The sorting continues with me taking sections of the Great 48 (the roughly 48 cubic feet of landfill that was occupying the floor of my office) and dumping them into two white bins, and then breaking down the contents of the white bins into papers (see last week's post), stuff to put away and stuff to donate. When I first started sorting things out, I hadn't realized how much stuff other than papers was hidden within! I found more office supplies to be returned to the company I work for, audiobooks, jewelry, trash (like expired hand warmers, dead pens and toys that I have no way of ever acquiring the skills to repair) and quite a bit of stuff to donate!
The kinds of things I donate go into two stacks: Items that will go to my niece who is three years younger than my daughter and; items that will go to a charity. The items that go to my niece are brand name clothes, books and/or toys in excellent, new or-like-new condition. The items that go to charity are clothes, books and/or other stuff in very good condition. I don't use either my niece or a charity as a dumping ground for stuff in poor condition because I think that's just, well "bad form" or downright tacky.
Anyway, yesterday I took a station wagon load of stuff over to Salvation Army. I was shocked. There was virtually nothing in the receiving area and when we went into the store front, the floor and shelves were nearly empty. I know many people only remember to donate at the end of the year because they want to be able to get the tax write-off; but I was stunned at the lack of inventory nonetheless. The people at S.A. were extremely grateful for the stuff I was donating and I admit I felt a little guilty knowing that I still have so much more that I no longer want or use that could go to someone in need.
So now, I've decided that every second Saturday of every other month is going to be the big Donate Day in our household. Why every second Saturday of every other month? Because that's the day that The Medford Food Project picks up the food donations from our doorstep and it's an easy reminder to give in other ways too: set out the bag of food and then load up the car with stuff to go to a charity/charities.
There were a couple of unanticipated side effects to my Home Excavation project that occurred this past week. One was that my DH also became inspired to do some "Home Work!" He is currently working on trying to ameliorate the mess that is our one and only bathroom in the house. Yesterday, I nearly went insane looking at paint and tile samples in various shades of white, beige and neutral; but we somehow made it out with a gallon of paint and our relationship intact :-)
The other effect of my Home Office Excavation project is that people and dogs now want to come into the room! The dogs now saunter in and lay at my feet as I tippity-tap at the keyboard. Before, there was no room and, in fact, at one point there had been an incident where our yellow lab walked into the room, but was unable to get back out. Some dogs don't do backwards walking very well :-/
The other new visitor to my office space is my daughter. Next week, we'll talk more about the purple bean bag chair and Princess rug now in my office, along with what it means to be "Fiction Parents Raisng a Non-Fiction Child!"
One corner of my office 6 weeks ago (left) and the same corner 1 week ago (right)
The same corner of the room this morning
My Future Self: Home Office Excavation (Physical & psychological impact of clutter)
My Future Self: Home Office Excavation: Week 2 (Physical & psychological impact of light; and importance of planning)
My Future Self: Home Office Excavation: Week 4 (Paper Demons)