Spring De-Cluttering


I’ll admit it. I need help. Okay, stop laughing. If you’re a regular reader of this column, the fact that I’m in need of help hasn’t escaped you. But my mental fitness will be a story for another time. This story is about organization and storage, or I should say lack of it.

Over the years, keeping things uncluttered was, is, and forever will be an impossible task for Yours Truly. Why? Don’t really know. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I’m constantly throwing things away, mainly because The Wife asks, “Are you ever going to throw things away?”

Still, somehow by the end of each day, I have more stuff in my car and house than the day before. There’s only one logical answer: while we are away or asleep, our neighbors are filling our house and my car with their junk.

Well, no more! This is the year I finally become organized and de-clutter my life. Welcome, Dear Reader to the Great Spring Cleaning and Organization.

Spring cleaning started at our house last Saturday at six in the morning with a trip down to the dank basement. It was so early even the ever-growing horde of spider crickets weren’t fully awake. After half an hour, only three had jumped on my head.

Eventually I gave up searching for our misplaced cleaning supplies. Like everything else, I know they’re somewhere either in our house, the garage, or my car – just don’t know which. After breakfast and a kiss for The Wife, I made a quick trip to that giant hardware store with the orange roof. After all, this warm weather could have caused a rush on cleaning necessities and if I don’t get ours, with all the supply chain disruptions, it may be way into the fall before I can start cleaning.

Now armed with three different-sized storage tubs, file folders, a labeling gun, jumbo trash bags, sponges, lint-free rags, mop, buckets, not one but two different disinfectant scrubbing bubble cleaners, and a new window squeegee, I arrived back home ready to get started. This was going to be the year I finally got some organization into my life!

The first job on the way to being organized, even before using all those new cleaning supplies, was to sort through and get rid of any unimportant papers. And the best place to start were those piles on my desk.

Sorting through the paper piles, I found bills I needed to pay. The find prompted me to cut on the computer to use online banking. Cleaning and getting organized immediately took a back seat to what happened next — or I should say what didn’t happen.

The computer didn’t come on. I checked to see if it was plugged in, and that was indeed the problem. It was. Unfortunately, I’d left the computer plugged in and turned on for the entire time we were away on vacation. That was the week there were no storms at our beach location, but up here it stormed almost every day.

Now I had to divert all my attention to getting the computer fixed. A quick trip to those friendly Geek folks at that giant electronics store with the blue roof was in order. Luckily for me, I was able to get right in, and they fixed the computer super-fast. Returning home, it was too late to clean and sort so I cooked dinner for me and The Wife instead. After dinner she asked, “Did you get much done getting organized?”

“No,” I said. “But I got the computer fixed.” Before she could ask what had happened, I added, “It was operator error. Forgot to unplug it before we went on vacation.”

All the above happened over a week ago and I’ve made no further progress on clearing the papers off my desk — the first step in getting organized.

When The Wife got home last night, I told her of my frustrating day, “Between doing laundry, grocery shopping, picking up the Girly Girls from school, going back to the grocery store to get the cheese dip I’d forgotten, helping with homework, cooking dinner, and taking them to soccer practice, I didn’t have any time or energy left to clean or organize anything.” As usual, she had words of wisdom that reframed everything.

“There’s no hurry, honey. Tomorrow’s another day.”

The Wife was right, tomorrow is another day, the perfect day for me to start getting organized. Unless something else more important comes up which, for the last 50 years, it always has.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001.]