>The 4 Box System


Today is Saturday. It’s 10:30 a.m. and it’s cold outside but I’ve got to get out to go to the gym and work out, or I’ll “fail” in my New Year’s goal of exercising 3X a week in the new year, so I plan to get out there. Later.

It’s actually a good day for writing, the second item in my goal, except for two things: (1) my husband is home today, and I can’t concentrate on writing unless I’m alone, and (2) I’m a little blocked right now. A little stuck between the psychological/therapeutic work that’s happening as I dig into the middle chapters of my book and the actual craft of writing. What’s a girl to do?

Step away from the computer and ORGANIZE another area of my house. Inspired again by Maryanne MacDonald’s column in the Commercial Appeal, , I’ll tackle the shelves next to my bureau in our bedroom, and maybe also the top of my bureau, and if I’ve got time, my bureau drawers. “Before” photos don’t really show how bad it is, because you can’t see the ridiculous mix of trash and useful stuff that’s piled up on those shelves over the past six years. But I know, so I’ll appreciate the difference.

Oh, for those who don’t want to read Maryanne’s article, the 4 boxes she recommends using for each area you clean out are:
Box 1 — Give Away or Sell
Box 2 — Goes Somewhere Else
Box 3 — Inactive Storage
Box 4 — Can’t Decide or Emotional Withdrawal

My boxes (and trash bags) aren’t exactly the same as these 4. I don’t embrace the idea of Box #4 at all. If I can’t decide (and it’s rarely emotional withdrawal) I throw it away. So I replace Box #4 with Bag #4—trash.
And I don’t necessarily use a box for #2 – “goes somewhere else.” I think I’ll just toss those items on the bed and carry them to their new places throughout the house later. We’ll see. Here goes! I’ll be back later this afternoon to post the results and photos!
Okay, it’s 3 p.m.and I’m back with great results. Two bags of trash have been taken out; ½ bag filled for Goodwill; lots of items relocated to “Somewhere Else” (Box 2) in the house; and ½ storage box filled for the attic. The attic box has yummy items from our trips to Greece and Alaska. I’m happy to know where they are finally!

It was fun to discover some hidden treasures, like these posters that I hope to frame some day…

Like this one from the Southern Festival of Books in 2006, where I met some of my heroes, like Beth Ann Fennelly, Cassandra King, Lee Smith and Jennifer Horne.
The empty shelf space in the closet I organized last week provided the perfect home for several things on the shelves, and now I’ve got a space for my purse, daily calendar, and other items that need a place but that I don’t want cluttering up my neat bureau top!
And my newly organized office space provided a new home for a box of note cards and a few framed pictures. I’m loving how each space I organize helps me with the next one!

Oh, I forgot to mention, I never got a response from the folks at easy-hit-counters.com, so I got a new one, from statcounter.com/blogger, and installed it myself in about 15 minutes. Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good about that.
Okay, here’s a view of both areas that I organized. And I think I used about a half bottle of Endust on those surfaces that hadn’t seen the light of day for a while!

Only problem is I’m exhausted, and now I’m off to the gym to exercise. I think I can I think I can I think I can….

Please share!