Saturday, May 15, 2010

Junk Dragons

I have run into a stuck place in my decluttering (besides sheer number of books, a hereditary characteristic which I will have to tackle separately).

It's the "junk drawer" syndrome. But in my home it's not just a drawer -- it's about 25% of every closet.

It's partly paper, and partly "everything-else-under-the-sun". I've admitted already how easily I get confused by "stuff". Well, with the junk box/drawer/closet I can spend almost an hour going through a drawer or box and the only real progress I have to show for it is about five piles of vaguely different categories that I still have no idea what to do with.

Part of the problem is decisions -- in a given box of junk there are usually 2 indispensable gems (like that missing part of X, or an address I really need) -- about a dozen Very Good things (childhood pictures, or game pieces, or old crafts or writings) and then a few generally useless things that somehow are still quite difficult to dispose of (5 index cards, a half-pack of cards).

Representative pictures follow:

School papers from last year:
Old mail -- anything from Christmas cards to therapy reports.

The top layer of a junk box.
Some ineffective piles after I sorted through one box.


I suppose I know what I have to do, really. Most of these things haven't been seen or needed for at least a year. I need to make up a few essential categories:

  • memorabilia
  • business things, records
  • indispensable missing parts
  • judgment calls
  • things that are in the wrong place

and then junk everything else.


I contained the mess in the closet. It doesn't look very pretty, but it's not as bad as it looks. Four of those crates are things I'm in the process of selling or giving away. Three of the crates are empty and I am just stacking them there until I decide if I need them anymore. So really, there's just one box that contains things I am actually storing (old empty binders).

The black wire box is my post office box with all the supplies for mailing.

Here is the paper from last year's school, ready to go through the next time I have some energy.

Here's another trash bag and some things to give away (and in the background, some more school stuff to go through this summer)

My bag total is now 70 since I began! (Update -- 72 -- after I went through that box of school stuff and another pile in my closet as well).

I forgot to take a picture, but I brought a load of office supplies downstairs to my supply closet. That's my next Dragon to tackle -- the supply closet. Right now it's stuffed to bursting with:

  • Games
  • Art Supplies
  • Office supplies
It's progress because it used to take TWO closets to contain all those things, plus a trunk.... but it still is a mess right now that needs to be dealt with!

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