Why Didn’t I do this Years Ago?

Along with my recent decluttering has come some rearranging. A few weeks ago, I decluttered our first floor bathroom, starting with getting rid of the storage cabinet that was in there. Not only was the cabinet a bit beat up with the laminate peeling, it wasn’t needed. Most of the stuff in it was either really old, or was stuff we didn’t use or need. What we did use, there was room for elsewhere.

Which left the table linens and place mats. Why were those in the bathroom, you might ask? When we bought this house in 1993, I didn’t have a china cabinet, just an old, hand-me-down dinette set. The kitchen cabinets were full, so the bathroom cabinet was the only place for the table linens.

I got a china cabinet a couple years later, but the linens stayed in the bathroom. Until I got rid of the bathroom cabinet, it never occurred to me to move them into the non-glass section at the bottom of the china cabinet. Now that they’re in the room where they’re used, I can’t help wondering why I didn’t think of that years ago?

file000804438807Yesterday I decluttered the small file cabinet drawer on my desk. It too held mostly trash–albeit writing-related stuff: old rejection letters I used to keep in case the IRS came calling, notes from craft workshops I took years ago (and have never referred back to), old contest entries from even longer ago, project notes from freelance web design projects I did in the early 2000’s. The only thing I kept from there were contest win certificates, and those were easy enough to find a new home for.

I filled the now-empty drawer with paperwork from our rental properties, which had been in a huge, four-drawer file cabinet. That thing was useful when we owned a bar and had to keep all our daily and weekly paperwork, but we sold the bar over 7 years ago, and the file cabinet was empty, aside from the rental property stuff which only took up half a drawer. So now I can get rid of it! Better yet, with the paperwork now filed right in my desk, I no longer have an excuse to put off filing it–it’s right here at my fingertips. Why didn’t I think of that years ago?

What I’ve been reading: Still working on the novel in Smith’s Monthly #17, almost done.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I made my goal of reading over the outline of my next WIP and seeing what needs to be done with it (conclusion: what a mess!). I also started actually reading the book, to see what might be salvageable. So this week’s plan is to finish the read. I also got edits back from the content editors’ re-read of Time’s Dilemma, so I want to finish those and get that to the copy editor. There’s a lot going on here this week, so that may be a stretch, but I’m going to try.

What about you–ever have one of those “Why didn’t I do this years ago?” realizations? Do you have stuff that could be moved closer to where you need it? How are you doing with whatever goals you may have, whether writing related or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

7 Responses to \

  1. Isn’t it wonderful to declutter? I still have boxes to go through (from when we moved last June) but soon I’ll have time to get to them. You’re going to be so happy when it comes time to move and you have things in order and ready to go.Glad to hear Time’s Dilemma is coming along! And yay for your WIP making progress, too. Go Jennette!

    I’m overwhelmed with studies right now. I love what I’m learning, but there’s so much to it that it’s hard to absorb it all. Practice, practice, practice. Study, study, study. Repeat! The weeks are flying by!

    I hope you’re having a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  2. I have those moments frequently – and now I even have an answer:

    It wasn’t time yet.

    We think of things when we do, and clutter tends to obey the law of inertia.

    Long ago, we had three tall bookcases taking up valuable wall space. We also have a very long and narrow living room, one end of which always felt faraway and ignored. One day it occurred to me that we could bolt those bookcases to the wall, in a line, and make a separate “room” there.

    Later, we added shelves made out of doors we’d removed from one of the bookcases, a work table made from a friend’s replaced but solid interior panel door (so recesses to keep things from rolling away, and a bamboo bead curtain, and I have a useful little study of my own to write in.

    Until I thought of it, it seemed an impossible dream. Once I did, I wondered what took me so long, but the answer is life. I couldn’t think of it when life was consumed with little-kidness.=)

    May your reread go well! I’ve got one of those on tap for this month, too.

  3. You have quite a bit going on with your writing girl. That’s amazing since you do this around your day job. I’m always in awe. And decluttering is such a good feeling once you’ve finished. We now live in a smaller place, so there is no place for clutter. I mean so place. So if it doesn’t get used or isn’t needed, wee, out it goes. Good for you Jennette! 🙂

  4. Lynn, decluttering makes me feel great! Good luck with your studies.

    Shan, Clutter obeys the laws of inertia – that’s so true! And thanks.

    Stacy, LOL!

    Karen, thanks so much. It’s only doable with baby steps!

  5. I’m with you. First – I find space wherever I can to tuck stuff away even if that means putting kitchen stuff in the bathroom. Second – When we moved, I threw out a bunch of paperwork I’d been holding on to “just in case.” Third – I’m all about functionality and simplicity (albeit here at the inn it has to be pleasing to the eye as well, which can be challenging).

    All good stuff. Keep it up. Tennessee’s calling.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt