Guest Blogs

What’s Your Bag?

I store loads of stuff in bags, forget what’s in there, only to be surprised when I finally look inside.

If you are anything like me, you have bags—bags of stuff, bags of everything. Bags of things you didn’t remember you owned. Bags of things you used for a hike last year. Bags of food containers that may or may not have mold inside. Bags with random, assorted life accessories scattered along the bottom of them.

As I go through my house lately, cleaning up clutter piles, the “bag” theme has made itself clear.

I understand how it happens. I don’t seem to be able to totally prevent it from happening—yet. I get bored with the bag I’m currently using and switch to a new one. I’m usually in a hurry when I do this, so I just grab the essentials out of the first bag and toss them into the second one. I may organize the “new” bag when I reach my destination, or some time later in the day. But I never seem to revisit the abandoned bag. The abandoned bag sits there until I notice it months later, and there’s no guarantee that I’ll go through it then, to see what’s in it, either.

The other usual reason for my abandoned bags is that when I come home from an activity, I don’t empty out my activity bag.

Life sure involves a lot of steps, and this clearing out of bags is one that I never thought about, until very recently.

[Free Download: Organize Everything Today!]

This morning, I did some household cleaning before I left for work. As I was vacuuming the dining and living room, I “noticed” the bags in each room. Having noticed them, I was able to come up with a plan: I grabbed the four bags in the living room, and I put them in a pile, in the dining room, with the bag that was just sitting in there. Voila! Now they are officially one de-cluttering project that I can schedule for removal, instead of five separate bags, sitting in lumpy piles for no reason.

I won’t have time to clean them out this weekend, but I will have time to do it next week, so I’m calendaring them for emptying on Wednesday of next week. If I get it done before then, great. If not, I know what I’m doing on Wednesday morning.

Can’t wait to see what’s in those bags! They’re time capsules of forgotten treasures!

And, of course, now that I have thought my way through this bag issue, I have to memorialize for myself that when I bring a bag of stuff into the house, I immediately need to empty it and sort the contents. To retrain my habit, I’ll probably put a big note to myself in the spot in the living room where I’m most likely to dump bags, one that says, “Empty bag! No dumping!”

[Lighten Your Load]