Not Quite Lord of the Rings


By Dave

Anyone who knows me well probably is aware the whole “absent-minded professor” vibe I give off isn’t really an act. I’ve been known to “misplace” things from time to time, though, to be fair, when you “misplace” things as often as I do, you really don’t like using the word “lose”. The missing items usually turn up again. Eventually.

There is a story I tell that is, quite sadly, true, of the time I lost my high school class ring. It had gone missing for more than a year and, using my charm and gift of persuasion, convinced my mother to purchase me a new one. After much begging and pleading, I was the proud owner of a replacement ring.

But, like I said before, things in my life rarely stay “misplaced” forever. A few months later, the original ring turned up in the small, 5th pocket of my jeans (It is important to note I lived with my dad and did all my own laundry. Had my mom been in charge of this duty, I imagine the ring would have reappeared in rather short order).

Fast forward a quarter century to a recent weekend where my wife was in the midst of decluttering and finding a permanent home for our holiday gifts. Much to my surprise, she discovered a gift card for my favorite pizza place, one that serves a nice deep-dish pie not easy to find in Southern California.

Where was it, you might ask? It was actually buried beneath the tissue in my Christmas stocking. And if it had not been for my wife and her love for organization and minimalism, who knows when, or if, I would have found said gift.

If only the same could be said about my class rings. The first one was, like I said, found.

The second one has been, well…misplaced.


You Have to Start Somewhere


By Renée

I’ve been reading books on decluttering and minimalism trying to find the perfect way to get my house cleared out and am dealing with some serious analysis paralysis. As I looked around our 1300 square-foot, three bedroom house I starting asking myself what needs to go? Of course, my mind immediately flew to the master bedroom closet shelf where my almost 21-year-old wedding dress resides. I felt my stomach clench and then I realized that this was not the place to start but rather the place to end. If I have learned one thing in my reading it’s that you start with something easy. You need to build momentum so that you will stay energized and make it to the finish line.

Going from room to room and looking over what we have I noticed that there are three layers of stuff in our house. The first layer is what I call The Eyesore Layer. It’s the clutter that makes our house look like a mess and makes me say bad words and get angry. The second layer is The Excessive Layer. These items are put away and not a mess but we have too many of them. Books, clothes, DVDs, CDs and dishes make up this layer. The third layer is two categories that we have a similar motivation for keeping, The Emotional Layer and The Expensive Layer. Gifts and keepsakes added to things like watches we don’t wear or kitchen appliances we spent a lot of money but didn’t use after a month.

We’re going to start with the first layer and work our way down. We’re beginning with what my husband calls the junk room. It’s our third bedroom and was supposed to be a craft room for me but then really turned into a dumping ground for anything that we didn’t have a place for. I’m setting a 15 minute timer for today and diving in.