Our home improvement works continues again today. The last piece of the ancient carpet is gone and even the bare cement seems nicer than what was here. It is odd how this New Year has brought about a huge desire to clean up, clear out and reset our spaces after all this time fo simply living here.
Now that all the carpet is gone, it was time to deal with an even more unpleasant task, though. Sorting through all the junk we have collected on our desk and in drawers so we can bring a bit of order back into our lives. I made a promise to myself that I would only bring back into the office those things that I actually use regular. This means a lot of boxes and stacks need to be processed in order to cull the what from the chaff. (It’s a farm term, I’ll wait while you look it up)
Sorting means more boxes and bags and I found myself with quite a variety of ways to processing things.
First there are boxes for those items that should be retained, but don’t need to be on the desk or near it. For me, these included:
- Computer Equipment, cables, hard drives, etc
- Audio and Video equipment and cables
- Power strips and extension cords
Thankfully, the decisions about what to place in these boxes is pretty easy. Anything that is too old or parts for something we don’t own anymore are easily culled. I have an entire box of old telephone equipment and cables ready to go to ewaste since we don’t have a land line anymore and I had way to much of it anyway.
If something isn’t useful, though, there are another 3 ways it can go.
- Give away
I am finding that like most folks, there is a lot of cruft that has built up over the years. Little things that got dropped in a drawer and were never seen (or needed) again. These are the easy things to get rid of. They go into the trash or, hopefully, off to recycling. Around here we have lots of electronics and other things considered ewaste, so they go into a separate box for that different dropoff site. Finally there is one, much smaller box, to be sent to charity. I try to only include truly useful items in this box. There is no sense in passing our trash onto someone else when it should more likely just be discarded.
The hardest part of this sorting process is mental, though.You come across so much stuff that used to interest you greatly, but now you have either lost interest or don’t have enough time to pursue it. I have found art supplies, robot parts, CDs I no longer play and a host of other useful, but unused items. Each one gives a little pang to heart and mind as I sort it out. “Better that someone else actually use it”, I think to myself as I toss it into the giveaway box. Sometimes the only thought is “get rid of it!” After about 4 hours of this, I had had enough. One can only dig through the past for so long before it gets a bit overwhelming.
Life generates memories but it also create a lot of detritus that hands around long after it has ceased to be useful. Today I cleaned out 4 bins and 6 drawers of a storage cabinet, but I still have a way to go. I can think of at least 3 boxes more that need to be tackled and then an round of organizing in the garage. Still, despite the angst, I am seeing progress and it helps to counteract the regret of things left undone, worn out or unneeded. If we keep this up for another few weeks, I think we might have put ourselves back on a good footing for the next 27 years of marriage ahead.
Previously on End of the Day:
- How weird is your father? – End of the Day for January 24, 2014
- Sometimes you just have to make cookies – End of the Day for January 23, 2014
- Energy Level – End of the Day for January 22, 2014
- Transition without a destination – End of the Day for January 21, 2014
- Haunting the sales racks — End of the Day for January 20, 2014
- Sometimes you have to just keep swimming – End of the Day for January 19, 2014
- Anxiety – End of the Day for January 18, 2014
- Changes in the office – End of the Day for January 17, 2014
- Old and new in my world – End of the Day for January 16, 2014
- It’s an education thing – End of the Day for January 15, 2014
- The subcultures of Los Angeles — End of the Day for January 14, 2014
- What is this outdoors of which you speak? — End of the Day for January 13, 2014
- Ups and downs – End of the Day for January 12, 2014
- Lack of motivation and new food in the New Year – End of the Day for January 11, 2014
- Changes you must simply accept – End of the Day for January 10, 2014
- Speaking, Cooking and Teaching — End of the Day for January 9, 2014
- The Kids are Alright – End of the day for January 8, 2014
- Technology, high-tech, high-touch and balance – End of the Day for January 7, 2014
- An afternoon in Middle Earth and diving back into the school and work year — End of the Day for January 6, 2014
- In the neighborhood — End of the Day for January 5, 2014
- Having friends over for dinner – End of the Day for January 4, 2014`
- The theater is about more than just theater — End of the Day for January 3, 2014
- Trying everything and anything – End of the Day for January 2, 2014
- End of the Day for January 1, 2014