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  • Getting Started: Collecting vs Cleaning (a long whine)

    I'm noting an interesting pattern as I progress through my initial collecting. How much of what I'm doing is collecting and how much is cleaning?

    I had three big boxes of "amorphous stuff" near my desk. It was all stuff I'll deal with some day, stuff that needs to be put away, stuff I want to look at some day, etc.

    So...today I'm doing my first collection and those boxes are part of the process, right?

    What do I find in these boxes? File folders of school records that should be in my alphabetical file. Lipstick. Partially filled steno pads. Magazines I'd grabbed and put in my briefcase to read, then pulled out (unread) and tossed into the "someday" box. Another magazine. A quarter. Some CD cases that don't have CDs in them. A book or 12 that I'd pulled out for reference on project then threw in the closest box when a more important project arose and the old project got pushed into the someday/maybe place. Notes from the health insurance company saying what they paid when that I don't really have a file for, but don't feel I should toss. A pair of fur ear muffs. Some mints.

    I mean, really, do I really want to move that lipstick from the old box to the new, bigger, "in box" or do I want to just go put the lipstick away? Oh, but wait. The reason the lipstick was there was because it was a great color and I threw it in my briefcase one day so I'd remember to go pick up the same color. Sigh.

    I'm collecting, but I'm not sure I'm doing anything but moving stuff around and striking fear into the hearts of my husband and dogs.

    I'm also not sure my office is big enough to hold all the stuff I'm collecting. And I'm really not sure I have the strength to process all this stuff once I finish collecting it (which is probably why it was stuck in a box somewhere to start with).

    OK, I'll stop whining now and go back to collecting. But I'll probably have to go out and buy another big plastic box.

  • #2
    Don't be intimidated. You don't have to process everything at once. Even just 30-60 minutes can be a big help.

    And right now, *all* you're doing is collecting. If you stop to process stuff, you'll get sidetracked and the collecting step will never get done.

    If it were me, I'd write a note that says "Buy wild cranberry lipstick," throw that in the new box, and put the lipstick away. But that's at least in part to avoid getting wild cranberry lipstick all over the library books that would also be in the box...

    Good luck!

    Katherine

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    • #3
      me again...seems like we have some of the same concerns!

      Maybe "Decluttering" can be its own Project? Just assign the weird stuff to "Decluttering"! You'll process it when you're doing the Decluttering project.

      For help in decluttering, please visit another forum I haunt under a slightly different moniker:

      www.organizedhome.com

      Good luck; the collecting is really big...I've been having to parcel mine out via Word...

      Cynthia

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      • #4
        Update

        Here's an update...it is several hours later and I seem to have broken through.

        I think that some of the initial stuff I had to get out of the way was causing the stress. Once I got some of the basic stuff thrown in the huge basket, things started to free up.

        After writing that note, I went back to read David's book on collecting. Then I made a simple list of the "surfaces" in my office, i.e., desk, drawers, bookshelves, closet, etc. Then I started doing a clockwise circle of each surface, touching each item and asking the questions listed in David's book. (And I sent my DH out to buy me another big plastic bucket )

        Somehow, it felt ok. I purged lots of books, which freed up bookshelves, which will help me empty the box of books that don't have a home, etc.

        Now I'm sitting here and the office is done. (Well, except the closet--there's nothing important in there and nothing screaming at me. I'll throw in a note "process closet" into the inbox.)

        Now... on to the dining room, kitchen, family room, and bedroom--none of those are as bad as the office was. (And we'll just skip the sewing room for now..it will just get a "process sewing room" card thrown in the box to do when I make up another 2-day block of time).

        Oh my--I can't forget to process the CAR too!!!

        Thanks for listening.

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        • #5
          Re: Update

          Originally posted by K2Karen
          Here's an update...it is several hours later and I seem to have broken through.
          Hi K2Karen,
          I think your beginners stories and questions remind many of us to what has happened to ourselfs:

          -A mountain of stuff.
          -Climbing, climbing, climbing ... is there an end?
          -Climbing ...
          -Oh there is the top, I see it, .... I reach it.
          -Oh I see other mountains around me (closet, car ...).
          -If I manage to climb one mountain, I am able to climb many mountains!
          -relaxation

          Thanks for sharing

          Yours
          Alexander

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          • #6
            Originally posted by K2Karen
            After writing that note, I went back to read David's book on collecting. Then I made a simple list of the "surfaces" in my office, i.e., desk, drawers, bookshelves, closet, etc. Then I started doing a clockwise circle of each surface, touching each item and asking the questions listed in David's book. (And I sent my DH out to buy me another big plastic bucket )
            I think this is what I need to do to break up all this mess I have.

            So, did you add them physically to a bucket and put a paper reminder in your in-box? Or did you just process them?

            I need to go back and re-read the collection part again, I guess.

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