the mind.
Jessie: I keep a bag in my laundry room for clothing to donate. Every few weeks when things come out of the wash I give them a once-over and decide if they are outgrown, unloved etc… When the bag is full we take it to a donation site.
Sherry: That is a great idea, Jessie. I recently bought an O magazine with a banner De-Clutter Your Life 2014 across it. It’s been cluttering up an end table for about four weeks now. I might not be the best one to talk about how to de-clutter.
Julie: I so wish I had better systems in place. Working on it. I am really, really trying to keep table tops clean, but it is a never ending battle. This week I have been going through a cabinet a day, tossing, sorting, and purging. And my best clutter busting tip was to get electronic versions of the Boston Globe and New York Times, and some of my magazines.
Edith: Countertops are tough. When the junk mail comes, mostly charity appeals, I tear the envelope in half through the name and address and pitch it and the catalogs directly into the recycling bin. I know I should sign up for no catalogs but that’s just one more thing to do. We have a fun little vertical file thing for the bills (which I still pay with a paper check and a postage stamp!). The two daily newspapers (also paper) go into the recyling every night. But I am terrible at cleaning out things like desk drawers. Never get to it.
Liz: I usually try to deal with mail right away, but sometimes that just means moving it to a different place and piling it up. As for clothes to donate, I usually have a bag going of things to ditch and add to it as often as I can. Every now and then I get the overwhelming urge to clean out a drawer, especially when I’m looking for something and it’s too cluttered to find it. But really, I let things pile up way too long and then go on a major clean out/clean up expedition.
Barb: I’ve gotten better and better about clutter as I’ve gotten older. My mother was the opposite of a hoarder (I was constantly walking into her house going, “Where is…?) and having emptied two houses of hers, even her leanish life was so full of stuff. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, has heavy hoarding tendencies. Not like the TV show, but just a step down. Bill and I have fought I constant rear guard action against her piles and piles of stuff and it has not only cured me, it has pretty much assured I will never get any pleasure out of…stuff.
Sherry, when my daughter worked for O Magazine, I got to attend O University and saw Peter Walsh, Oprah’s organizational guy speak. I thought it would be an interesting talk about closets, but it was really about life. His point: Whether you are holding onto stuff because you might need it in the future, or because it reminds you of something in the past, you’re not living in the now. I have tried to take that to heart.
Readers, do you have any clutter busting tips to share?
Books, I find it hard to get rid of books. So when I win a book I donate it to the library or the Friends of the Library for their book sale. After I read it. I still have many books here.
I agree on the books. I keep going through my shelves, and thinking about the ones I want to keep. And my Kindle helps a lot.
I’m curious about Edith’s comment regarding signing up for no catalogs. Is ther a way to accomplish stopping mail analogs like a “do not call” list? I know the catalog companies ignore any request to get them stopped. And, the post office will deliver a banana peel even if ask them not to. I’ve tried the contact the company customer service, parent company by phone, email & mailing a letter & the address label. Some may stop for a short time but as soon as I place anew order they start up again! Sorry, that turned into a rant.
Declutter? I’m supposed to do that, too? Um….
I signed up for no catalogs. It’s a tedious process, because you have to fill in all kinds of code numbers, some of which are difficult to locate or are nonexistent, and answer questions for each catalog. And it didn’t work. Some, like L.L. Bean, were very good about stopping, while others ignored it. Almost all of them started sending catalogs again if I ordered something or just checked their webpage, even though one of the questions most wanted you to answer was why you want to stop the catalogs. One of the options you can check is you like to order from them, but you would rather shop online.
Only one, The Vermont Country Store, stopped sending catalogs completely, no matter what I did. My solution now is to be very organized about taking care of catalogs and junk mail. When I get home from the mailbox, I enter through the garage and rip the labels off the large items. Kendall drops the catalogs and newsprint items in the recycling bin. I put the small items in the shredder to bag later for recycling. If I do it right away it works. If I don’t it only takes a couple of days to be buried in junk. I’m not a naturally organized person, but I hate being buried in junk.
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