I have been gone for a while and I’ve missed being here to share. First, it was for other writing deadlines, and then I was busy cleaning the corners of my Happy Room, which is where pictures of my family surround me as I sew, use a knitting machine, quilt, or write. I would say I had managed to get about 75% of the room in good order until we tackled a family project. To save money my husband and I planned to move everything out of the storage unit we’ve had for years, and then sell or throw away what we didn’t need.
We cleared out the garage first. Oh, the things we had forgotten about – stories I had written years ago and boxes of pictures that needed framing. Looking through pictures was a journey into the last twenty-five years!
After moving all our treasures from the storage unit into the empty garage, a few knick-knacks and a few boxes of my daughter’s treasured schoolwork silently crept into the Happy Room. A little here and a little there. In a few hours, my Happy Room became the new Messy Room.
Alas! This new project took a lot of time and while I worked, the paper stacks built up all around me, and the old holiday greeting cards still had nowhere to go. I dug into my memory bank for the rules to use to cut clutter. I switched from my former sentimental personality to one of maturity. I reluctantly became the person who knows how to put the distance between sentiment and uncluttered comfort. I read a card for the last time and gently dropped the card in the trash basket. I found this easy to do when I stared at the signature and could not t remember who the person was that sent me the card. Oh dear, does it have to take old age and a fading memory to be effective like this?
After six hours of sneezing from the dust, laughing aloud at silly stories written years ago, and blushing at forgotten love letters I wrote to my husband, I made some deliberate decisions. I focused on which ten items would leave the room first, and where they would go. When I finished with these ten items, I came back and chose ten more. Then I stepped back and looked at the difference. The results spurred me to do ten more items. I finally found the method that made my workday cleaning corners a productive one.
Sometimes cleaning my corners gets to be so much fun I just want to keep working through the night, but dinnertime demands a halt. The last thing I do to recapture my Happy Room is to visualize what I want it to look like, and that picture gets me ready for the next day.
Have you been cleaning corners lately?