Posted by: drrozkaplan | January 7, 2011

The Decluttering Project – Day 7

Still working on my environment.  It’s become more than housecleaning, though.  I think I mentioned before that I used to go into cleaning frenzies for a day or two, get things looking better and a little more organized in my house, but exhaust myself in the process and then just fall back into the same pattern of letting everything go back to disarray and have to do it all over again.  Sort of like crash dieting and then gaining the weight back.   In truth, it is the same thing to clear things out and then just reaccumulate.

So this time, I’m trying to do it differently.  It’s a much slower process, just a little bit each day, and a much more thoughtful process of what needs to go, what needs to stay, what needs to be repaired or refurbished or replaced.  And in doing so, I am feeling lighter, as though I actually am losing a sort of weight.  This process is helping me clear my head a lot; I’m figuring things out and worrying less.  I think it’s even helped my chronic headaches over the last few days!

Today I had the day off from work, so I took care of a couple of kitchen drawers and cabinets.  I disposed of a truly disgusting broiler pan and two cookie sheets that have seen better days.  I realized that it was not my imagination that the can opener was missing- I looked in every drawer and cabinet, and it really HAS disappeared.  It is odd, and I could think that I’m losing my mind or that a burglar was in the house and took only the can opener, but I choose to believe that it is more likely that my older adolescent has been using it as a bottle opener and it has been swallowed into the dark cave of his room, or that it broke and someone threw it away and forgot to tell me.  In any case, the pans and can opener had to be replaced, so I took a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond (with all the coupons I’ve been saving up for such an event).  I cleaned my oven and cleared out the drawers that hold all the odd cooking items, like the garlic press and the rolling pin.  I found out I have a lot of cooking utensils I haven’t used because I didn’t know they were there.

Tonight I worked on a much more stressful cleanup- that of my laptop computer.  I have not cleaned up my files in a very long time, and there were dozens of files on the desktop, which makes it run slow.  I started moving files and found myself deleting tremendous amounts of junk left over from the last several years.  Somehow, multiple copies of the same files had found their way into multiple folder, and my data was just in a general state of disarray.  In the midst of trying to organize my powerpoint presentations, my husband came in, and decided to help me move them all into a new folder.  He is a true computer geek, but somehow, his plan failed, and the files were all accidentally deleted.  No problem, because a true geek can alway retrieve them; we have ‘Time Capsule’, a nice little backup feature of our Mac network, which allowed us to go back to right before the accident and retrieve the powerpoints.  The mission was accomplished, though with a little more upset than we’d hoped.  I still have a lot of work to do to clean up the computer, but I see the direction for organization and control.  And I found a couple dozen writing projects that have been started and not finished, so I can start looking through them and deciding what’s worth salvaging.

Funny thing is that as I am working through all my messes, other family members are following suit.  We haven’t really talked about it, and I’m being really low key- I haven’t even mentioned what I’m doing, but of course, people are noticing.  Suddenly, my daughter is cleaning out some of her drawers and making lists of things she needs to get done.  My husband is recycling some of his magazines and keeping his desk clearer.  I heard the paper shredder running for a long time the other day.  My son, well, he is traveling right now, and frankly, I am afraid to enter his room.  I don’t think he’s ready for a decluttering experience yet.

I’ll keep you posted.  Even though this is work, I am finding it freeing.  I’m not sure yet where it ends.



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