Even though you don’t know me, I am prepared to make you laugh…with me, of course! It has always been important for me to do my best at everything I endeavor, whether it is in parenting, crafts, writing, singing or cleaning. I have a problem when it comes to throwing things away…I can think of many ways to “recycle” items that most people toss without a second thought. I know that there must be a lot of stuff tucked away in drawers, closets, the attic, garage, shed and storage that I haven’t used in years. I really need to just throw it all away but, then I wouldn’t be able the expert procrastinator that I am!
I have made it my new goal to eliminate the procrastination in my life, for the reason that these extra items seem to get in my way when I am just trying to accomplish everyday tasks for my special needs family. I don’t need to waste time moving these items around, or at least out of my way, to access what I really need to retrieve. It frustrates me that, somewhere along the way, I started collecting “trash” and, most importantly, my bad habits are starting to “rub off” on my children. Recently, I have noticed that my two youngest sons are beginning to follow in my footsteps…their rooms look like they are afraid to throw anything away!
Over the last week, I have found everything from shoe boxes, paper sacks, phone books, disposable plastic cups from various local restaurants, newspapers, a magnitude of plastic sacks to those papers that come home from school which have been taking up space…space that my special needs family should be using more constructively. I knew that I had a problem but, I didn’t realize how serious it actually was! This is something that I have been struggling with for most of my adult life, even before my youngest son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder “ASD” almost six years ago. When Nathan was born, his seventeen month old brother already had my husband and I “burning the candle at both ends”. By adding a newborn to our household, it was more challenging for us to stay organized.
What will help me the most is being able to conquer the desire to hang on to these things, especially if I am not able to use them right away. Instead of keeping those things that I “might” end up using later, I need to dispose of those items immediately! The most difficult thing will be for me to throw away the papers that my children bring home from their school. I will have to choose to keep only those select papers that qualify as “extraordinary” and have a designated place to store those keepsakes. Another aspect of my “recycling” that I have trouble with, and need to take control of, is the method of how I recycle those items. Even though the city provides a recycle bin to each resident, I need to purchase a sturdy storage bin to keep the aluminum cans that our family saves in order to pay for special outings or trips. This will help me to get more organized an cut down on clutter!
I gathered everything that I mentioned above, as an effort to take back control of my house. It is very difficult for me to admit…I have definitely let things built up around me but, I am working to change all of that this week! What is important is that I am finally going to re-learn how to recycle those items that qualify, toss the items that have no value and find an acceptable place for everything that truly belongs in my house. This is a HUGE step for me because I am challenged when it comes to change!! The only way that I can accomplish such a large task is to tackle one room at a time, and work my way through the house then to the garage, shed and storage unit.
For anyone who wants to follow my example, these simple instructions will point you in the right direction:
- gather gloves, dusting cloths, recycling bin(s) and large trash bags before you start
- start up high, on one side of the room, and work your way down through each cabinet, drawer, etc.
- dust all items that you come across and remove anything that isn’t used by your family regularly
- separate the various items, as you go, into either the recycling bin(s) or into the trash bag(s)
- enjoy the extra space that has been freed up by removing these unused or unwanted items!
If you find items that you realize may still have value to someone else, donate them to a local charity. One of the exceptions would be if you are in possession of a family heirloom which is being passed down through the generations of your family. Another would be if you are keeping selected items to pass down to your child when he or she grows up. Make sure to store these items in an airtight memory box and preferably in an accessible location, if you are adding to keepsakes regularly.
This process took me about a week to complete but, it has definitely made a difference in being able to take care of my special needs family! I hope that, by sharing my own experience, someone will find the information helpful. What works for one person may not be appropriate for another. Please remember this is only how I solved my own problem and not meant to be taken as expert advice.