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    everything imaginable


    I feel physically lighter.  I know it’s not true, but there’s such satisfaction in de-cluttering each of these rooms. The desk and the office are officially organized with no major casualties and only one difficult decision.  Here’s a sample of what I found in my desk and office: 

    487 envelopes

    18 spiral notebooks

    4 bottles of Elmer’s glue

    Crate and Barrel catalog from 1992

    64 box of Crayons !!! (makes me as happy as it did in 1970)

    97 assorted computer cables

    A box of photo negatives spanning 1980 – 2005 (they are separated and labeled)

    The last one – box of negatives – that was the only decision that I agonized over.  What are the chances that I’ll ever need any of these photos printed?  I don’t know, but it’s not a chance I’m willing to take.  The box stays.

    It’s an understatement to say that I’m not fond of housekeeping.  Jan keeps things clean, but I struggle with the organizing - hence the need for 12 months to get the house in shape.  Let me assure you that it’s far from being an episode of “Hoarders”, but it doesn't come easily to me. For years I used to try to make the house perfect before my parents came to visit.  And then I realized - they lived with me for 18 years - they are not fooled by a perfect house.  Thank God they love me anyway.

    Soon everything that’s in this house will be here because I consciously chose for it to be.   

    Can you imagine?


    pencils are a girls best friend

    I have an obsession with office supplies – specifically paper, pens and pencils.  I dream of having a stationary store someday. I can spend hours at Kate’s Paperie. My mom puts post-it flags in my Christmas stocking.  

    I just completed purchasing ‘500 pencils’ – a set of colored pencils in 500 individual colors that are shipped 25/month for 20 months until the set is complete. As a family we are partial to the black Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. (I know what you’re thinking – and you’re wrong.  The black one writes better than the yellow one).  I'm afraid I have brainwashed my children to be pen & pencil snobs - each of my kids has a favorite pen and I know what they are.  We are freaks. 

    On tomorrow’s 12MP schedule is the office/desk, and it’s gonna be rough.  I know for a FACT that we need everything we’ve got.  Our shelves are full of envelopes and paper in dozens of assorted colors – left over from the Christmas cards and invitations that I’ve designed and printed.  I’ve got beautiful file folders, note cards, ribbon and push pins.  My “would you pack it or pitch it?” question will be excruciating.  Please pray for me.


    who needs it anyway?

    I love this big old house. It’s on a beautiful, tree-lined brick street - a block from an old Indian mound & a 200+ year old cemetery.  It’s a fabulous neighborhood. We bought it the week my son was born.  He will be 19 in a few months. Because we’ve lived here 19 years it’s filled with stuff - and believe me, we don’t need 90% of it. Who bought all this stuff anyway? 

    The 12 month plan has me de-cluttering every single room. COMPLETELY.  Each room is scheduled for a specific period of time, so that the entire house will be done in 12 months.  I‘m looking at every single thing and asking myself “if I were moving, would I pack this or pitch it?”  I suppose I could save it all and have a yard sale, but then I’d have to store it until the entire project was complete.  So Evan’s been making trips to Goodwill with our rejects.  I’m sure they’ll find good homes. 


    The first room was the entry, where I found empty old lunch boxes that the kids used in 4th grade.  I know that it’s pathetic that I haven’t cleaned out these closets in 8 years, but you’ll get no excuses from me.  Housekeeping has never been something I’m interested in or have prioritized.  (That’s why I have Jan).  This weekend I’m scheduled to finish the office – the file cabinet is EMPTY, and it won’t be staying. (Solid cherry, Amish made, 3 drawer, legal, anyone want it?)

    I know I’m only on month #2, but it’s already pretty liberating.  I have things in my house that I love, and they will stay and be appreciated - like Grandpa L’s discharge papers from the Italian Army and Grandpa O’s discharge papers from the United States Army after serving in WWI.  The important stuff stays – the other is no longer welcome. 

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