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Clean Away


Where To Begin

It's not like a pie

Where you have the first piece

The whole center of the pie

The last piece

You have things

You have gifts

Things you need

Things you use all the time

Then some things you use once and awhile

I struggle with where to put everything

When you have little room

You have to make some tough decisions

I box up some things and put them aside for later

I try to keep track of bills

By organizing the receipts

Not an easy task

They can get easily overwhelming

I wonder if it is really necessary

What is the best way ?

I hate wasting time

Then again I hate spending money unnecessarily

I have bought file folders, file cabinets and Rubbermaid containers

I have even tried to do the Neat Receipts

We had trouble with that too

Current bills to pay stubs

From magazines to newspapers

To junk mail to advertising promotions

The current books and old time favorites

A balance is the key

Trying to find that balance takes time

Well worth it in the end

A clean and organized office once again


DREAM ON (author) on May 02, 2018:

Nellieanna Hay I have no shortage on positivity. Matter of fact I had an eighteen wheeler deliver a whole lot more today. It is light and airy and takes up no space. So I can move freely about. Think and dream more. I am getting the job done. When I get stuck I reread your long and detailed comment. It gives me perspective and direction. I am limited to a few hours a day. Sometimes only minutes. I keep at it. I see light at the end of the tunnel. Nope that was an empty cardboard tube I saved for posters. I think and move slowly. With my feet grounded most of the time. There are still moments I feel like I am spinning faster than my ceiling fan and shining brighter than a copper penny. I open up to the experience and take it all in. My life is not all good or all bad. But a wonderful mix to make it very pleasurable with room for improvement. A working process. I hope you are doing well and you are often in my thoughts and prayers. I know one thing is for certain we are all getting older. As I watch the kids next door bounce on their trampoline. I say it looks like so much fun. I think I will just take a leisurely walk instead. Thank you for your continued support and friendship. I appreciate all that you have done. Many people come in and out of our lives. Every day I take time to thank God for all that I know and I thank God even more for the things that I don't know. My life is busy as it is with what I have done. If I did more how crazy would my life then become. I hope you get to enjoy your day. It is to nice to stay in. I am going out for a walk. Talk to you soon. May the breeze be behind your back to make walking easier.

DREAM ON (author) on May 02, 2018:

Audrey Hunt I know bigger baskets are not the right answer. I tried that route. So it is a real challenge. One I know we can handle. You maybe quicker than me. I don't mind being second or 2,001. As long as the job gets done. I love so many different things. Those interests don't translate to good in real life. So I cut my desires and it makes me frustrated. If I continue on the same path it can easily get out of control. So I do what I call crowd control. I limit the number of people and things coming in my home. People are easy. Things are so, so hard. I think if I can do one than I can do the other. I trick myself to doing and creating a unique work and home environment. Maybe one day will come more space. For now as long as I am not moving into a one room apartment I will sacrifice and grin and bear it. There is no mistake here. I get like an angry old bear. I want to do so many things. Sometimes they are not possible at least for this moment in time. Only time will tell. I wish you luck on your cleaning and organizing. I pick up one thing and I have ten plus memories. How can I part with something so special. Back on the shelf you go. I have given things away. Gritting my teeth through the whole process. I have taken many pictures before I do such a thing. So I can reflect back on the memories. Then only to find out I lost the pictures anyway do to computer problems. That's a real bummer. I tried and it wasn't meant to be. So now I have to go by memory. I tricky web we weave. Life has so many ups and downs. I love to reach for the stars. There are so many. I am very thankful I can't reach them because I have no room. Thank you so much for sharing and caring. I apologize for taking so long. If I was a kid I would of been grounded for two weeks. Instead I take walks along the beach and let new ideas pop in my head. They take up no space until I put them into action. I am a lot like an action figure. Sometimes I just sit on the shelf and do nothing. Then when you least expect it I spring into action and do so much I am really proud of. I know every problem in the world can be solved. It is just spending enough time on the problem to understand and find the right fix. I thought wouldn't if been funny if everything we owned was made out of chocolate. If we got hungry we could eat it. If it got too hot it would just melt away. Either way less stuff and more fun. Make today a day to remember.

DREAM ON (author) on May 02, 2018:

Linda Crampton I really and truly love a clean and organized home. When you bring work home with you and turn your office into a home it is a very trick, sticky situation. There are some very fine lines. A lot of grey in between areas that need a lot of consideration and attention. When you have a small home it makes it even more difficult. Pressed for time and energy we have to so what we can. Please feel free to share all your successes and pitfalls. Maybe we can push each other farther and lift each other up if we fall. I don't think there is just one right way but many ways to get the job done. Some work better than others. Sometimes we have to spice it up. Then other times just grind it out. Don't give up and keep a sense of humor always helps. Thank you so much for reading and sharing. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you and everyone else. I got lazy and kicked back and got some extra sleep and less work. Good in one way and bad in another. We all learn from trying. Going back to bed is not always the answer. Have a splendid evening.

DREAM ON (author) on May 02, 2018:

Marlene Bertrand Thank you for reading and sharing my thoughts. I love the lives we all live. So exciting and different. With it comes all kinds of memories. Some memories attach themselves to objects and these objects are hard to part with. I am learning A long slow, slow step by step procedure. The good thing is I don't have to go to a doctors office to have it done. I can do it all at home. In my head I know what I want and to make it happen is a whole different story. I fix and clean one thing and then there is something else. I am thrilled with my progress so far and can't wait to do more. I want to thank you also for being patient. It took me a long time to respond. I have been trying to do a few too many projects at once and so I had to take a step back and take a closer look. Having fun and getting it done doesn't always play good together. Have a great morning and an even better night.

DREAM ON (author) on May 02, 2018:

Ann Carr You have a lot going on. I think you just gave me more inspiration to work non stop through the night. I would love if you keep me posted on the changes and your progress. It should be a wonderful experience and I know it can be stressful. Rome wasn't built in a day. It is 4,048 miles away. I love the Google Home. I ask all kinds of questions and get all kinds of answers. I would recommend it to anyone who spends a great deal of time at home. When I am down or need a pick me up it does the trick. You might want to add that to your new addition. I use it for my spell check all the time. A one on one teacher. I am so happy and thrilled when people are doing the things they want in their life. I know prices are expensive and it is no easy task. I spend most of my time renovating my brain to come up with a new and happier me. Then again I am still in love with the old one. So I keep both. Each day I enjoy living that I also love to reinvent my life tomorrow to be just a little bit happier. There is no rules to follow. I make it up as I move along. I make plenty of mistakes. There is a hidden joy in that too. Well back to my work at hand and you still have your hands full. Thank you so much for reading and exploring something we all do in so many different ways and forms. Get plenty of rest if possible. You are less likely to be edgy and irritable when or if things go wrong. I want to apologize for taking so long to respond. I am responsible for all my actions. Even though I want to blame my cat Charlotte. The weather turned in the 80's today and I want to do everything else but write.

DREAM ON (author) on May 02, 2018:

Dora Weithers In the great life plan this is like one rain drop from every rain we have ever had. I love to read and dream and that can be a very powerful tool but it also can be very explosive. With constant excitement comes progress and many fine details that come later. I think of myself as a painter. There are so may beautiful scenes to paint. You pick one and you are spending long hours looking and understanding the picture before your eyes. Then there comes the slow process of putting your vision on paper. The struggle to paint each stroke precisely where you want it lays the foundation for the next stroke. There is no erasing. Only an magnificent work of art taking place. Each day you make time out of your day to paint when you could be doing anything else. You chose to paint. If and when it gets completed is all up to you. Nobody is telling you what to do or even cares. Something inside of you is driving you to make something special. It may never be a Mona Lisa but it is your own personal, emotional, wonderful piece of art. You made it possible. You are proud of it. You put days upon days of time, energy, inspiration, dedication, talent to complete your vision. Now I can't paint and I admire everyone who has that ability and patience. I have lived a life for the past 53 years and in that time I have every memory rolled into all the things and writings I have written. Each day I become more aware. I am very thankful and blessed. I still have my regular job to go to. I still have to eat, sleep and have all the other things people deal with. Then I also have a passion for the unknown. The mystery of my life. The people I meet and talk to that constantly make me a better person inside and out. Connect that with family and friends. I have a whole lot of thinking going on. I slow my thoughts down to a drip. Examine the littlest piece that other people say that is just a leaky faucet. To me it is a wet cool droplet of life. Without it no living animal, human or plant would survive. I sometimes dive way off the deep end and I am over my head. So I swim quietly back to where it is safe and continue on with my day. So what I am trying to say is thank you so much for taking the time and energy in reading one of my stoems story / poems. I hope you will not be disappointed. The only way I know for sure. Is to write another one. So I tune in to the world that I feel, see and imagine and paint my story with words. I apologize to everyone for not getting back to you sooner. With age I think I am slowing down. I like to think of pacing myself. So more good and less do overs for next time. (lol) Have a beautiful Spring day.

Nellieanna Hay on May 01, 2018:

Dear Michael, you do the things you need to do. It's great to hear your positivity!

DREAM ON (author) on May 01, 2018:

Nellieanna Hay I get so motivated and find many different projects to tackle. I run out of time but not out of ideas. I love all your suggestions and helpful hints. I have been busy here but will get back to you and everyone else in greater detail real soon.

DREAM ON (author) on April 30, 2018:

Bill Holland I go round and round like a merry go round. This ride doesn't stop. I have to have fun with it or I will cry. I do what I can and the rest has to be tackled tomorrow and each day after. My process is slow in the end it is so rewarding. Thank you for reading and caring. Have an amazing day.

DREAM ON (author) on April 30, 2018:

Gypsy Rose Lee You are doing it. Every day one step closer to moving and achieving more of the life you want. Thank you so much for reading and sharing.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 30, 2018:

It's a real struggle to keep everything organized. "You have to make some tough decisions." Thanks for helping.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 29, 2018:

Compared to what I am faced with that was easy. I have a whole house to clear out and a hundred and one items to get rid of. I did get lucky a couple who is setting up house came by and right away they took two buffet cabinets, one large bookcase, an armchair, two swivel bar chairs, a kitchen cabinet and some smaller Items. That at least made a great dent for me. Hope you had a great weekend and will have an inspirational week ahead.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 28, 2018:

I accidentally deleted my comment while trying to edit it. So here it is again!

Very interesting, Michael! I'm trying to write out my own routine system for keeping up with current bills and financial obligations, and related details which demand constant attention, and which seem to punish us if they don't get done consistently on time. The system keeps it simple and effective. But describing it simply enough to be useable and understandable seems to be harder than doing it! One tends to just internalize one’s own systems without always consciously thinking about it or ever spelling it out in words!

You might be interested, though, if and when I ever get it written. But, essentially, it’s just a matter of devising a consistent routine that fits one’s own situation for keeping track of bills so that due-dates are never missed and there will be no penalties to be paid. It’s a good goal!! And I think that one’s own system will always work best for oneself. I certainly didn’t adopt someone else’s, except in applying basic principles which must be part of it and consistently practiced, if the objective is to be reached consistently, as it must be to make it work.

I knew I couldn’t trust my memory to keep up with all the details of paying bills on time, which, if not taken care of, could result in a lot of over-due fees and penalties, and at times, can interfere with personal matters and relationships.

With this system, all I have to do is check my list of the things that must be done and when, then do the ‘do’ and keep track of the ongoing activity after paying bills and paying for other expenses, which all leave less money available as a result, — in order to stay updated and to keep up with the obligations that can’t be ignored or avoided without various negative results.

It all ties together, but the deliberate act of paying bills can more easily be overlooked than making sure there is food in the pantry and paying for daily provisions of all kinds. So a system is needed to make sure it all will come out at the end of the month ‘in the black’, as they say. Haha.

My dad always told me to “be systematic.” I can hear him say it in my mind. It took quite awhile to fully take root, so I could benefit from it, though. I tended to organize mostly what I preferred doing, so that it took me longer to get ahead of all of it, which is necessary. This is like a woven cloth, with each thread necessary for a whole cloth. So I’ve ‘been there, done that’, having my share of loose ends and raveled edges along the way! Now I’m on top of it, thanks to a consistent system I made and work for my own situation. haha.

As to junk mail and advertising, there are NO penalties or punishments for just chucking them in the trash promptly. I do remove and shred all the personal ID information on them before chucking them, though. Too many cases of stolen IDs.

As to books and favorite keepsakes, they’re a life-long passion and love-affair and are kept and cherished, especially books. I have a few precious mementos from long ago, especially pictures and a few remains of beloved collections. I keep current pictures mostly online. But I prefer to back up personally valuable online stuff with ‘hard copy’ printouts.

Still, I must work at being reasonable. I’m trying to NOT keep adding more books, DVDs and magazines. There’s not a room in the house except bathroom and utility room without its stash of books, bookcases and even some saved magazines. I even have a copy of “National Geographic” from the month and year I was born, Feb.,1932, plus a few other precious oldies. Yeah\, the house is bursting at the seams! haha. I need to weed out some stuff.

The only subscriptions I now get regularly come with memberships in various things, which I throw out right after the month they’re for, after removing the personal ID on them. I’m not subscribing to any book clubs or paid-for magazines now. I’ve run out of room unless I tear our the walls and build bookshelves and storage into the wall studs! haha. If I designed a new house for myself. that might be part of its plan!! So much room is wasted on formal furniture that’s never really utilized, though some of that is among my keepsakes! haha. Having a mother who was a collector and keeper gave me a head start. hehe. (Also my George’s lifelong collections of books and other keepsakes!)

But, alas. It does “sink in” over time that one has to exercise considerable self-discipline to manage and coordinate all the various challenges and temptations of life to keep it all in balance, or else one pays the price, literally, which usually turns out to be more trouble and wastes more money and time than just consistently taking care of things as one goes along, especially the financial obligations. Those buggers NEVER pardon our neglect!

For awhile, one thinks that it’s bound to be either/or between taking care of the pleasurable personal creative dream life OR tending to the tiresome persistent real life demands. But, happily, it turns out that is not how it works. Keeping up with the “tiresome details of living” gives support and foundation to allow one to fully enjoy and indulge in the fun stuff which nourishes the soul more easily and consistently, with fewer ‘ups and downs’ and sudden setbacks in both and all areas of one’s life.

Sure, time and funds are determining factors, and are far from being inexhaustible for anyone. But being organized makes maximum use of one’s time and one’s funds, so that tiresome stuff gets done without ‘drag’ and unnecessary wasted funds, with plenty of quality time and sufficient funds to pursue fun stuff, too. If tiresome stuff is neglected, its repercussions build up and steal almost ALL one’s time and deplete one’s funds, just getting the otherwise avoidable results straightened out.

I couldn’t trust my memory to keep up with all the details, which could result in a lot of over-due fees and penalties. With the personal system I worked out, all I have to do is check my lists and printouts, to handle what I need to do about my bills and obligations and to keep track of the ongoing activity, so as to update and to keep up with it in timely, effective fashion. And I still have time to take care of my 86-year-old self and my home and to enjoy good health, beloved people and to pursue my favorite activities — with far fewer moments of panic when overlooking a bill or other tiresome obligation and making my loved ones worry about me.

I see that is your conclusion in your poem, too, but I detect some shadow of concern with HOW to organize the bill paying. Am I wrong?

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on April 27, 2018:

Yes...balance is the key. You may very well be a "mini me". :) I totally relate to "Where to Begin". If only I had more room. Would I be more organized, or would more room mean more clutter?

So glad you wrote this poem. I no longer feel alone with my baskets of stuff.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 27, 2018:

I'm trying to organize things better in my home at the moment. Some of the problems that you describe sound very familiar to me!

Marlene Bertrand from USA on April 27, 2018:

I thrive in a balanced environment. I enjoyed reading your poem. It is well-balanced, indeed.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 27, 2018:

Oh how I can identify with all this. Add to the mix that we're renovating our house and the chaos is worse! However, in the end it's very satisfying to get things done. Then it piles up all over again!

Great poem!


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 27, 2018:

If you are like me, it will stay that way for about a week. lol I have given up hope. I try to stay one step ahead of drowning in the detritus. :)

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