In late 2013, I started a blog about decluttering. Initially I wrote about one specific organization project, and at the beginning of 2014 I started using the Declutter Calendar from My Simpler Life. I had purchased a print version of the calendar, thinking that if it was right in front of me I’d be more inclined to work on it. As it turned out, I never found a place to hang the calendar, and by the end of January I was desperately behind and couldn’t seem to make myself jump in on the current date and go from there. In hindsight, the point at which I fell desperately behind is the same point at which I passed from hypomania to mania, and started to lose my ability to focus.
This year, I’ve downloaded the electronic version of the calendar and saved it on my desktop, thinking that it might be easier to access than a print version. I’ve also changed my perspective on what it means to complete the calendar tasks. I found, in the brief time I worked on this last year, that I did better with grouping the related tasks and doing them in a single day. For example, there were two days that said “Clear your left kitchen counter of things not used daily” and “Clear your right kitchen counter of things not used daily”. It was so much simpler to do both at once and then take a day off the next day. So for this year, my intention is to look at the calendar a week at a time, and do the tasks in whatever order or grouping I like.
Using the Declutter Calendar is going to be a task on my 101 in 1,001 list. I’m not sure how I will set this as a goal – perhaps something like “Do at least one task from the Declutter Calendar each week for a year.” Of course I’m welcome to do more, but I noticed the calendar contains several tasks that are just not applicable, or that I’m not in a position to be able to do on the specified date.
For January 1st, the task was “Spend 5 min racing around tossing stuff out”. I did not race around and I did spend more than 5 minutes, but I believe I completed the spirit of the task. I tackled the junk drawer in my dresser.
I threw away a ton of stuff, including things like old debit cards and used up gift cards. Also library cards for several libraries in cities I will never again visit. I threw out tons of random bits and bobs that were on the “but it might be useful someday” list. Really, none of it would ever be useful. I also pulled out a small pile of items that need to either find a new home or find a new home. That is, I need to move them to a new location in the house or add them to the donations pile. It’s still clearly a junk drawer, but it now closes with no effort and I can actually see what’s in it without rummaging for half an hour.
When I initially embarked on this project a year ago, my aim was two-fold. It was important to me to declutter simply for the sake of making my environment tidy and organized. It was also important to me because I felt – and still feel – that my satisfaction with life is greatly dependent upon that tidiness and organization. I am easily overwhelmed by the clutter, and have difficulty finding motivation when my environment is a mess. At this point, my motivation level is high enough to actually do the decluttering that will end up helping me in times of decreased motivation.