Positive Shrinkage


Sunday August 25th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   I’m still working hard every day at purging myself of clutter. I have been spending a lot of time sorting through my mountain of junk in the last few weeks hoping to shrink it to less than a mole hill. If I have my way, I’ll be able to move at any time in one car load and still have room to pick up hitch hikers. Possessions mean less and less, and the less I have the more my mind stays free.

   Today I spent about six hours going through big piles, shrinking them into smaller piles. I have finally started to see at least a little progress, and that’s encouraging. Nothing is more frustrating than working several hours and not having it look like I did anything at all. Today I made a dent.

    Even after unloading several carloads of books in the last few weeks, I still have enough left to open a small used book store somewhere. I’d still like to trim my inventory by at least half, but it feels great to have come this far. It’s under control, and I can continue to unload them gradually.

    I also have all my clothes clean and in proper order. Every pair of socks I own is matched and in ‘sock ball’ form so I don’t have to try and match them five minutes before I need to leave for a show. The last thing I need is to be playing a game of ‘Concentration’ when I’m running behind.

   I’ve also got my paperwork sorted into categories, and that was probably the hardest job. After all the times I’ve moved, I have accumulated boxes of paperwork from receipts to comedy notes to articles I’ve saved to phone numbers of people all over the country. I have to go through every last scrap to see if I need it or not, and that takes a lot of time. I am finally to the point of sanity.

   There’s still a lot to sort through and organize, but at least they’re in the correct pile. I’ll throw a lot more out as I go, but I feel a lot better because I’ve unloaded all kinds of stuff I won’t need anymore. I’m caught up. If 1997 ever comes back I might be screwed, but I’ll take my chances.

   What got me going is my roommate politely asked me to straighten up my area because she has a cleaning person come in once a month and wants her to do the once over. I’d totally let my area get out of control, and I needed a kick in the ass to motivate me. Deadlines can be very effective.

   It can be a vicious cycle with keeping one’s living space organized. I’m so busy out and about with all I’ve got going, the last thing I want to do when I get home is clean or sort. I want to rest or get caught up with my emails or phone calls or anything other than sorting socks or old books.

   My roommate is a total sweetheart, and I’m very lucky to be living here. It’s a beautiful house in a really nice area, and she has worked unbelievably hard to get it. She worked her way through college and has a great job and works hard there too. She’s a super mom to her sons besides that, and one of those things isn’t easy much less all of them. I greatly respect her and all she’s done.

   I would never do anything to intentionally upset the apple cart, and it’s the right thing to do to keep my area organized. It took a lot of work to get it this far, so hopefully that will keep it from sliding back to where it was. The more I unload, the less chance there will be of that happening.

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