Clearing Clutter and A Day in the Life

Almost the first thing that I did when I got home on Saturday was to pick up the garbage off of the kitchen counter. The kids had been living on packaged foods and they tended to drop those packages wherever. They are much more focused on the food than on proper disposal. Without intending to clean up the kitchen, I did, because in the spaces between fixing myself a snack my hands moved dishes to the sink and trash to the garbage can. That was only the beginning. For the past two days I have moved through my house clearing away clutter. I finally have the time to notice it and space in my brain to realize that this item actually belongs over there. Then I put it where it goes. In some ways it is like geological research, the study of how long life has been too busy by examining the collections. I hope I can continue this calm approach to clearing away the clutter for at least a week. That will do much to improve life around here.

This morning I got up early and set to work. I knew I needed to keep myself on track, so I decided to record my work day. Perhaps in some future year this will be an interesting record, a snapshot of my work life now.

7:30 am on Monday. This is the day when I return things back to normal. I begin by mailing all the packages and answering all the email.

8:45 am, answered all the emails and printed all the invoices. Up next: assemble all the packages. (Already behind my hoped for schedule.)

9:15 Postage printed. Next I assemble packages, but I probably ought to pause for breakfast before it has to be lunch instead.

Breakfast consumed. 22 packages set out for the postman. 10:32 am, time to make the kids get out of bed and do their chores.

11:30 most of family room cleaned up and vacuumed. Still need to sort through the mess on the game table, the mess on the fireplace, the mess on the video cabinet, and at some point in the future I need to completely re-sort the game closets. There are things in there that need to be evicted.

12:00 pause for lunch and noodling.

1:00 back to work. Part of my work process has been clearing and organizing odd corners of the house where things have accumulated. It seems like during coin shipping we were always asking Where is a sharpie? Where is a box cutter? Well I found them all. Now my pencil drawer overfloweth. Sometimes I don’t realize how crazy life has been until I start cleaning up and finding the oddest things accumulated in corners.

1:20 Accounting. Ready set go.

Sorted and found some financial documents hiding in the piles on my desk. Nothing overdue, just things to record. I have reached the bottom of the sedimentary layers and exposed desk surface. On one hand I feel bad that I lost track of some things. On the other hand I feel good that my system did not permanently lose them. They just waited until I had time to attend.

2:20 Still accounting. Moving into personal accounts.

Running laundry in parallel to accounting is theoretically efficient, but sometimes it just gives me points where I lose focus and can get distracted.

2:50 Pause for a snack.

3:30 back to accounting. Still having to do extra work because of the data loss post-hard-drive crash. The one accounting session that was lost happened to be one where I reconciled the checking account, so I had to do that over again.

5:39 pm done with the accounting. It does not usually take this long. I had to pause for kid stuff multiple times and there was extra post-shipping accumulation and accounting clean up. Time to go make dinner for kids. And me. I should get to eat dinner too.

8 pm The next hour is for writing. Kind of amazing that I can spare an hour for it.

8:50 pm I can hear quarreling downstairs. Time to go enforce bedtime.