Monday, January 11, 2010

The Junk in My Trunk..and Closet, Desk, Kitchen Drawers, and... Part I

Clutter is in my genes.  For better or for worse, this habit has been gifted to me by parents, whose proclivity for acquiring stuff without purging has seemed to be growing every year.  Friends of mine have been witnesses to my own clutter and disorganization, which reached its zenith the few months before I moved to Argentina. 

Like a good American, I am very good at amassing things I really don't need.    My closets are bursting, and I'm positive there are a few things with tags still hanging on them that I would love wearing if I could only get to them.  I have shelves full of books that I keep restocking through Amazon (that I send to my Dad's house in the States, thereby adding to his disorganization and clutter), because a) I love reading; b) there's always something I'm curious about; c) I hate reading in Spanish; d) I will NEVER exchange the comfort of holding a real book in my hands for Kindle.   I've got papers and articles from research papers past that I can't seem to let go of.      

I have implemented a couple of solutions to help beat the clutter monster, though I haven't quite mastered not adding stuff to my virtual shopping cart.  Unsubscribing to all my favorite on-line stores' update emails would probably nip the problem in the bud, but...but...I'll get around to doing that.  Besides, I enjoy seeing what Amazon recommends for me, and I love seeing JCrew's new line. 

In the meantime, I have gotten pretty good sticking with the "One In, One Out" rule.  So, for example, if I buy a new pair of shoes, I make sure I take one out of my closet to give away.  Same goes for the books and the clothes. I also end up recycling any mail I have by reusing the clean backs of letters as scrap paper in the makeshift notepads I keep on my desk and on the table near the front door, or for printer paper. Usually, I end up recycling more than one article, which is always good for fighting the physical clutter in my life.

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