Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Out of sorts

I have only one project left on this list! I am really proud of myself for completing 26 of the 27 tasks in just two months. However, I've been realizing there is much more to go! It's amazing how moving forces you to really re-evaluate why you're keeping something. Some examples of what I've been sorting:

Even in creating a master list of organizing projects, I overlooked several areas. One spot I hadn't considered was my stash of gift wrapping supplies. I was shocked to discover that I had over 100 gift bags! I haven't purchased any of them, I just save them from holidays and had no idea there were so many. I sorted through each one, and am parting with half of them. It felt great to clear some out, remind myself of what I have, and categorize the remaining ones by size/occasion.

Another collection I hadn't dealt with: my tapes--as in audio cassettes. Remember those?! Although I had already pared them down at other points, I was once again surprised to learn the current quantity: 50! This time around, I kept only my true favorites--with no tape player in my car anymore, I really have little opportunity to listen to them. I gave several tapes one final play before pitching. One of the tapes I ran across was a mixed tape (oh, yeah!) that my friend Allison made me when we graduated from high school ELEVEN years ago. I couldn't bring myself to throw it away, so I mailed it off to her with a little note thanking her for all the memories!

The biggest on-going task is one I'm sure many of you can relate to: PAPER! My husband and I had sorted all of our files a couple years ago, and he recently went through our shared folders to clear out unneeded papers. I thought that whole project could be checked off the list, until I was faced with a file bin with my name on it. Inside the folders were tons of resources for teaching and for working with college students, two of the fields I worked in before becoming a stay-at-home mom. I felt a strange tug going through all these papers, trying once again to decide what to keep, and feeling that stage of my life slipping through my hands with each page placed in the recycle bin.

Those are just a few examples of everything I've been sorting--it seems like I'll never run out of things that need organizing. I do enjoy these kinds of projects, and I am so grateful for all God's blessed me with, but I can't ignore that there's a part of me that finds it somewhat sad that I have so much *stuff* that it can sometimes be a burden to me, and yet others have so little. Hard to know what to do with that, isn't it? It leaves me feeling a little out of sorts.


Anonymous said...

There is nothing like moving to help you decide what is important enough to keep (and move!)! I've seen that as a tip for helping decide even for those who aren't moving -- to pretend that you are moving and consider whether you would take an item to your new home.

For the part of you that is somewhat sad about all that you have when others have too little, my belief on that is that God has blessed me abundantly and with that, I have a responsibility to share with others who have less. Sometimes that is directly such as donations to a food pantry or ministry, and sometimes it is indirectly by giving items to an agency or thrift store that will be an avenue for others to get items they can use without buying them at retail prices.

Thanks for sharing -- have a great day! Love you, Mom

Amy said...

Great post! The mixed tapes really brought me back. I dated my hubby all through high school and he took my mixed tapes on a US History trip that became infamous and passed around on the bus through their travels. I think it is so sweet that you sent it to your friend- I am sure it will put a smile on her face.

Hang in there, Carrie, I am praying that your move is really successful!

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

I love that you sent the mix tape to your friend! How that brought back memories.

Sorting and organizing seems a never ending task for me. I know what you mean about parting with work related stuff. I got rid of some felt story board several years ago and it broke my heart to part with them. I had thoughts of all the kids I taught preschool to as I was sorting through them.

Mary Ann said...

I can totally relate to the too many gift bags. I dutifully kept each one we received for our wedding and my bridal showers 3 1/2 years ago.(I was ambitious in my new role as a frugal wife-haha!) Early last year, I finally came to my senses and realized that it would take years and years to use all those wedding-themed bags so I parted with them by selling a bunch at a yard sale. Now I only keep a few all-occasion bags and wrappings on hand and that works well.

We still have boxes of cassette tapes that we will have to make a decision on eventually!

gail said...

oh carrie! i DREAD going thru our papers. we have so many, in so many different areas of our house. but you reminded me that it must be done.

good for you, going thru your stuff now and not
AFTER the move as i have been known to do--hee hee

Mom2fur said...

I'm sure you're doing a great job!
Hey, not that you need anything else--but I'm doing a 400th post giveaway on my blog if you'd like to visit!

Niki RuralWritings said...

I know it's alot of work, but doesn't it feel great with the "purge" is done??? You'll feel so organized and on top of things once you are settled in your new home. I'd love to meet for tea, I'll email you closer to the time we will be driving through to see if it will work :)
I will check the Ingalls locations as well. We visited the wilder farm in upstate new york several years ago as part of a homeschool trip, thanks for the suggestion!