Clean And Reorganize

Boyfriend gently reprimanded me for making the bed–something I do as part of my normal early morning routine. He had a point because we were at the “Holiday Inn Express” in Lemars, Iowa. They have employees who take care of room preparation for the hotel’s guests. I reluctantly folded back the blankets and ruffled them up a bit.

At least I didn’t try to clean the bathroom at the motel that day. Tidying up the room is something I used to do during my travels when I was younger. I was more self-conscious about looking like a slob then. I eventually came to realize that motel employees don’t know me nor care about my hangups.  Yet when I stay overnight at a motel or hotel I pick up the towels and make sure I haven’t left extra work for the housekeeping staff. The bathroom is where I usually leave the tip for the cleaning person.

I’ve always admired the organized closets and cubbyholes that are displayed in interior decorating books and magazines. The photos show off special racks, bins, and shelf organizers that are part of built-in storage in kitchens, dens, basements, garages, and bedrooms of model homes. These accouterments are impractical for those of us who prefer to rent or lease our housing.

My little house has only two smallish closets, I bought closet organizer racks from K-Mart several years ago. I was unhappy with them because they just were not practical. They finally ended up at my garage sale to get them out of my life. Now, for the items that don’t fit on clothes hangers and a shelf, I put them in boxes and stack onto the closets’ floors.

Overflow storage for non-fabric items like pottery, glassware, and metallic things are in storage “totes” and stacked in the rudimentary basement. Because the basement is damp in spring and summer, I cannot store anything that is absorbent like clothing, linens, or paper. The “old basement” odor is hard to remove from soft goods placed there.

After 30-years of accumulation, I finally have come to understand the folly of keeping things around for just in case I need them.

Some cheap doo-dad I might need once every decade is probably stashed away in some forgotten bin or drawer. It’s faster to purchase new rather than endure a multi-day search for it in the basement. If I haven’t used it for a year or so, the thing is donated to a thrift store. This makes life much easier and less frustrating.

One of my goals for 2020 is to continue to downsize my belongings. Last year, I managed to put a sizable dent in the amount of stuff I own but no longer use.

I really want to finally bite the bullet and undertake a radical downsizing by eliminating nearly everything. There are items from three decades ago that are moldering away in storage. It’s doubtful that I’ll ever find the time to use them again. With fewer things, life will be less complicated. The onset of this new decade presents the perfect opportunity to clean up and reorganize my surroundings.


The Blue Jay of Happiness wants to believe interior designer Bobby Berk. “De-cluttering can be overwhelming. So start with that one small thing. Clean out your junk drawers. It can lead to so many more beautiful things. Start there, and you’ll find yourself cleaning the whole rest of the house.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
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