The static map captured on paper is almost a thing of the past.

Time was when we all drove around with folded up maps in our glove compartments, ready to pull over and figure out where we were at a moment’s notice. But when was the last time you did that rather than call on your GPS for help?

Countries change, boundaries shift, when was the last time you drove through Boulder and didn’t think to yourself how different everything looks? New stores, new streets and neighborhoods, thank goodness for Google Maps.

National Geographic still includes occasional wall maps, but there’s no need to keep them unless you’re planning to frame them as art.

This Saturday, are there any out-of-date maps you can send on their way? Old triptik travel planners from AAA that are surely going to take you off course, elevation maps of mountains you’ll never climb again with a paper map in your hand, old maps of Nebraska from that cross country trip in 1988?

Inaccurate clutter is irritating. An out-of-date map is unhelpful, so Send it away Saturday!

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.

Joyful Surroundings LLC – (720) 526-2114 –

Need a helping hand dealing with your clutter? If you’re in the Boulder County/Longmont area, here’s how to work with me. If you’re further afield, here’s how to hire a professional organizer.

Everything feels better with an organized home!

This Saturday’s decluttering challenge is simple but it may not be easy. For today’s Send it away Saturday, can you let go of any newspaper in your space that’s older than a day?

If you only have a few newspapers lying around, that’s not too hard but if you have stacks of them waiting to be read, the challenge may feel too challenging. Older than a day? I’m going to read those newspapers!

Let’s be kind to ourselves and pick a time frame that feels reasonable. Will you save all papers from the past week? The past month? What will feel comfortable for you?

If the answer is still I want to keep them all, then pull out your calculator. I’m going to ask you to multiply the number of minutes it takes to read a newspaper by the number of newspapers you have. And then ask yourself if that’s time you’re willing to spend on out of date information? If it is, please start reading. If it’s not, please start recycling.

If you’re saving newspapers for their historical interest, it’s time to think about how often you look at them and whether it’s possible that there are other copies saved elsewhere. Do you want to continue to be the nation’s unofficial archivist, or would you be happy knowing these papers are accessible online? On some level do you feel a need to preserve history? If that’s a passion of yours and you’re creating scrapbooks that you enjoy looking at, that’s very different from a pile of disintegrating newspapers crumbling away in your basement. If you vaguely imagine yourself proudly showing them to grandchildren one day, ask yourself if all this storing is worth it for one passing ‘That’s cool!’ at best?

If you have a non-reading use for your papers like lining the bird cage, collect data for a week. How often do you change the bird cage, how many sheets of paper does that take, how many sheets of paper come with each morning delivery? This will give you a feel for how much newspaper you use in a week. Keep a little extra just for comfort’s sake and then recycle the rest happily, knowing you won’t be caught short.

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.

Joyful Surroundings LLC – (720) 526-2114 –

Need a helping hand dealing with your clutter? If you’re in the Boulder County/Longmont area, here’s how to work with me. If you’re further afield, here’s how to hire a professional organizer.

Everything feels better with an organized home!


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Are your decluttering efforts consistently stymied by your need to find exactly the right home for your departing possessions?

So many people tell me that they feel guilty sending stuff to the landfill. Oftentimes they tell me this while standing between precarious walls of clutter, with whole rooms out of commission for regular use. Clutter is gaining ground daily as their house effectively functions as a branch of the landfill.

Of course, it’s important not to trash the planet but it’s equally important to value your own space enough to treat it the same way. It’s time to factor yourself in as equally valuable, of deserving to live in a clear, clutter free space.

Yes, it will feel difficult to put things in the trash, knowing where they’ll end up. If recycling is available where you live, that can help. But the most effective way to help the planet is to stop buying unnecessary things.  When you know where everything is, you don’t need to buy duplicates. When you clear out the excess, you can see what you own and come up with good ways to reuse what you have. If you keep a small rag bag full of soft worn-out t-shirts, finding a rag is going to be quick and easy. Unearthing one in multiple garbage bags stuffed full of miscellaneous discarded clothing is not.

In birthing the new you, there’ll be some pain. You’ll throw out some things you know you could use – all those rags! But remind yourself that you have a cleaning service come in monthly and they bring their own supplies. You have enough that your children and their children after them are well supplied with rags, if they’re even aware of the concept. Throwing those potential rags in the landfill seems wrong but they’re trash and that’s what we do with trash.

Can you give yourself a pass to clear the trash out of your space now and then be more mindful about where things moving forward? That’ll involve thinking carefully about what you bring into your house. Is is something you need? Or is it a want? Wants are fine, of course, but when they’re temporary or just part of an overall pattern of shopping as distraction, that has its effect on your environment. Earth Day begins at home, and living in a landfill as a penance for the way we collectively treat our planet is taking on quite a lot of responsibility for a shared global problem.

P.S. Quick health update: my latest scan continues to show no sign of cancer. Chemo did an awesome job. Thanks for all your support and good wishes ❤

© 2013 – 2019 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.

Joyful Surroundings LLC

Everything feels better with an organized home!