2017-03-22 / Loose Ends

Out of sorts

The trouble with spring cleaning
Susan Nienow

Overwhelmed. I know the definition of this word. It’s what I feel every time I look at my desk. I never learned that method of office efficiency that says you should touch each piece of paper only once.

I bet I touch each piece of paper 43 times, not counting the times I shuffle through everything looking for something I know is there but just misplaced. I am a saver. If I get an ad for a special price on a magazine, I save it because I can’t make up my mind if I want that subscription. When I run across it again, it has expired.

That’s the whole problem – inability to make a decision. Decisions overwhelm me. My other half knows this character trait well. “Do you want the vegetable salad or the apple?” he asks. And I waffle until he decides.

I can choose to move, paint a room a new color or buy a new car, but confront me with chocolate or vanilla and I am confounded. Add butter pecan and I become immobilized with paralyzing indecision.

It’s the same with magazine subscriptions, notes from a seminar, receipts or other important papers. For example, I save business cards, especially craft businesses. Now tell me, with no picture, what does The Nest produce? Fake birds? Cozy goods for the home? Yes, there is a website listed, but I don’t have time to look up websites for all those cards without pictures.

I just went through about half of my winter clothes applying “keep” or “give away” designations. That means decisions. Does that top fit? Is it covered in fuzz balls? Faded? And the final question for the ultimate fate of each piece of clothing – will I wear it again?

It took an afternoon to make all those judgments in my closet, and I still have the other half of my cool weather clothes to go through. If this sounds like I have way too many clothes – yes, I do. I can’t get rid of things I have a remote chance of wearing again. Some of my jackets are 30 years old and still look new. How can I get rid of them?

Next on the list for spring sorting is my gardening stuff, like seed packets from yesteryear, a few lost bulbs that look like grape hyacinths but may have started out as daffodils or open fertilizer bags. The question is what to do with the really old things. Are they still good?

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