More Thoughts on Decluttering

My desk

Saturday I posted about my six-week mission to make room in my study for the quilting machine that is coming the day after tomorrow. (More about that soon.) I can’t believe I still have more to say about the process of tidying.

One of the side benefits of decluttering is finding things that have long been lost. My poor desk was so buried in stuff that when I cleaned it off I found SIX pairs of reading glasses that I have been missing.

In various bookshelves, drawers, and boxes I found I had duplicates of seven books. Some were books I frequently reread and was frustrated that I couldn’t find so I bought another copy. (I thought I’d lent them out to friends who thoughtlessly neglected to return them. Sorry I assumed the worst of y’all.) Others were books I knew I wanted to read but forgot that I had already bought because I couldn’t see them anywhere. Oh well. Excess copies have since been donated to the Little Free Library or to Goodwill.

Another book I finally found was Hal Leonard Ukulele Method and Chord Book that I bought when I was still teaching, because I had a bunch of ukuleles in my classroom and thought it would be fun to teach my students to play them—but I never got around to learning. More than a year ago, my daughter gave me a ukulele and I just could not find that book though I tried really hard a number of times.

I also found my Bible journal that I have been looking for diligently for months.

And my sandpaper block, which I use to clean off my tortillons. The craft stores don’t sell single ones (you have to buy an assortment of art tools), and I always forget when I go to the art store.

I also found a short paper I wrote in grad school, which I realize would make a great blog post. That will appear soon.

When I started my blogging break, my friend, blogger Gwen Lanning (aka Textile Ranger), encouraged me by saying “. . . think of all the new blogging ideas you will get as you sort all your stuff.” And she’s right. I have ideas for two more blog posts: about pivots; and about the meditative quality of walking in nature. So yes, Gwen, you were so right.

If you are putting off a major overhaul of a room or a closet, I advise you to give yourself a break from other obligations (Delegate like a boss! Or just give something up temporarily.) and just forge ahead. It may take longer than you think, or you may surprise yourself and complete it in a day or two. But either way, when you’re done, your quality of life will be improved. It’s worth the effort.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

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