Tackling The Real Clean Out

I woke up with a summer cold. Not terrible, but sore throat and stuffy head. I decided it would be best for me to stay home and not subject my sick self to anyone. I took some Aleve-D cold medicine and it made me feel not only much less sick, but totally took away any appetite and gave me great productive energy.
With this big block of time on my hands and some crazy drug induced kind of adrenaline I decided it was the perfect day to start my summer project of a total clean out of my office. First thing you should know about my office is I have been using it for 23 years. When we first moved in it was my consulting office when I was not out of the country at a client’s site. Once I retired from real work it became my arts and crafts center, while still being the center of the family paperwork storage.  
Many things have gone in this room over the years, hundreds of cookbooks, all of Carter’s letters from camp, scrapbooks, stationary for every occasion, and every box that an Apple product came in. Many things came in office and very little ever left. Once in a while I would move an entire category of items out of the office, like every issue of Durham Magazine since the second issue when I started writing for them. As the stack grew too big I found space in the furnace room to inventory them. Why save them? I do not know. I doubt Carter is going to go back and read an article I wrote about where to get things fixed.
I knew that the job of total overhaul is a multi-week job. Today I started with the first layer – the most recent mail, some of the piles on my desk and the year of financial statements that needed to be filed. Once that was done I stepped into some of the cookbook overflow. I pulled a bunch of books I have not looked at or might never have used from the shelf and am planning on giving them to the DA used book sale. Then I found the stash of old iPhone, iPad and Mac computer boxes. I am not sure why I was saving them, but I did find a perfectly good iPhone 4s in one of the boxes. My recycling is getting full now that I have seen fit to part with cardboard.
I found a lovely cloth bag full of papers that I think came from my bedroom many years ago and got squirreled away in my office and never dealt with. It had a sixth grade report card for Carter, a DA directory from third grade, a book of Poetry written by Carter in fifth grade and a couple of sweet notes from Carter with dubious spelling that belied the straight A’s on the report card. Finding that treasure made going through all the boxes and books worth while.
I can only imagine what treasures I will find in files that have been untouched for fifteen years. Probably mostly owners manuals for items long since discarded and statements for airline rewards programs for companies that have gone out of business. Perhaps I will have to stay on this Aleve-D past the period of my cold to have the energy to finish this job.



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