Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Clutter Busters

2010. Been here 20 years! I'm looking around my place with "new eyes." I've done a lot of fixing and sprucing over the years, but I'm waking up the rooms by de-cluttering and freshening up.

I had a shelf-less armoire tucked into the corner of my home office and it was filled with linens, blankets and old towels. I hadn't seen or used the ones toward the bottom in years. I have a different sized bed, now. Purge alert! I cut the towels into rags for the house and car and I made room on a closet shelf for the linens I actually use. I put an extra comforter, blankets and pillows in an extra large Space Bag, vacuumed out the air and vwah-lah, I stashed it under my bed!

Time to pay the armoire forward--I found it on the street 15 years ago and refurbished it for about $20. Within a few minutes of putting it out with an "I'm Free" sign, a construction worker was looking it over. He said he does light carpentry, and would build the shelves. I was impressed that he carried it off---I had to roll it home years ago, screeching along on city blocks! I got my money's worth and he's happy to give his "street find" a new life.

I used the older sheets as dropcloths and to protect the furniture I couldn't move very far when I painted the living room last weekend. I can only do so much. The duvet and sham covers were in good shape so those went to the Salvation Army.

I took a good look at the bookshelves and culled 50 books that I've already read or referred to (old book club selections, a Spanish Dictionary, Golf Quotations, All Marketers are Liars, etc...) and will never look at again. I've been using my library card rather than buying books on Amazon.com. I'm donating the books to the Locust Valley Library this weekend. I'll hang onto a freebie I picked up years ago in the US Airways Shuttle terminal, as it's still quite relevant: "A Survival Guide to the Stress of Organizational Change."

There were a few stacks of magazines in the den, my room, the living room and my office.

All together, there are over 100. Didn't seem so bad when they were scattered!  I subscribe to 2 or 3, and the rest are 'hammy downs' from friends. Some that I'd stashed in the bookcase dated from 2000. Those are mostly 'cooking for the holidays' issues, which are comforting to look at. But not if I haven't done so for 10 years.

Every few nights, during this arctic blast, I've lit a fire, popped in a CD and I get thru about 10 issues. I'm snipping out only the most enticing pix and recipes...for my kitchen and home inspiration files.

The rest goes out for recycling!

Prepping for my 2009 taxes, I gave the shredder a good workout on old bank statements and extraneous papers and proxies from my filing cabinet. I've opted to get them online now...so hopefully the worldwide data base holds up. I guess these are resolutions of a sort, but I prefer to give in to the urge to purge, when it strikes. Otherwise the list might be too daunting!

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