Today is the big day. In a matter of minutes — no more than an hour — I will begin the process of ruthlessly sorting the hundreds, if not thousands (well, if you were to count all the paper clips, staples, safety pins, straight pins, etc., etc. individually) of items contained in my 8 1/2′ x 11′ (13 1/2′, counting the closet that spans one wall) office.
On one hand, I’m really excited about getting this done. Notice, I said getting it done, not doing this. I really don’t want to spend one of my Spring Break mornings/days on this project. In fact, to buy even a bit more time before I begin, I stopped writing to measure the room in order to write the first sentence of this blog entry! It wasn’t necessary to include the room measurement, just it wasn’t necessary to explain that I measured the room in order to include the room measurement, but doing so allowed me to procrastinate righteously. As a writer, it’s important that I provide clear and accurate information, right?
I really don’t want to do this. This job is guaranteed to provide no excitement and plenty of guilt. Let me explain.
Several drawers contain office supplies. I like office supplies; in fact, going through my desk early each August and arranging my supplies, determining what needs to be replenished, and then adding to my stock brings me great pleasure. And I get a tiny thrill — when I venture down the school supply aisle at Target or into an office supply store and see PostIt notes in an interesting size or a new (to me, at least) color. I can’t help but pick up a pad or two to add to my stash.
Therein lies the guilt. Although I’m drawn by the interesting shapes — I love the little “flag” PostIts, for example — and new vibrant colors, I still prefer to use the standard 1″ and 3″ (I’m not going to stop to measure the PostIts, so these measurements may be off) yellow stickies. Those two sizes work well for my purposes and blue ink shows up well on the pastel background. And, truth be told, I’m saving the fun sizes and the fun colors for something special. As a result, I have quite a few pads of PostIts in interesting colors and sizes. When I open a drawer and see them, I feel bad for purchasing them or taking them (from the supply closet) when I didn’t really need them and for cluttering my office.
I wish I could say it’s only PostIts that I’ve only unnecessarily collected, but that would be a lie.
I have a host of office supplies as well as craft supplies that I’ve collected over the years. Every time I’ve forced myself to sort through them and toss some things, I’ve held on to far too many items, telling myself I’ll use them someday.
It’s time, though, to face the fact that I’m not going to use most of this stuff.
It’s time to get tough with myself and clean out this office.
I’m armed for the task. A box marked “donate” and a trash bag sit in the middle of the office. Everything that can be put to use in a home office or by a crafter will go into the box and taken to the office for the community safe house for women and children before the end of the day; the trash bag will be placed in my outside trash bin at the same time.
I’m also going to prepare myself mentally. Loaded and poised, ready to be seen on another screen, is a segment of a favorite episode of “Hoarders”. The episode has nothing to do with piles of office supplies stacked to the ceiling, reading to topple over and bury the homeowner beneath staples and PostIts and ink pens and paper clips. But every time I’ve seen this episode, I’ve been galvanized to clean out something, anything. It’s just the impetus I need to tackle this office.
It’s time to watch “Hoarders” and fill the box and trash bag. It’s time to tackle the Big “O” once and for all.