Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbinsdale.
Without realizing it, I have come up with a little system for packing up the goods. (For the novice reader of this blog, Husband and I are moving to Winona, MN in June.) Part 1: I have been through each area of the house once, armed with an empty box or bag with which to remove the obviously unwanted items. This first round wasn’t so bad – when you’ve lived in a place for 27 years, you’ve forgotten half of what’s in the back of closets, under the basement stairs, in that bottom drawer. “Oh, I kept these skirts?” or “I don’t even remember ever having this calendar from 1984!”
Basement is ground zero – the holding tank, as it were. There is a “sawhorse table” where the stuff from above is dropped off until it can be boxed and carted away. There have already been several trips to Valu Village and Half Price Books; for each meeting or gathering I go to, I bring along a bag of something for people to paw through (just ask the Babooners who attended Book Club at Occasional Caroline’s in April).
But now I’m starting Part 2 of this system, sorting through a second time as I actually pack it in a box. This takes more time and thought. Hmmm, do I still really need three mixing bowls that size, and does the one from my grandma win out over my favorite color? Will I ever really play all this piano music again in this lifetime?
Luckily, I have help: I’m almost finished reading a best-selling book by Marie Kondo – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
There are many good ideas here, as well as some quirkiness, as she almost gives her possessions human feelings. But the most profoundly useful tactic is her insistence to work by category, rather than room by room. Say my category is “candles”: I travel thought the house and gather ALL the candles into one place, one pile; and then pick up each item to evaluate, based on whether or not it brings me joy.
This is what I want, to have all my possessions be things I use and/or love. So now there is a box of candles leaving, and a box of candles coming with us. And I feel almost euphoric after discarding – there is something about lightening up that… well, actually lightens me.
When have you needed to create a system on order to complete a task?
Did it work?