Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
I used to be an editor, which invariably involves reading and rereading the same material. As far as I can tell, the process I used was similar to what most editors use. First I would read through the material, changing any obvious mistakes, but my larger goal was simply to familiarize myself with the material. Next, I would read it through looking for content discrepancies and sentences, or even whole paragraphs, that should be moved around or removed. The next time through, I would search out formatting errors, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. Last, I would print the document and read it on paper, giving it a final check. If I found more than one or two mistakes, I would print it again, and keep at it until I found no errors.
Decluttering is no different than editing. You begin by getting rid of the really obvious stuff – a huge, uncomfortable, and ugly chair that you’ve always hated, the big mixer you don’t like, the vacuum cleaner your honey said he would fix but never did. But you have to keep going round and round to find everything that should be winnowed. Perhaps we become more ruthless the more we declutter, but perhaps it’s just that when the really obvious things are gone, you can now truly see what else might also be unnecessary.
Recently, I was struggling with a kitchen closet. It holds my small appliances, Dan’s “secret” stash of chips and hot sauce, any extra cases of soda or beer, the step stool, a broom and dust pan, a dust mop and microfiber covers, a mop, and a large plastic bag for plastic recycling. (I don’t accept plastic bags at the store but still accumulate bread wrappers, shrink wrap, etc.)
There’s enough room in the closet for all of these things, but it’s not working. The brooms and mop tend to fall out on me, and the appliances are more jumbled than I would like.
First I looked at the big picture. Was there anything in here that simply did not belong? Yes, the extra batteries that my husband had stored on an upper shelf. Then I thought about each of the small appliances. Any that could go? Yes, an ice cream ball, a box of rock salt, an ice shaver, and 3 bottles of snow cone syrup. I took those out and tidied up what was left. That helped with the organization, but the mops and brooms were still in the way. I left them there to think about.
Today I realized that although the idea of storing them in this closet is a good one, the space and ease of access is not good. I’m going to put a couple of hooks on the back wall of the laundry room and move them. Even though I don’t have the hooks, I went ahead and moved the brooms and mop, so I can confirm that this really will be a benefit. Then, in a couple of days, I will stand back from the kitchen closet, look again, and ask, is there anything else in here that needs editing?
Item 349 of 365 less things
5 Things I am grateful for today
- Scones – They are so nice with jam and cream and so easy to make. There is a batch in the oven right now and I am going to have one soon with a cup of coffee while they are still piping hot.
- Laughter – You know the tears rolling down your cheeks kind. Liam and I are looking at some funny web sites and trying to relate what we are seeing and we are having trouble with talking between the laughter. Check out failblog.
- When I receive a cute Christmas card that has a great design I can reproduce myself next year.
- Good design – I have a coffee grinder whose grinding bowl comes off so it can be easily be washed. If that isn’t smart enough – The designer had the foresight to make drain holes where the mechanism is on the underside so that when it goes in the dishwasher the water drains out. Brilliant!
- Actually having my blog post ready to publish before dinner.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.