Back on track! After stumbling through the middle 50% of the January Cure, Week 4 felt much more successful. Was it due to a sudden burst of creative energy, a renewed sense of purpose arising from Justin’s approval of my efforts, or a continued, stubborn refusal to follow the brief? We’ll probably never know.
I don’t have any paper clutter, ha! But seriously, after doing the January Cure four years ago, and then going through the process of buying a house, I think I’ve zeroed in on what paper to keep and what to throw away. I have two sturdy containers with hanging file folders for long-term storage, which I’ve reorganized a couple of times to be easier to search. I usually end up going through them once or twice a year and shredding anything we no longer need.
We don’t get a lot of mail, but what we do get it pretty easy to sift into keep/recycle/shred piles. On most days I handle recycling and shredding immediately, but if I don’t, things never stack up for more than a few days before I deal with them. The keep pile is further sorted into file and action piles, and those are dealt with every few days to once a week. Mail requiring action currently lives in a basket in the living room. I’m thinking of swapping the basket for a cute desktop letter sorter, but the change would be entirely for aesthetics—the current arrangement works just fine.
I used to have about a hundred pounds of academic papers and early career portfolio items stored in one of our closets. That’s not an exaggeration: the paper weighed as much or more than I did. But I finally went through all of it last year and drastically reduced what I was saving.
I kept important records like transcripts, sentimental records like report cards with handwritten comments, and coursework like marked-up college research papers and creative writing assignments, but shed many, many folders of notes and exercises. I also kept any portfolio pieces that I didn’t have digital originals for, or ones where the product is something other than a plain paper document. Everything fits inside a single 18 gallon storage bin. In time, I’ll probably be able to let go of that stuff, too. For now, it takes up considerably less space than it did.
It had been too long since I’d thoroughly vacuumed our couch and flipped the cushions. They feel much fresher now, although I think I’ll be adding “professional upholstery cleaning” to my list of things to accomplish in 2019.
This is one of those good habits that I wish I had but find it weirdly difficult to cultivate. The surface sweep is definitely a tactic of mine, but I tend to do it every few days or once a week, and it tends to be in the morning. Morning cleanups are always frantic and guilt-ridden, and usually a tactic to stall going to work. We already take time to lock up and turn off electronics before bed—it shouldn’t be that much harder to put a handful of things away too. Right?
I spent my family day helping with a family situation that needed attention. Everything is okay, but no house-related stuff happened. I’m giving myself a pass on it.
I could have done this, but instead I took a tour of the Triangle’s thrift stores (the ones open on Sundays, anyway) to look for a vanity stool I could makeover for the new entryway setup. I didn’t find anything that fit the bill, but I’m not giving up just yet.
I also spent some time shopping for a secret, unselfish sewing project. I can’t share yet, but I’m looking forward to writing about it when it’s done. Which should be right after I catch up on the backlog of 2018 posts I need/want to write. Oy. January, how have you been so long and yet so short?