Some days are beautiful and sunny. Some days are cranky and mean. And some days you have to clean your desk, table, studio space. You just have to.
Either that or plow it under and call one of those reality shows and admit you are a hoarder. Too harsh? Maybe, so back to cleaning.
Here are some tough love tips for cleaning that worked for me today.
1. Don’t look back. I tried being serious about saving all those articles I’ll read someday. Then I realized that if I really had wanted to read them, I would have. In the time that I’ve collected the articles, I’ve read four books. So I’m not really motivated to read the articles. Toss them.
This is a perfectionism stumble. “If I were a really good X, I would read, file, remember, sketch, write, use this article, image, scrap of ephemera.” Deep breath. It’s a perfectionist thing. Toss it.
Yes, you will probably need it within 10 minutes of the trash truck vanishing down the street with it. Toss it anyway.
2. You won’t buy it anyway. Catalogs marked with turned-down page corners for storage, filing, clothing items. Largely waiting for a windfall. When windfall comes, my car will need tires. Toss catalogs.
3. Compare and act. Two of the items I wanted in the November catalog are now on half-price sale. Pick up phone and order. Done. Move on.
4. Even if you teach, throw it out. I have a huge stack of magazines, catalogs, flyers that are “perfect” for that class that I might be teaching in two months. More stuff will accumulate. Toss it out.
5. Start where you are. Don’t try to catch up. More paper is mistakenly saved because you are scared to throw it out, for fear of forgetting, falling behind or forgetting. Unless it bank or tax stuff, make NOW your starting point. Easier and saves the nerves.
–Quinn McDonald notices her desk has a nice wood grain she rarely sees.