By: Wanda Campbell

On Monday, I got a message that said, “Your email box is full. Please delete items.”

I got this same message about a year ago, too. My, how time flies. It does not seem like it has been a year. Turns out it was not a year; it was only six months. I can’t delete that email without wondering if I will need it again. It took all day to go through those emails.

I thought this bad habit was just at work, but it turns out I am hanging onto things at home, too. And the mess is worse. I now have six 30-quart plastic tubs that I cannot throw away…and have no place to store.

The email prompted a spring cleaning storm at work and at home. You know – spring cleaning - when you decide you have to clean up everything and throw out the old stuff. That is easier than it sounds.

When I started going through the boxes at home I found treasures. How could I put my grandbaby’s handprint from kindergarten in the trash? I know that wooden rifle is broken but Ben won that for shooting targets at Boy Scout camp (30 years ago). And the corn kernels are falling off the rooster picture, but it was so cute when it was new; and it is the only art project I have from Brian.

I actually took a class called Getting Rid of Clutter. It did not take, but I did learn some pretty good ideas. For one, if you sort your mail over the trashcan, you can throw the junk mail away right away instead of stacking it on the tables and counters. This suggestion became a habit and I still use it.

When I took the class, I thought the “maybe box” was the best idea. Sometimes when you’re going through that pile of stuff, you know exactly what to keep (the stuff you love and use) and what to trash or donate. But then there’s other stuff you don’t use, but think you might want or need someday. So create a “maybe box,” and put this stuff there. Put the box somewhere, out of the way. Then pull it out six months later, and see if it’s anything you really needed. Usually, you can just dump the whole box because you never needed those things and did not miss them during the six-month period.

Very soon we will be starting a new year. Starting a new year is the time to start new habits. Whether you are looking to organize your stuff or you want to manager your time, you can find new ideas, and/or new habits, at Athens State University’s Center for Lifelong Learning.

This winter/spring 2020, we will offer classes in Time Management, Table Talks on the Hubble Space Telescope and the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as Painting for Beginners, Sign Language, and cooking classes using spices from around the world.

Watch for information on our website – www.athens.edu/CLL or call us at 256-233-8260 for more information.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning - 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 - 256-233-8262

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