Posted by: navalanche | February 16, 2013

Going, going…but not gone

Recently, I read an article about procrastination (I forget in which magazine and I can not find it in my clutter).  As I am known and defined with this behavior, I am always open to suggestions that may help me cope with the problem.  The article mentioned using visualization from start to finish before commencing the project.  What struck me about this idea was the question of when the task is truly completed.  When I declutter, I define the task as completed when I fill a box or bag and place it as near to my front door as I can so that I can haul it away when the opportunity presents itself. Fait accompli!

And therein lies my problem, I can’t always leave things near my front door because there is no free space.  The boxes might end up in the back of the living room or the dining room or the kitchen.  The clutter never actually leaves the premises so nothing is really accomplished.  It gets absorbed back in to the big blob of clutter only to be found months or years later and I am usually dumbfounded to find it again.  Worse yet, I question the decision that I made before and often go through the box/bag over again and start the process over.

If I do not take the boxes out of the house and down to the car and immediately drive them to their intended location, they will never leave.  I can’t just place them in the car, for example, I currently have a small package that I’ve been “mailing” for over two postal increases on the back seat.

I would not have drawn any parallels to the article and my behavior had Mike not mentioned that the high winds we had been experiencing in our area kept knocking over the box of bags that I had left on the porch.


I intended to take them to the thrift store that I visit at least twice a week.  They should have been gone before Christmas.  Instead, I kept adding to the box until I needed a second box.

I found a box of books and a box of newspapers under the dining room table.


I wrote about that box of books back on October 16th.  They were destined for Half Price Books.  In the last month, I’ve been there at least twice and it never ever crossed my mind that I might have something to take there.  The newspapers are so easy to drop off as there are Abitibi containers all around the neighborhood.

There was a small box of Christmas gifts for Mike’s brother Tim.


He lives just a few miles away, close to Half Price Books, yet I left the house without them numerous times.  He finally received them on Sunday.

And the list goes on…there’s the bag of bras that I was supposed to drop off in January for a bra drive, Sue’s cooler that I’ve had on the porch since summer and food containers stacked by the door to return to various family members.  Oh..and then there are the boxes that Kat keeps mailing to my house….but that’s another story.

I’m sure that if I continue to look, I’ll find more boxes of things that I believed were long gone.  Most of the items could easily be dropped off at their intended locations as most of the drop offs points are along routes I take a few times each week.

And yet, I don’t make it a priority.  I assume that I’ll take care of them “next time” for a variety of reasons.  Maybe I’m really am not ready to part with them although I can’t imagine why.

Instead, I should call Sue and tell her that I have her cooler and ask her to meet her for lunch.  I could plan a trip to drop off the bags at the thrift store on a Monday (when I always like to stop) and allow myself a few minutes to look around.

I need to develop a time is of the essence plan so these items aren’t lost and forgotten when they are perfectly packaged and so close to leaving my home.


  1. Don’t you love it when you get the a-ha moments!?! That is SUCH a good one!! I do that all of the time too and have caught myself a few times. I’m not good at the completion part of a project no matter what it is. I don’t know why. Something about actually completing something unnerves me. Does that make sense? Being human is SO weird

    • Moments like these make me understand why I feel like I work and work at clearing the clutter but do not see results. I am hoping as I continue that I do find the reason why I can not complete these projects. Finishing the project completely should be a great thing yet something is stopping me. I like that you said it “unnerves” you. Me too!! I think in part it’s because I worry that I might be making a mistake even though most of the items are useless to me and could be easily replaced. You’re absolutely right, being human IS so weird. 🙂

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