I did some shopping with Mom while I was in Tulsa. I had a gift card to my favorite store and it was burning a hole in my pocket and its the time of year that store has their big tag sale. It is the only time of year I can buy more than just one item from the sales rack. I love this store as much as I hate it for its lovely stupidly overly priced clothes. Any way, this post has gone from "hey I'm getting rid of stuff!" to justifying how I brought more stuff into the house. Catch 22. Those shopping bags rode in the back seat of my car as I traveled the state of Oklahoma, across the Flint Hills of Kansas and all the way home. I kept glancing at them in my review mirror. Half of those glances had me chewing the inside of my cheek with a little bit of guilt.
You see, I used to be really really good about cleaning out my closet and drawers EVERY season. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall (all you got to do is call) I would pull everything out of the closet and everything out of my shirt drawer and make two piles: keep or donate. I was brutal about it too. If I hadn't worn it more than once that season, no matter what the original cost, it went into the donate pile. I was so strict about it. Everything would fit in my closet or dresser. I would not have plastic totes of clothes stored in the basement. I would not have to swap summer clothes for winter clothes. Well I can tell you right now that there's a plastic tote full of sweaters in the basement. I have not made any attempt to bring them up and swap them out with some summer items despite the fact that it is a whopping twelve degrees outside. That chewing on my cheek with guilt was not because I spent money (I spent very little money that day), but because I knew I didn't have enough hangers for the things I'd purchased.
So when I got home that day and unloaded my car, I went straight to the closet. Michael was all "are you going to do this now?" and I was all "yeah. I'm doing this NOW!" I filled a garbage bag with dresses, blouses and shirts. I cleared enough hangers for the new stuff with some spare hangers left over. And I felt a little better. Part of my plan for this year is to get rid of a lot of things. Less clutter. Less nick-knacks. Less stuff to straighten and dust. More space for living and impromptu dance parties. Less spending time on doing things that need to be done and more time on things that want to be done. Part of this includes how much time I spend with my email. I spent a lot of time last week unsubscribing to unnecessary emails. I am that person who cannot stand to see that I have unread emails in my folder and I waste a lot of time clicking on emails that I don't even really read because I can't stand to see those little dots or numbers of unread things. Some of those emails are advertising some cool stuff. So I end up clicking on the email and then wasting another fifteen (hour) minutes "window" shopping. I want less stuff, but here I am looking at more stuff. I said goodbye to all of those ads and political emails.
The next thing I tackled was the two drawers of senseless filing cabinets. I don't know when he did it, but Chris had purchased an elaborate filling system with pre-labelled hanging folders for all the months and all the months on an odd year. It had folders for all kinds of inventory stuff like household appliances and auto insurance. When I first came across the folders they were in the filing cabinet in his office and almost every folder was empty. Then I started putting bills in the folders. I would write "paid" on the bill and then stick it in the corresponding month like I was really doing something awesome or responsible. But then we needed some space and I decided that filing cabinet could go because the office credenza that the TV sits on has two filing drawers. I took all of the folders out and crammed them in those drawers that already had folders in them. This made them even more useless because you couldn't move folders to open them. I dumped out all the "paid" bills. I tossed out taxes from 1998. And 1994. By the time I was done, I had consolidated everything into one very manageable drawer and had one completely empty drawer.
I've left that drawer empty. I'd like to say that things won't end up there eventually. I know that when I finally get around to cleaning out my desk, things that I plan on keeping will probably go into that drawer. Right now though? I'm going to relish in knowing that I have one empty drawer in this house.