Thursday, August 17, 2017

Procrastination is our friend.

The clutter that defies my attempts at de-cluttering is usually the result of either of three things:
  • being in-the-middle of a project or idea, or
  • being completely stumped as to how to disperse the particular object, or
  • pure procrastination
In the second category, I had a few problems I’d mentioned before: my cacao bean roaster, my mother’s samovar, and my audio cassettes. The cacao bean roaster ended up on my friend Judith’s mantle, where she’s trying to figure out what to do with it. The samovar and audio cassettes are still my problems, still taking up space while I … procrastinate.

BUT, every now and then, procrastination is our friend! Every now and then, failure to de-clutter means you still have the thing you were considering giving away, and you need it!

No, I still don’t need a samovar or audio cassettes. Does anyone?

Way back on June 5, 2012 was the last Transit of Venus. This is when Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun and you can see the little black dot of Venus moving across the face of the Sun. If you missed it, sorry: the next one isn’t until 2117. It’s a very big deal if you’re trying to measure the distance from the Earth to the Sun, and history is full of expeditions to observe it around the world.

So there was no way I’d miss it on June 5, 2012, when the University of Alaska Anchorage Planetarium set up telescopes and had us all watching the skies. They gave out special solar sunglasses.

Desk space is the most valuable real estate in my office. Papers and articles, mail and bills need that space. Desk space is the space where items of immediate concern – items of current necessity – fight for attention. Desk space is the place where urgent items are at risk of missed deadlines if they get covered over. Desk space is my High Priority Zone.

The cardboard solar sunglasses have been sitting on my desk since June 5, 2012.

Every time I’d pick them up or shift them around because they were in the way, I’d know they really needed to be relocated elsewhere. But then I’d ask myself: Where do cardboard solar sunglasses go so I’d be able to find them when I need them?

I couldn’t come up with a single obvious and apparent location.

Without an obvious and apparent location, you run the risk of not being able to find things when you need them. I just barely stumbled across the TSA luggage locks when I needed them, but where-oh-where is the large-size label I was saving for the cover of that notebook? Or the short extension cord? If something doesn’t come as a whole family of objects – if it travels solo – it can go astray.
But Monday is the Total Eclipse of the Sun, and I am ready! Sunglasses are apparently sold out all over Anchorage, and FAKE ones are being offered for sale online, but I just had to shift a few papers aside, and there mine are! They spark a lot of joy! For now, the joy of de-cluttering has been replaced by the joy of NOT de-cluttering.

Yes, this sets back the de-cluttering cause significantly, and I know those sunglasses really do need a permanent home, but that can wait till after 10:14 a.m. on August 21.


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