February 19, 2011

Spring cleaning

If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?
~Albert Einstein

I am a pack rat. To be honest, I am also a bit of a slob. I create, and put up with, an increasing amount of clutter in my life. Most times I don't even see it, but every so often I feel the walls closing in on me. This week I have been trying to do a little early spring cleaning to beat back the avalanche.

I started with my room. Most everything I brought down to California is stored within the walls of my bedroom. After living here for a year, there are several things I have not touched since I arrived, so they are just taking up space. But of course there were things that did not fit in the back of my truck that I have since needed and purchased down here. On top of all that, throw all the daily debris into the mix and I was starting to feel a little like a hoarder, needing to create pathways through all the junk. I am exaggerating, but it was starting to feel that way.

So this week I tried to take off the top 10% layer of stuff to clear the room and my head. It probably doesn't look all that different to the outside observer, but it definitely feels better to me. The next project is clearing off the table I use for a desk, and that means going through piles of receipts to update my files and prepare my taxes. Not looking forward to that one.

There is only so much I can do, however, to clear out the room. Furniture and the dog bed alone command a lot of floorspace. One big item I could move to clear out the room is my bicycle, but for some reason I like having that in my room even if I don't ride it all that often. But it may get relegated to the shed on the next pass-through.

Yesterday I cleared out the cab of my truck. Ever since I started working in construction, I accepted that my truck would always be pretty dirty. There is just no way to keep it clean when you are dragging in dirt and mud every day. And it is rare that I have a passenger in the truck, so I never really thought about how filthy it was getting.

Once I started digging into it, I began to see how disgusting it had become. I eat while driving quite a bit, so along with all the dirt, paperwork and dog hair, there were plenty of crumbs and crusty fries to be found. The truck could still use a scrubbing down, but at least now it relatively safe for human habitation.

Sometimes a cluttered desk is just a cluttered desk, but I have to say that my mind was a little more at ease when I sat down in my cleaned out truck this morning.

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