I’ve been on a massive home reorganization tear lately (which obviously has been eating away at how much time I spend blogging). I had two closets built out of what was previously wasted space, got rid of scads of stuff that was cluttering up the place, and put the goods I want to keeping away neatly.
Two pieces of technology came to my aid in the process.
Out with the Old
Getting rid of stuff is hard. Watching my daughter (12) shed her clutter made that clear. She set up a table in front of our house and put dozens of stuffed animals up for sale. These are not just toys to her. Each one has a life story, a relationship to her other animals, and a special place in her heart. At first she sat in front of the house alone (while I gardened nearby), secretly putting animals back, one at a time into the box of goods she wasn’t giving up. But eventually littler kids from the neighborhood heard about her sale and showed up with their life savings. They listened rapt to the backstories that came with each toy and, often, ran home to beg more money to buy more of the family. After a few hours she had made $40, shed a few tears, and found lots of potential babysitting gigs.
She was happy with the way her sale went and plans to do it again. She is braver than I. None of my clutter has a fascinating backstory or even a place in my heart. But it does have monetary value and I have trouble letting go of that. So I logged on to Turbo Tax’s It’s Deductible to itemize everything as I threw it into bags for Goodwill. In one afternoon, I tallied up $800 worth of charitable donations — much more than I would have guessed at for the same goods. That’s money I don’t have to pay on my taxes! And it will go to someone who needs it rather than sitting in my attic.
In with the New
While I was putting things on shelves in my new closet, I received a package from Dymo asking me to try out their new LabelManager PnP plug and play label maker. Synchronicity? I think so. I grabbed my laptop and took it and the label printer with me to the closet. This tiny printer installs itself when you plug it into a USB port. And it draws power from the laptop so there was no need for a power outlet, which I don’t have in the closet. Within seconds of opening the box, I was labeling shelves, bins, baskets, and containers in cute fonts of my own choosing. I plan to take this thing out to the garden to label my seedlings as well. And it’s certainly doing some time in my kitchen pantry.
Next I plan to tackle the enormous box of electronic detritus in my office. Stay tuned.