What do you get with an email address and public Internet presence? Junk mail! It relentlessly finds its way through cyberspace to unwitting recipients. However, two digital offenders recently caught my interest, and prompted a couple of good ideas and a simple approach toward achieving an uncluttered life. Accomplishing big household clean up tasks can be a daunting challenge when you have lupus and its physical limitations.
I have two unlikely new junk mail “friends,” Goodwill Industries and Big Brothers & Big Sisters of America.
After my last two yard sales, the Big “Siblings” faithfully came to remove remnants the next day. Goodwill Industries also recently resumed picking up donations. For some time, I have visited their websites to schedule pick ups after every yard sale.
The down side was that junk mail started rolling in from both charities. At first, I was mildly annoyed to get the unwanted “correspondence,” but had a sudden change of heart, and now welcome their auto-generated greetings.
Eventually their junk mail email helped germinate a couple of promising ideas.
Because my lupus makes me prone to severe exhaustion, I now (grudgingly) admit I am not super woman. Long, extended days of reorganizing and deep closet cleaning just never happen like they did when I was younger and stronger. There is simply not enough “gas” in my tank to do major projects on a weekend.
My organization and household clean up goals cannot be done in one day! Lupus fatigue and physical limitations force me to pace myself to avoid exhaustion and lupus flares.
My first good idea: Do mini clean ups, one closet, drawer or shelf at a time. Fill one box, put it outside and done!
My second good idea: Go ahead and schedule the next pick up right away after a donation. Pile up the boxes over the next few weeks until the pick up day. Then, do it all over again.
So, I did. After selecting a good date on my calendar about six weeks out, I told everyone in the family they could put stuff outside in my stack too. Then, I started filling empty boxes, one box and one item at a time.
So, when I had something in my hands that we no longer wanted or needed, it went into the waiting box. Soon, the first box was full, and it went out on the porch to wait. Next, I got out another empty box to begin to fill it. I found that getting myself into motion was the hardest part, but once I started this way, it got easier.
Once I got my ideas and plan in motion, I have stayed in clean out mode. Also, I am giving a lot more thought about what things I really do and don’t need. It is helping change the way I think about “stuff.”
My mother-in-law even got into the action and sent over some boxes for the pick up. My next scheduled pick up is later this week, and my stack of boxes on the front porch is steadily growing.
Here is an example. Yesterday, after doing laundry, the growing pile on the porch inspired me to tackle my dresser. I emptied all the drawers onto my bed, and thoughtfully dug through the pile, boxing up all the old, out-of-style and ill-fitting stuff. I only put half of the clothes back into the dresser — with room to neatly organize it.
Two boxes of used clothing went outside before putting the clean laundry away. Now, my drawers are no longer over-stuffed, and everything that is left in my dresser fits, is in excellent condition, and is what I like.
Everything else was mercilessly tossed into the 2 boxes. Now, my growing box count in the porch is six! I might even fill a couple more boxes before the truck comes on Friday.
I plan to continue scheduling successive donations, several weeks apart. It is so much easier to handle than a big cleanup, it contributes to worthy charitable causes, and simplifies my life. Less clutter means less frustration, less to stuff to clean around and yields a deep sense of satisfaction. It is very, very therapeutic!
Perhaps the hall closet will be my next target. After all, less is more, isn’t it?