Washing Hands, Blowing Nose, Finding Coins for Week 9 (Decluttering and Simplifying 2010)

With the mental clutter that overwhelmed me last week packed away (if not cleared away), I’ve moved on with some cleaning and decluttering projects.

The “catastrophic” problem with David’s car only cost $337 to fix, temporarily settling the issue of whether it’s time to retire that old Ford Focus. With a new timing belt and belt tensioners (whatever those are), it’s good for at least a few more miles. We hope that means it will last until we’re ready to trade it in on a little pickup that would be a more practical second vehicle in our rural living situation. But we have neither the desire nor the money to tackle that issue at the moment.

Solving the car issue went a long way toward clearing my mental clutter, and so did a big round of book listing and selling this week, generating some much-needed income and improving my inventory and its potential for future sales. Financial challenges wait around the next several corners, but I’ll deal with them as they approach critical.

All of our available time on Thursday was spent working on the book business, moving this week’s decluttering to today. Since we have no plans for the day or evening, we used this bonus time to get some things done. While David cleared a bookcase, I tackled a couple of messy and dusty piles — one in the living room and one in the bedroom. We both completed our tasks and a few other small ones, mostly filling the trash dumpster today. Since Friday is trash day, our garbage men can count on an overflow from us next week.

Hiding under the futon was a small wooden box that my father made. I thought it contained some of his leather-craft tools, but it contained $24.50 in rolled pennies. Why had I kept those? I apparently rolled them when I was a child, but the pennies are too new to have any value greater than 1 cent each. Meanwhile, David found a bowl filled with coins, so I’ll visit Coinstar this week and trade those heavy pieces of metal for an Amazon gift certificate (because there’s no counting fee for that), and that will probably more than cover March’s new DVD releases from the classic Doctor Who series.

And here’s a tip for the week. Indoor air quality always concerns me, especially since I seem to be susceptible to allergies — something I’m reluctant to admit since I very much dislike medicine and medical procedures. Here, then, are the three simple precautions I suggest taking when tackling a messy indoor project:

  • Blow your nose after every task.
  • Wash your hands after every task.
  • Wash your face several times during the day.

It works for me.