How to Sort that Pile of Random Stuff


My pile of random stuff started with one coupon sitting on the corner of the kitchen counter-top, sound familiar?

Then I added a recipe followed closely by a thank you note.

That was met with someone else putting a broken pair of earbuds on the pile.

The pile continued to grow until I needed the counter-top space. We had tacos for dinner and I wanted to line up all the toppings. So I pulled open a drawer and swiped it all inside.

By the way, the tacos were yummy!

My pile of random stuff is in a drawer, yours might be in a bag in the closet or a box in the garage.

No matter where your random stuff is hiding, or how many drawers or bags of it you have today is the day to sort the stuff.

How you ask? Simply by deciding.

These random piles of stuff often accumulate because of a failure to decide.

  • My kitchen towels – the only things that actually belong in the drawer.
  • A recipe for yogurt parfaits that, let’s be honest, I’ll never prepare. They look like fun but the fact is they are too much work to make for myself and no one else will eat them. Recycle. If I never need a recipe like this there are thousands online.
  • A coupon I want to remember to use before it expires. I left it on the counter so I wouldn’t forget to use it before it expires. Now that it is in the drawer I will most certainly forget. I put it in my purse and added “pet store use coupon” to my shopping list.
  • A thank you note I want to acknowledge receiving. I took two minutes, logged onto the computer, and wrote a simple email. I did NOT check Facebook. I did NOT look at my incoming emails. I did NOT do anything else but send a short email to the sender of the note. It may not be the best email I ever sent but I would rather the person get a simple email then no email at all.
  • A box of mints that are too strong for my taste. But I bought them because they are cute AND I saw a craft project using the empty tin. If I ever get serious about making the craft and I buy all the other supplies I will grab another tin of mints. I will not worry that they will stop making this kind. I will give the mints to someone who actually likes them.
  • A random screwdriver. Back into the tool box.
  • A slightly crushed candy cane circa 2015. I thought I might crush it up and use it as the topping to a cup cake. But who am I kidding? I’m eating it right now!
  • A broken pair of earbuds I keep thinking I can repair. But I’ve come to the conclusion I can’t. Are they recyclable? No. This pair is simply and sadly a toss.
  • A sample of Tide® Pods which I will never use but might know “someone” I can give it to. No one else in my family uses these. I do not want to spend time polling my friends and neighbors about their preferred brand of laundry detergent. But I don’t want to just toss it. I quick call to the local food bank and the answer is – YES! I can add it to my bag of food donations.
  • An extra ceiling mount for the smoke detector. I already have one installed. I don’t anticipate it breaking. If it breaks a new set will include another one of these. So I’ll always have one extra. I know it is still good. The answer: recycle before I second guess myself.
  • Two cute mini chocolate bars. That’s easy: eat them. After all I do need fuel if I am to continue to sort this stuff!
  • A battery operated tea light. It needs a new battery and I have no idea where to buy a replacement. A quick online search and I can buy a pack of batteries for a few dollars. Is it worth it? Yes. I add them to my online shopping cart. They are an add-on items that will ship with my next purchase from that store.
  • All in all it took about 15 minutes to sort this random pile of stuff. It is nice to have my drawer back. I like the fact that I didn’t just postpone making these decisions by moving the stuff to another location. I actually decided what to do with it and I followed through.

What pile of random stuff will you sort through today?

Start small…if you have a large box or bag of stuff grab a handful. You don’t have to do it all today, you just have to do something today.

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