Zen Habit 2: Declutter a cabinet, surface or drawer

4 Mar

I have too much stuff.  That’s partially why I started the “Do It Now!” zen habit because my stuff gets messy and I just…push it around my house.  Or let it pile up.  And really, that’s silly, because I don’t really NEED all the stuff I have, or I just haven’t accepted the inevitable reality about my stuff: that I will NEVER read all the books I own, I will hardly ever listen to my CDs again, and do I really have to hold on to that long expired

zh2antihistamine?  My stuff was starting to annoy me.  So I thought if I could just declutter a cabinet, a surface, or a drawer almost every day, I might make a dent in it.  Who doesn’t have time for a drawer?  I thought about tackling my email, because that’s a constant source of irritation, but then I thought it deserved its own zen habit.  So I’m just sticking with a surface.  Or a drawer.  Maybe a cabinet.

I started with my bathroom, and over 3 days, took on a  few drawers/cabinets at a time.  Expired mascara?  No thanks!  Expired vicodin from…I don’t even know where?  Potentially fatal!  The pile of half-used shampoo bottles that I hated because it dried my hair out, to the near-empty hair spray, to the hot rollers I haven’t used in 2 years?  Bye, jerks!  I moved on to my large roll-top desk*, a complete black hole of office-related mess.  In the past, piles of unopened mail have sat there for weeks (months) on end (which is no longer the case, after I’ve been instituting zen habit 1 the past week) and I’ve even gotten a ticket because my license plate tag renewal was sitting on my desk and I never bothered to open it and get it taken care of.  NO MORE! (I think that was the dumbest ticket I’ve gotten for anything, ever.)  The nice thing about the 5-minute declutter is that I actually feel like I’ve done something useful.  Not anything huge, but that’s not the point.  It’s something useful.  Clean.  Stripped down.  De-gunked.  I was feeling so good about it that I took my decluttering road show to work,  and cleaned out all the old library journals that have been mocking me for the past few years, daring me to read them, and put the stuff sitting on my desk in my file cabinet.  Hey, I may not have gotten rid of it completely, but I’ve moved it to another location to process at another time.  That time will come.  Slow and steady!

* One of the fun things I found when desk decluttering was my pile of mix tapes from high school and college.  I don’t have a tape player anymore, so I ended up tossing them all (oh,

tapesthe memories!) I took a picture of my favorites, mostly from my high school boyfriend, then made Spotify playlists for them.  The titles alone crack me up.  My mom thought I should’ve kept them, but this picture alone is worth 1,000 tapes that I can’t listen to.  One of my other (ongoing…in fact I’m doing it now!) decluttering projects is converting my CDs to a tiny portable storage drive (so red and sassy) and that alone is bringing back memories. Music is such a trip down memory lane, isn’t it?  Regardless of my new ability to mix all my crappy music onto my iPhone, there’s something about the liner art of CD cases that is obviously lost with digital copies.  That, and I have an entire series of Sexy Bitch Mix CDs from the mid-2000’s that my BF Jen made me, complete with charming cover art.  And what digital mix can compete with that?!?

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