Flexibility in decluttering

I’m still on the decluttering kick. My study is now in the awful, “where’s the phone?” stage. I can’t find anything quickly. And there’s lots of piles that are still being processed. It’s a little overwhelming at the moment… but I’m pressing on. I have to if I am going to fit another year’s worth of notes, books and activities into my study. It’s amazing how I am accumulating material – partly because the CPE program is not just practicum but also involves research, studying and writing.

Today I continued to sort. Books I read once and can pass along. Books I had to read for class, hated, and would just as soon recycle them (but that’s wasteful… so I will sell them for pittance on Half.Com.) And then there’s piles of materials that I don’t know if I would never need if/when I get accepted into Supervisor-in-Training. I’m sorting things into binders, making a promise that I will re-visit all this stuff in a year to see if I really do “need” to keep it! And if I do, then it’s a bonus.

I also found some old (technology) cell phones, their charging cables (isn’t it nice I put them together!?), and even an old flip phone case or two. These I’m dropping off at the local Verizon store so that they can recycle them and dispose of the batteries. The contents are already wiped off the memory cards, so they are ready to go. They are upwards of 8 years old. And I kept them — why?? Because I never remembered to take them and drop them off. Yup. they are in the car too.

All this meandering in musing because I realized something as I was working on the de-cluttering process. Many times I keep things because I can’t let go of the person, the memory, or the feelings they evoke. Today I unpacked a box that I had sealed up before construction started on our kitchen last fall. Not a single thing in that box was missed, needed or wanted in 9 months!  So with great courage, I sealed the box up again and carried it down to my car, lest I have second thoughts.

The second insight I had this morning was that I could be more efficient in where I how I stored things, but this also required that I be willing to move things from where they have “always” been.

Just being FLEXIBLE — being willing to re-arrange my desk — means that I will have a more functional office space. And that I might even have open flat space (aka a “desk”???) when I do want to write or study.

Just being FLEXIBLE means that I move out of old, comfortable habits into more usable, profitable ones.

Geez. You’d think this is a no-brainer. But I have been fighting myself all the way!


  1. Thanks for the tip on half.com…I too have a LOT of books I’ve read and don’t need any more that are in very good condition. I so hear you on all the decluttering…we went through all of our storage (on property and offsite) over the last two years and it felt so great to get rid of what had become, for us, junk. Amvets got an entire truckload!

    But I do need to go through my entire desk and office/guest room. I also have an 8-year-old collection of used cell phones!

    When we moved to our current home 10 years ago, we found a box that had been in the attic for ten years. We looked at it, resolved to check it ONLY to see if a long-lost collection was there, and if not to close it back up and toss it. No collection – so out it went. Haven’t missed it in the ensuing 10 years.


    • I just wonder why it is that I can’t find the things I WANT to find… like a box of coffee mugs, collected over the years. I mean, we have LOTS of mugs. There were just some faves in that box. Maybe I’ll find it yet. It feels a little bit like an archeological dig. (Hmmmm…. what’s under THAT layer??)


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