Monday, August 17, 2009
Getting Rid of The Clutter
I must be doing something wrong. I subscribe to Woman's Day and Better Homes and Gardens. I also have shared a subscription to People Magazine with a co-worker for about 20 years now. Every year when she gets the renewal notice, she asks "how many years should we renew for?" and I always give her the same answer: "one - who knows where we'll be next year...." And then a year passes by and we're doing the same thing.
But I digress. Maybe that's part of my problem, is that I digress too much. So in addition to my own magazines, Sharon gives me all her old issues of Family Circle, Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal. They are piled high on my coffee table. Very high.
Now what do all of these magazines feature? Well, in addition to recipes that are dangerous to me, cause I cut them out and stick them in a pile to later be filed, and coupons (same thing), they all feature articles on how to get organized. If you judged me by how many of those articles I have read in my lifetime, you would think I was the most organized, clutter-free person on earth. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
Tomorrow night our friend Jim is coming over to bring dinner. No special occasion; he comes for dinner occasionally, and at his request we have grilled cheese, tomato soup, some kind of potato, and a nice dessert. Well this time, he insisted on bringing the entire dinner, including dessert. So what does this mean to me? It means I have absolutely no obligations, other than to clear the clutter off the table. Uh, I mean tables. The kitchen is worse than the dining room.
I have been working on that for the last hour, and I am exhausted.
So how did I get so out-of-control? Well, I decided to analyze my piles. I think the #1 problem is recipes. I am so ambitious when it comes to recipes, that I cut out hundreds a year. I have a very organized notebook, with sections for meats, veggies, etc., that I tape the recipes in. The notebook is huge and the loose recipes far outweigh the ones in the organized notebook. What else? Retail coupons, restaurant coupons, and the neighborhood books of coupons. Now, if this wasn't plentiful enough, I have to thank David's friend Jeff Miller for our multiplying mail. Jeff, you see, subscribed to Sports Illustrated. He was having trouble reading the print, so he sent a change of address to the magazine, changing his address to our address. In other words, he was giving David his Sports Illustrated. Do you know how much mail we get now addressed to Jeff Miller? Sports Illustrated must make a fortune selling Jeff's name. At first I was complaining, but then we started getting "welcome to the neighborhood, Mr. Miller!" offers. Nice offers. Like half price coupons to nearby restaurants. We just have to pretend we are Jeff Miller cause half the offers have Jeff's name on the coupon itself.
What else? Oh yeah, Sharon's magazines. Every time we see each other, we do an exchange. Sharon, my dear friend, I am so out of control, and I swear I'm gonna read those 5 year old magazines, cause I just can't bring myself to throw them away, but they are largely responsible for my problem!
And the I-will-read-someday magazines like the Costco Connection. There's good stuff in there, especially the book reviews. Parade Magazines that separate themselves from the Plain Dealer every Sunday and end up in my clutter pile. Oh, and the Ohio Farm Bureau Magazine - I had to join the OFB to get a discount on my car and auto insurance, which is thru Nationwide. I have no idea what I would find in that magazine that would interest me, but I read it once and I actually liked it!
So there you have it. If I just had more hours in the day, I could work my way through the clutter and get a ton of reading done. Then again, I sadly think of my mother (Lenore) and father (Art) arguing over Art's clutter. Art worked as an engineer.
Lenore: "Art, get rid of the electronic magazines."
Art: "I will read them."
Lenore: "You will never read them. You have been accumulating them for years."
Art: "I will read them someday."
Sadly Art lost his vision before he could get to those magazines. I wonder if Lenore ever got rid of them.
I fear we will end up doing what we always do - throw all the clutter in a box.....never to be looked at again. I am bad.