Monday, February 10, 2014

Moving on–How to get Your House Ready for Market–Getting rid of Paper Clutter

Note point 3 of vision board card under
the "Create a Great Living Space" column
I have always thought of myself as one who is in touch with my feelings, but now I wonder. I am about to make some major changes to my life–I believe one of my final stages of life. While I've been planning for this change for quite some time now, the time frame has been forced upon me. That, in itself, is a source of bitterness and anger for me, but I don't want to focus on that…those things are beyond my control.
What I do want to focus on is how quickly changes can happen when there is a need for them to happen. While plans to sell this house have been underway for some time now, the actual date of March 1st is new since December, (when the unemployment benefits were suddenly shut down) and right around the corner. Getting the house ready for market has been the focus of almost all of our activity. With new kitchen and bathrooms in place, what was/is left to do is a bit of painting and getting rid of stuff–all that stuff you accumulate over the years because you can–because you have the space.

Getting Rid of Clutter-An Ongoing Goal

Lucky for me, getting rid of clutter has been an ongoing goal, but when you need to do it to move on, you need to become even more ruthless. ( See earlier post on this subject Checking with my Core Values)
True, there has been a very significant decrease in the amount of traditional or US mail we receive, but still the tendency to put interesting mail, magazines, brochures, etc. aside to look at later has a strong  influence. Plus Tom has a tendency to bring home menus  and other freebie handouts  and he also prints out information from the computer.  And then keeps it.
Maybe it's the printer in us. Maybe it's  a weird illusion that some day we will have excess time and choose to sit around for a week and read stuff. Paper stuff. Whatever the reason for accumulating piles of papers, they are more a source of easy clutter to get rid of than future joy and relaxation.  Below are my suggestions for dealing with accumulated paper clutter.  

  • Magazines– for an article, cut out the article and throw away the magazine. Better yet, set aside a reading time, read it and discard it. Scan it if it's something you feel like you may refer to in the future but check first to see if it's not online already. A good example of this kind of paper clutter is recipes.
  • Pictures– from magazines, brochures or even your own, put them in a journal. Below is a picture of my journal that includes a note I want to save (stuffed in an envelope glued to the journal) some doodles I made on random paper and a picture from a gallery brochure from a Maxfiend Parish exhibit.
  • Mail– While mail is on the decline, I find it best to deal with it before it hits the table. Determine junk mail and immediately dump it into the recycle bin. Important stuff,like bills (if you aren't completely paperless, should go directly in a designated spot so as not to slip through the cracks of busy life. We use a simple basket. 
  • Photos–This is a tough one. At this point, we have not dealt with our huge collection of photos. The are stored in our attic in large bins, ready to move to our next home. I am only writing this now to acknowledge  this is a big paper problem. I suspect I will scan them all some day but the task seems so overwhelming I can't deal with it right now.
  • Art–Similar to photos, I have boxes and boxes of drawing and painting I've done over the years. Again, I'm not sure how I will deal with these or if I even will. Sorry kids, I might leave it up to you.

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