Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Purge Project - Part I

I can recall as a kid/teenager that I loved receiving mail.  I thought I was so grown when I got a birthday card from my grandpa EJ who lives in West Virginia or a letter from my cousin Deni who was in college.  I thought getting mail meant I was special.  Little did I realize that as I got older, most mail meant I was special alright...especially prone to being sent tons of junk, bills and little surprises that could sometimes send me into a full blown meltdown. 

I hate receiving mail now.  It is the bane of my existence and often I let it pile up high until it's falling all over the place.  Now if I'm expecting money, I'm all over the mailbox but otherwise, I hold my breath each time myself or my husband opens the mailbox waiting for the imminent doom or depression brought on by more bills and more offers for a credit card I don't need.  So extreme is my angst over mail that my husband is the one to routinely get the mail for us.  Part of it is because I've been known to hide bills from myself only to have to make a mad scramble around the house for the payment coupon to pay our property tax.  My husband is good about putting our "community bills" in one place and then dividing our individual mail amongst us.

Nevertheless, I sometimes go months without opening statements, shredding credit card offers or filing my paycheck stubs.  But in order to get my financial house in order, I took a deep breath this morning and faced the pile of paper (which includes mail, magazines and work-related papers) on my nightstand that had taken on a life of its own.  It took me nearly two hours to come up with two piles: Shred and Save.

 This is the shred pile

This is the save pile

I currently don't have a filing cabinet available for the save pile until I purge my nightstand drawers.  This stuff was the paper sitting ON TOP of the night-stand.  Part II of the Purge Project is to clear out the night-stand drawers and make some space in my filing cabinet in the office.  Part III of the Purge Project is to post a new list of unwanted books on and finally Part IV will be to clean out my car trunk and backseat which is full of paper, books and coffee mugs (though I'm only a tea drinker). 

As you can tell, I have some pack-rat tendencies even though I try to purge at least twice a year.  I think more than being a pack-rat, I bury my head in the sand when it comes to clutter.  It's like the clutter can be so overwhelming that it takes something important for me finally face it.  Well, currently being broke as a joke is important enough for me to face my fear and deal with my mess. Fortunately, the upside to dealing with Part I of the Purge Project is that my mood instantly lifted because there is order now and I have a good sense of my financial picture.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

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