If you're following the saga of my self-assigned year of organizing, I can report that it is going exceedingly well. I'm trying not to over-report about it here, but there are some developments over the past couple of weeks that are changing some of my mindsets in ways I hadn't anticipated initially.
I knew that this project would involve throwing away, giving away and donating a lot of items from my house, but the purge volume is turning out to be much higher than I thought it would be. At first, I was just taking everything with residual value and dumping it at the thrift store, but when I got to my linen closet, I started thinking about better ways to get the items directly to people who can use them most.
We have a charity in town called Sleepyhead Beds that focuses on providing beds and bedding to families and children. Once I pulled everything out of my linen closet and drawers, I remembered that I also had significant amounts of bedding stuffed into big plastic tubs in my basement. I'd already bagged everything up willy-nilly, but I realized it made more sense for me to unpack the bags, match up the pillow cases with the sheets, and re-bag the items that Sleepyhead Beds will take. I'll have my husband drop it all off during their business hours some weekday soon.
I also ran across some towels I no longer use, so those will go to a nearby animal shelter, along with all of the cardboard trays that my brand of cat litter comes in. I have been letting them pile up in the basement out of sheer laziness, but it's a simple thing to remove the plastic to recycle along with my plastic grocery sacks and stack the cardboard trays for donation.
Cleaning out the cupboard where I store my baking pans opened my eyes to the potential for getting rid of a large number of low quality cookie sheets and baking pans. I'm replacing them with two high-quality half-sheet pans that will probably serve me well indefinitely. One of my old cookie sheets is so warped that I once used it to bake a butter-heavy type of cookie, only to have the entire panful slide to one side and form a giant cookie Pangaea.
I don't think that will be happening again.
Making Life Easier
This whole project is ultimately serving to cut down on the nagging pull in the back of my mind of work I know needs to be done. A welcome side-effect is that every completed project makes some aspect of my home life more convenient. Call it feng shui or just good organization, but the upshot is that when I need to find something in one of the places I've already worked on, it's exactly where it should be.
And One New Rule
I'd already decided that if I did an assignment early, I could just skip that week when I got to it. Well, this was the week when I had to decide what to do if I didn't complete my weekly project. Between a lack of motivation on Saturday and a lot of other things to do on Sunday, it was clear that my task for this weekend wasn't going to get done. So I made a new rule that in these instances, I would swap the missed work project on the spreadsheet with the first one that had been completed early. That way, I get to move on to whatever was next and get to the skipped project later on.
Why not just do it next week? I could have gone that route, but I suspected that my failure to complete an assignment might attach some psychological baggage. Moving it down the list to a logical but relatively random date helps ensure that I'll approach it with a fresher outlook. Plus, it maintains the spirit of my earlier rule by still giving me a week off - just not the week I originally would have gotten.