The Urge to Purge


It’s that time of year for me, when I have the irresistible urge to purge…the junk from the junk drawer, clothing I haven’t worn or no longer fits, little knickknacks I’m tired of dusting, and most of all, the extra toys the children never play with. I have a friend who spares nothing when she purges. Anything her or her children haven’t touched or worn in six months finds its way to the trash or a recycling bin.

Because this is a once a year event for me, no spot is safe from my inspection for items to be thrown out. The kitchen cabinets will be searched for lost lids, to be happily reunited with their containers; anything without a match gets tossed. The cabinet under the bathroom sink certainly holds all sorts of items either out of date or unused. Out they go! My least favorite items to deal with are clothing and accessories. What looked like a great bargain eight months ago now looks like an out-of-shape mistake. The hand-me-downs for my boys from the neighbor were terrifically generous but they are two sizes too big and taking up much-needed storage space.

I have certain items of interest, however, that shall remain untouched. They are my notebooks. If I end up with 10 piles of them in every corner, that’s perfectly fine with me. It may not suit everyone else in the house, but the notebooks are not up for debate when it comes to purging. These notebooks may not contain the works of a genius but they are filled with little ramblings, the beginnings of stories, ideas, outlines, song lyrics, poems, and endless re-writes. I keep them all. Some of the pages are torn or stained with whatever I was drinking or nibbling on at the time. Some have more strike-throughs than readable words. They are a part of me and I cannot will not let them go.

Organization of my home helps me to have a sense of structure and stability, allowing me to be centered when I sit down to write. Someone told me one time that outer chaos is symbolic of inner chaos. I’ve seen examples of this time and time again, and I’ve experienced it myself. My home is never spotless and I actually could care less if it is. I like things fairly neat, easy to find and somewhat organized. If you find yourself attempting to write but constantly sidetracked by thinking about excess clutter around you, carve out a chunk of time to organize an area that’s especially bothersome. You’ll feel better and probably be more productive the next time you write.

Organized HGTV Start at Home

(Images provided by Microsoft ClipArt)

3 responses »

  1. This is actually something I’ve been meaning to do myself. Not that my stuff sidetracks me when I’m writing, but I currently own more than I really need and I’d like to have less things weighing me down.

  2. Mike, I think the only reason it sidetracks me from writing is that I feel guilty if I know it needs to be done and I’m sitting on my rear end writing, but by allowing myself the once-a-year cleanout in Spring, I know there’s always a designated time of the year for doing it. I don’t get too attached to ‘stuff’ so I can go pretty quick at it once I get going. In my humble opinion, if you have sentimental people in your household, it’s better to do it when they aren’t at home. 🙂

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