Some Wednesdays I feel very presumptuous to think I have a tip worth your time to read; but then I remember the good tips I’ve gotten over the internet through the years and I feel obliged to reciprocate – just in case. It’s a conundrum to be sure.
For instance, one tip I read in a book years ago warned that storing “stuff” was a luxury few could afford, what with it costing approximately $80-$125 per square foot to build a new home and about $100 per square foot to add on to a home. The author suggested we consider three things when deciding whether or not to keep an item:
1. Would I crawl through a spider infested hole to retrieve this item?
2. Would I move the item to another location?
3. Do I love this item? Do I have another one of this item that is better? Have I used this item in the past year? Does this item have sentimental value to me? Is there someone I love who would love this item more than I do? Does this item make my life better? Can I picture a time or place when I might need this item? Would I even remember I had this item or know where to find this item if I ever needed it?
If your answers are “no” to the above questions, it’s a dead-giveaway. Literally. The item goes out the door. Deciding what to toss may be painful at first, but you will find yourself feeling better and better as you rid yourself of unnecessary clutter.
A couple of days ago Calvin and I had this conversation and I thought of those very useful sorting tips:
Calvin said, “Do you ever get overwhelmed?”
I laughed, and because I wasn’t facing him, I asked, “Are you teasing?”
He said, “No, I’m serious.”
I said, “You’re the first person to know I get overwhelmed. You watch me dig deeper and warn me when it’s time to stop.”
He said, “I’m overwhelmed.” He paused for a bit and continued, “My shop overwhelms me.”
Truth be told, his shop overwhelms me. A creative genius doesn’t necessarily come with the tidy gene. There have been several projects come out of that shop that have left their trace.
Calvin said, “I still have boxes from
I haven’t unpacked.” Idaho
I asked, “What’s in them? Do you even remember?”
I helpfully suggested, “Then don’t open them. Don’t look. Just get rid of them. Thirteen years of not needing it means it’s not a necessity and it can’t be that important.”
But then we both remembered one important thing that is down in the bottom of one of those boxes. Abe’s leather chaps. Calvin bought them for him when Abe was only three or four years old. In order to find those little chaps one of us has to go through the boxes. The logical choice would be me, but I don’t want to be the logical choice because of thirteen years of spiders and mice nests. But to send Calvin looking through those boxes is completely illogical because he might close them up again and save them for later.
Restoring logic, I suggested, “How about we rent a big dumpster. Remember when we rented that one before we moved to
to help you sort through the stuff in your shop?” Washington
A big dumpster is great incentive and helps you from feeling overwhelmed because it’s just waiting to be filled with your stuff.
I continued, “I’ll help you find the chaps and then we’ll dump the rest. And while we’re at it, we’re dumping stuff from the lean to. It does not make sense the lawnmower sits in the weather while old buckets and broken shovels are protected from the snow.”
I can hardly wait for that dumpster to get here. I inherited the tidy gene, not the incredible-with-your-hands gene and I need that shop back in working order, because I’d really, really, really like Calvin to attempt making a grandfather clock.