Hauling it out!

Having decided that I am ready to get rid of unwanted and unneeded stuff in my life, I have tackled a number of decluttering projects lately.

For one thing, I have ditched nearly all the partial desserts from the fridge.  It is a sad fact that desserts get made in a certain size, and when there are only three of you, you simply don’t eat it all.  Then it sits.  And I feel guilty.  And I end up eating it because no one else does, but I am through with that!  I saved the last five bird’s nest cookies and five oreo balls for me, I confirmed that Scott will indeed eat the last piece of apple pie tonight, and I threw all the rest of it out!

This, on the heels of the great game attack.  It was family night a few nights ago, and it was my turn to choose what we’d play.  I’m really working hard to convert Andrew into an eager game-player, so I want to keep trying different games with him.  I chose dominoes.  We have two sets of dominoes:  a set of double nines that stores in a nifty snapping plastic case, and a set of double twelves that stores in a lovely blue tin.  For years, I have kept the double twelves in our office closet because I don’t want kids playing with them as toys and losing them.  I leave the double nines in the playroom, ’cause that’s a smaller set and less valuable.

I went into the playroom to get the double nines (thinking that the double twelves would be too frustrating for Andrew to add each turn), and what did I find but the plastic case almost totally full and a bunch more dominoes piled loose on a lower shelf.  Lovely.  Now, how on earth was I to figure out which ones were which?!?  I was royally displeased.  Clearly there was more than one set down there, and how could you play with a set and-a-third, or whatever?  Obviously, the two sets had gotten mixed together and then some portion of the whole mess had gotten lost.  Sigh.

I tried to dig in the shelves to find the other dominoes, but no luck.  I know when I am approaching (and careening wildly past) my grace limit, so I asked Scott to help me look.  Not smart with his back, but he did get down there and dig around and remove a heckuva lot of games and confirm that there were no more dominoes to be had.  I also checked our office closet, where there were also no more dominoes to be had.

With some ten or fifteen games out and strewn all over the playroom floor, Scott suggested I choose something besides dominoes.  Family members may understand how difficult this would be for me, but I gamely (don’t you love that pun?) opted for Rummikub, and we actually had a great time playing.  Andrew stayed with it and had a good attitude, and he clearly has that Roberts sense of logic and advance planning.  = )

But the games were still all over the playroom floor.

So. . . the next night, while the guys were at a Super Bowl party, I (drum roll, please) managed with effort to get the heater lit in there, gave it a while to warm up, and then went in to attack the games.  A girl and I had gone through them not too terribly long ago, and had gotten rid of a lot of games that we never play.  I think it was Jessica.  This time, I went through ALL the games.  I threw out ALL the mixed-up dominoes as well as the Twister game with broken and unusable spinner.  I organized pieces of games.  I consolidated all the Apples to Apples cards in ONE box AND got them all face up.  Etc., Etc.. Etc.

Now the games are beautiful and they are ALL visible from the front.  No more digging to find what we want – in theory.

Then I came up to the office and began tackling the file cabinet.  This is both a major headache and an emotionally charged project.

There are three drawers, and each is deep and wide.  The bottom drawer is ministry paperwork stuff, which, for the most part, I am not authorized to do anything about.  The top drawer is stuff that could possibly be useful – owner’s manuals, maps and brochures about neat places to see, cards and letters I’ve saved.  Well, SOME of what’s in the top drawer could possibly be useful.

The middle drawer is mostly a bunch of school stuff; papers and notebooks and workbooks that the kids did, plus a lot of “resource” stuff.  I was really into cheap and creative learning tools, so I saved things like anything that had a picture with a scripture verse on it that could be hung at a little person’s eye level; facts and quizzes on the backs of cereal boxes; greeting cards that had good artwork; articles about character qualities; pictures of people in all kinds of different cultures; missionary stories – and so forth.

I spent an hour or so sifting and ditching.  I did confirm with the kids (big three) that none of them wants any of their schoolwork stuff saved, so I threw out everything except a few odd pieces that especially made me smile.  There was a post-it note on one of Katie’s algebra notebooks (age 13) that said something like, “I don’t care what you do with this, but don’t let me see it again for a loooong time.”  I emailed her the text of the note and threw out the notebook.

Tomorrow, I’m doing a major Wal-Mart run, and I’m going to look for a set of double twelve dominoes.  I’m not sure where I’ll keep them; maybe in all the empty space in the middle file drawer!

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1 Response to “Hauling it out!”


  1. 1 Katie February 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Glad to hear you’re putting Control D to good use!


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