Spring: time for plans, projects and pollen

Published 2:45 pm Saturday, April 9, 2022

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”  This quote by Leo Tolstoy sort of defines the season for most of us.  We can’t wait for spring so that we can put our projects in play.  You know what I’m talking about.  The new flower bed, the painting project, the building, renovations, and construction—all those ideas that took root during the cold, dreary winter months.  We are ready to begin!  

Clearly, I’m still in spring cleaning/decluttering mode.  More in thought than in doing I will admit.  I began by turning my house over.  Not literally, of course.  But I watch the weather forecasts waiting for the temperatures to warm and then I begin to change the inside of our house to match the warmer outdoor elements.  I switch out the heavy bedding for the lightweight quilts.  The whole house gets a small makeover with brighter décor, different throws, and pillows—light and airy is the transition.  And of course, there’s always those projects that need attention.  Like the garage sale that needs to happen.  Think of all those things that just accumulate and take up space.  Time for a change.  You know the saying . . . one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  But most of the things that I need to be rid of are not trash at all.  In fact, they are more like treasures.  Thus, the reason I’ve held onto them.  But having downsized twice now, Tom and I have limited storage space, so I have to get tough-minded about this.   

During the earlier downsizing period, it was hard to discard items at first.  You have to have a certain mindset to do this.  First, realize that it’s only “stuff.”  Sure, it represents some period of time for you, most likely a happy phase in your life.  When your children were growing up, when your career was underway, when life was busy.  I began by passing on to each of our sons their “stuff.”  That took care of some volume.  When we downsized and moved to a smaller residence, I vowed that each time I brought something into the home, I’d also have to get rid of something.  That didn’t last long.  It always seemed to be inconvenient to have to decide what to get rid of an item, and then decide where does it go.  I don’t like to just toss something in the trash if it still has a purpose and is in decent shape.  Clearly, I overthink things.  That’s where you must be tough minded.  Just do it, and move on.  

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I recall having a garage sale when Tom approached me and said he’d like to “buy” back a dresser because our son Jeff was upset that it was being sold.  I pointed out the obvious to him that if he “bought” the dresser that it would still be in our attic AND there would be no profit from the sale.  Yes, the dresser remained in the attic and lived there until another garage sale.  

I read that the “golden rule” of getting organized is that inventory must conform to storage.  Makes sense.  It is a matter of having a plan.  And that plan has to start with a commitment to getting things done quickly.  I’m certainly not a professional organizer, but I know this much.  The more quickly you go about the decluttering process, the more effective you will be.  Think about the items you know you don’t need and won’t keep.  Start with the larger items and before you know it, you will be in a zone.  It will be a liberating experience.  And don’t forget the junk drawer.  In fact, I would suggest you start with the junk drawer.  It will be your blueprint for the remaining process.  Good luck with your spring projects!


Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for The Oxford Eagle. Contact her at bbrown@olemiss.edu.