In preparation for an upcoming conference, I was researching some websites, looking over Extension resources, and making note of items that could be included. I ran across an interesting article which is totally unrelated to the conference topic, but I really enjoyed reading it. Many of you will enjoy it, as well. The article reminded me of my good intentions to de-clutter my office closets where all my teaching aids, resource manuals, fabrics, sewing supplies, and other goodies are stored. I keep telling myself that I will eventually get around to doing it, but the opportune time has never come about. My promise to myself is that I will do it before Spring Break!
The author of the article is unknown, but makes some very good points, so I wanted to share “Stuff” with you:
“Every fall, I start stirring in my stuff. There is closet stuff, drawer stuff, attic stuff, and garage stuff. I separate the good stuff from the bad stuff, then I stuff the bad stuff anywhere the stuff is not too crowded until I decide if I need the bad stuff.”
“When the Lord calls me home, my children will want the good stuff, but the bad stuff, stuffed wherever there is room among the other stuff, will be stuffed in bags and taken to the dump where all the other people’s stuff has been taken.”
“Whenever we have company, they always bring bags and bags of stuff. I move my stuff, so they have room for their stuff.”
This fall, I had an extra closet built so I would have a place for all the stuff too good to throw away and too bad to keep with my good stuff. You may not have this problem, but I seem to spend a lot of time with stuff…food stuff, cleaning stuff, medicine stuff, clothes stuff, and outside stuff. Whatever would life be like if we didn’t have all this stuff?”
“There is all that stuff we use to make us smell better that we normally do. There is stuff to make our hair look good, stuff to make us look younger, stuff to make us look healthier, stuff to hold us in, and stuff to fill us out. There is stuff to read, stuff to play with, stuff to entertain us, and stuff to eat. We stuff ourselves with the food stuff.
“Our lives are filled with stuff…good stuff, bad stuff, little stuff, big stuff, useful stuff, junky stuff, and everyone’s stuff. Now, when we leave all our stuff and go to Heaven, whatever happens to our stuff won’t matter. We will still have the good stuff God has prepared for us in Heaven!”
Now, I’m sure I’m not the only one with clutter issues! However, it can become a problem when we can’t find things or when things aren’t where they are supposed to be. There are actually several clutter personalities. Can you relate to one of these?
1) Hoarder – This might come in handy someday.
2) Deferrer – I’ll think about that tomorrow.
3) Rebel – I don’t want to and you can’t make me!
4) Perfectionist – Next week, I’ll organize everything- perfectly!
5) Sentimentalist – Oh, that cute little thing!
You’ve probably heard the ways to handle clutter, but let me reiterate – throw it away, recycle it, donate it, sell it, or keep it. The techniques to handle the items are really quite simple. Use a laundry basket for items to keep and a bag or box for each of the other categories. It might help to set a time limit – use a timer. Decide quickly which pile an item goes in. Be realistic. Having a spouse, work associate, or buddy might help. Still can’t decide? Ask yourself these questions. How long since I used this? Does it work? Do I have more than one? If I keep this, what will I get rid of to make room for it? Can I locate the information
somewhere else if I need it?
To be organized, EVERY item must have a home – one logical place to look. ‘Corral’ similar items – gather related items together. Dispose of duplicate or unneeded items. Choose containers (or shelves) for each group. Choose a home for each container and store items close to where they are used. Store most frequently used items in the most convenient area and label containers for easy identification.
If you are still having trouble making progress, start small! Clean out your junk drawer or a closet. Is clutter really a problem, or do you just worry about it? In my office closets, I know where most of my stuff is when I need it, so it really isn’t a huge problem – I just worry about it. The same theory applies to my desk. As Albert Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk?” By the looks of my desk, my mind certainly is not empty! Thanks, Dr. Einstein!
The 6th Annual “Kids’ Camp: Fun, Food, Fitness” planning team will be conducting an activity during the camp this summer that requires empty baby food jars with lids. If you or someone you know has a baby and would be willing to donate the jars, we will gladly take them! Jars may be dropped off at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 1200-B W. Houston, in Sulphur Springs. We are usually here between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday. If we happen to be out of the office for lunch or a program, you may leave them by the front door.
We still have some time, but I thought I would mention it now so you can be collecting the jars (preferably clean!) We’ll need about 45.
“Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out” – Christian Larson