For someone who just returned from vacation, I am really tired. By 10 a.m. I could go back to bed. And yet, there’s laundry to put away, dishes in the sink, phone calls to make, blog posts to write, muddy footprints to vacuum, and that suitcase isn’t going to empty itself. So this was not the week for a big project, but instead for what I think of as “maintenance projects.” Not exactly groundbreaking reorganization or redecoration, just those things you have to do so you don’t drown in piles of stuff. And by stuff, I mean newspapers and magazines.
But first, another cup of coffee.
Since I started couponing in a semi-serious way, we now get the newspaper. We don’t read all that much of it; I would rather read it online. Here’s Wednesday’s paper scattered in the kitchen, after I’ve gone through the Dining section and all the grocery ads.
Here in the living room is the pile of unread (and some unopened) papers from the weekend. My husband gets the Sunday New York Times, which he does read, but somehow he didn’t get to it over the weekend while he was sole breadwinner AND parent-in-charge. He does most of his reading on his train commute. I keep trying to read during Mr. Nine’s karate class (assuming I don’t have Mr. Four on my lap), but the sensei is forever interrupting me with, “Now Moms and Dads, watch your children while they do x, y, z…” On the mail center next to the front door is a stack of mail waiting to be sorted. On the hall table are piles of library books, a stack of forwarded mail for the snowbird grandparents, and a basket full of random things that we empty from our pockets and pick up off the floor. And here are the magazines. I never think we get that many until I start the sorting process. To be fair, a few of these are hand-me-down magazines–we tend to exchange magazines with family and friends. And three or four of our subscriptions were completely free (my favorite kind). But free or not, they seem to pile up. And this bunch doesn’t even include the food magazines that I file somewhat regularly in the kitchen. I weeded out a bunch of old issues to recycle and a bunch to pass on, and then arranged the rest chronologically. And then I put them away in the living room, where once in a great while I read a magazine and have a cup of tea. The hall table is clear. I bagged up the mail and found a spot for it in the closet. I still need to go through the rest of the basket, but I did pull out all the magazines that had been hiding in there. And I dusted! Mail has been sorted. Now if you’ll excuse me, now that I’ve found the latest issue of Newsweek, I’m going to go read it over breakfast.