Friday, July 07, 2006

Arriving home

When you first get home from a long trip, there is much to be done. For one thing, all the things you did not get finished before you left are still waiting for you. There are weeds in the flowerbed (they're still waiting for me.) There is overgrown grass - (Henry usually does the mowing.) The pantry and refrigerator are either empty or filled with items that are now out of date. (This time Jonathan had cleaned out my refrigerator -- that was nice to come home to). It also means a trip to the grocery store is top priority. There are the friends you need to get together with.

Then there is mail . . . . . have I said how much I HATE MAIL!!!!!!! I tend to come home to a month's worth of mail. And I have a post office box as well as my home mailbox. So that means I get two sets of bulk mailings. My initial sort looks something like this:
Throw away bulk mailings
Shred the credit card offers
Bank Statements
Brokerage Statements
Newsletters - Christian Chronicle, various children's homes, European Bible, etc
Mail addressed to my deceased mom : Theta, Ratcliff, Harvard, charitable hopefuls, etc
Stock Annual Reports
Mutual fund quarterly reports
Stock Class Action Suits mailings (I don't ever join those, but they mail them to me
anyway. But I have a hard time throwing them away thinking I should read them in
case I should want to reap some benefit.)
Breckenridge Colorado realtors hoping I want to buy or sell property there (look at
before throwing away - keeps me updated on what my Breckenridge properties'
current value is)
Mail for the kids that I need to get to them

When I'm on top of my game, several of these categories should go straight to the file box. This year I have not been on top of my game. Knowing I would be home a while this time, I knew that I needed to get caught up with the six months of filing that had stacked up. As of August 13th - I am close to being caught up.

Some mail is easy to file - it has its place, no decisions required. Some mail is deceptive. You know it is eventually a throw away item. But some of it you want to read or browse - or think you SHOULD read or browse. There is more of it than I will EVER have time to read or browse. Unfortunately, I have a hoarder's mentality . . . . . When I am tired, it is worse. At the beginning of a filing session, I'm throwing away things, sorting and filing. At the end, my unfiled, maybe I'll need this or want to look at this , or the I don't know what to do with this sets of stacks gets larger and fewer things are thrown away.

One partial solution for those items that I might want to look at, but don't have time right now is to find a place to store them . . . . one year later it is MUCH easier to throw it away. Unfortunately, once stored, they are out of site, out of mind, and take up space somewhere. Now to train myself to throw it away now . . . . . could happen . . . . . . . sadly, I've got a long way to go in terms of throwing things away.


scorpank said...

I have a similar hoarder's mentality. In the end I have boxes full of stuff that I would, perhaps ,never look into again. Thankfully I have a rented house and I need to shift places frequently (like every three years). These are good times to go through stuff and throw useless things aways. Transferring stuff is a problem so that gives me extra motivation for the culling.

It was nice reading your article.

Mary Ann Melton said...

Thanks for your comment. We have been in the same house for 20 years - where we raised our kids. I've kept entirely too many of the childhood things - for reasons that do make sense . . . but on the other hand eventually we need to get rid of things.

I recently made the declaration to my daughter and her husband (in the same them as AA) My name is Mary Ann and I am a hoarder.

I am hopeful that eventually I can get rid of a lot of the stuff we no longer use.