One Box at a Time

have nothing in your house

Another day in the deep freeze…it is so cold this year, and it started in mid-December. There have been a few days it hasn’t even made it above zero, and we’ve spend quite a few nights with bone-chilling cold. The coldest winter in thirty years, I hear.

With weather this cold, there are some things you just don’t do. When your cars are all ten years old or older, you just don’t drive out of town unless you can’t avoid it. When it’s this cold, you moosh the snow down in the driveway by driving over it, because it’s just too cold to shovel it. You count your blessings that you have a furnace that works, and that even though the cold water pipe froze, the hot water still works.

Today was my day off, and I refused to go outside. I spent most of the day going through boxes, finding stuff to haul to the Salvation Army drop-off. That’s been my unofficial New Year’s resolution every year for about the past ten years. I finally got started because I wanted to craft, but my crafting room was filled with junk. I sat down one cold, windy day and got started. Now that I have started, I can see that it won’t be the huge job I was afraid of.  One closet, one box at a time.

I spent most of today going through the stuff Andy left here at Christmas time, boxes of clothes and military gear that he had to bring with him when he left California, but that he wouldn’t need in North Carolina.

Someone posted this picture on Facebook, and it helped me understand how much I need to clean out the house. I have been so careless lately with things I used to do faithfully and on time, like paying bills and doing laundry. It’s like cooking…if my kitchen counter is filled with dirty dishes, the last thing I want to do is cook. But if the kitchen is clean, I think, what kind of cookies should I make? If I can get my house organized, throw out all the old STUFF that is weighing me down, I will feel like my life is my own again. I’ll be able to think of new and constructive things to do, instead of feeling like all I do is damage control.

And now that I’ve started, it really won’t be so bad. I just can’t let myself get distracted by things I run across that would take a lot of time to clean. For example…if I go through the china hutch and find my stacks of old photos, I am not going to worry about sorting the photos. Just put the photos back for now, and when the house is clean, then I can go back and file photos, mend all the clothes from the sewing area, and organize my recipe box.

Another thing that helps me is to pretend that I’m moving. When I pull down a box of junk to go through, I have to ask myself if this would be worth packing and hauling to a new house. Been there, done that. When we moved here from Kansas, we couldn’t fit everything into a big U-Haul. We had to make a second trip to get all the STUFF. Not doing that again.

Even though I’m just getting started, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Closet by closet, I am now in the zone and ready to get this done. January is almost over, but I still have February. Cold weather can be a good thing.

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