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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Resolution for the Kids

Notice I said resolution (singular). Of course, I always try to stay active and eat right, so that's a somewhat lame resolution. The ones we should be making are the ones that are a stretch, that put some pressure on it. What I haven’t done very well is clean out the chaff from my life. You know what I mean. It's all the stuff we've accummulated and that's crammed into any available bookshelf, closet, drawer or computer file. Our children, we’re sure, look at this when they visit and see that time in the future when it will become their problem, so let’s help them out a little.

As the oldest of four girls and still having my parents in my life, this does not concern me. My parents have moved so many times (30), they have very little chaff. It's either been thrown away or lost by the movers. My dad has few hobbies, so that also keeps it down. I aspire to their level of non-clutter. I’m still firmly on my 104-year plan, but just in case that doesn’t work out, I don’t want my only child to deal with things I will never use again in this life. So my resolution for 2012 is to clean it out. I imagine it will make me feel a little lighter and freer; and that may, in turn, make me walk/jog faster and smile even more. And I'm serving notice that I have nothing to do with my pack-rat husband's proclivities.

Making this a resoltion also requires a plan. I will not approach this willy-nilly or place undue stress on the garbage collector. So here it is. Feel free to adopt it and have your children send me a thank-you note.

1. Most of the papers I have accumulated in file cabinets and folders can go to the recycling bin. Sensitive ones will be shredded.

2. Some of the things I no longer use are gadgets and small appliances. Those can be donated to a thrift store—second pile.

3. Hair care products and make-up I have accumulated (that makes you squirm, doesn't it?) can be rinsed out and the containers recycled. Old medications will be adulterated and trashed. Too many medications are ending up in our water supply. Do not, I repeat, do not flush these unless specifically instructed to do so.

4. Family photos: we have a huge collection of those. Loose photos will be sorted into those to be scanned into computer files or trashed. Do I really need 5 variations of my son's third grade class photo?

5. Tote bags: We have hundreds and have recycled them to use for grocery and shopping bags. However, having gone to many health fairs and seminars, I have overstepped the limit to the number we can use. Extras can be donated or filled with cans of food and taken to a food pantry.

Right after the first of the year, I plan to get started on my grand clearing project, one room at a time, spread out so I have time for a life. Maybe it will inspire my husband, the consummate pack rat, to do the same. Come on, honey, do it for the Gipper (our poor beleaguered son, who has parents and in-laws, both with two homes, and his own collection of little girls and their stuff).