Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy, uncluttered new year!

My name is Sherryl and I'm addicted to clutter! There, I've admitted it, in public, for anyone out there to see. I don't want to have piles of stuff sitting on most available surfaces in my house, but on the days when I really take a good long look around me, what I see is clutter.

Keep in mind, I come by this addiction naturally. My dad kept just about everything, in piles, on every available surface. It's taken me most of the ten years since his death to work my way through even some of those piles. I used to refer to his room as "the great black hole." I swear, things went in there never to be seen again. Sadly, though I joked about that with him, I've discovered some of his traits are in my DNA. I occasionally walk into my room in Virginia, look around and moan, "Oh, sweet heaven, I am exactly like my father."

So today, on January 1, 2009, I am decluttering. Really. Not that many hours into the new year, I have worked my way through one pile of papers. I've paid bills, written notes, tossed papers I will never need. I've shredded stuff, put away Christmas decorations, cleaned out the refrigerator -- that's a whole other issue -- and taken a drawer from a bathroom cabinet to my car to be tossed into a dumpster. That makes two drawers now in the trunk of a car. I hope I remember, so it doesn't become yet another refuge for my clutter. I have two more drawers to toss, but first I have to get rid of the accumulated cosmetics, most of which are old enough to pose a danger to anyone daring to use them. I currently have these junk drawers in the middle of the floor, because over the summer I had both of my bathrooms renovated and this is where the contractor left the old stuff. It is also where I left it when I arrived in Florida and immediately went into a deadline frenzy...and then straight into another one.

Today, however, I have a break and a renewed determination to start the new year by tossing things. Hauling bags to the trash room fills me with a sense of accomplishment. Hopefully this enthusiasm will last long enough to make a real dent in the clutter, but I have my doubts. After all, come Monday, I am going back on deadline to finish the next book and turn it in. I'll be listening to the whispers of characters, not the shouts of my conscience. And, as we all know too well, clutter multiplies when we're not looking. Surfaces disappear. Papers vanish into piles. And the process starts all over again.

Happy new year! Whatever your resolutions, whatever your best intentions, I hope they last. But if they don't, console yourself that you're just like the rest of us.

Sherryl Woods

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Blogger still karibear said...

I have to say I live in clutter also, but it’s more a matter of trying to stuff too much stuff into too small of a space. I now have a 1,000 sf house, with all the trinkets and mementos of two previous houses, totaling 3,000 sf to find room for. Plus, when I moved here, my sister sent me a trailer load of furniture that came from our mother’s house, so that takes up the entire living room - it looks like a furniture warehouse. I know eventually it will all fit, somehow, but so many things have to be moved and set up in sequence, it’s just plain not funny. My current biggest problem is having a dead refrigerator in the middle of my [small] kitchen - I haven’t yet been able to find someone who can or will dismantle it to get it outside the door and take it to the dump. Once that’s done, several other things will become possible. I hope.

January 2, 2009 4:39 PM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

That plaintive little tag at the end of your post -- I hope -- made me smile. I do a lot of hoping, too, but I've discovered that the only way to actually make anything move is to get ruthless and toss it almost without thinking. I'm sure I've thrown out things that "might" be valuable, "might" make me regret it one day, but I'm conming to love the certainty of it being GONE!

January 4, 2009 6:30 AM  

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