In a previous post, I compared the endless flow of mail into ours homes to the weeds that seem to pop up in our gardens overnight. This post continues the comparison as I suggest ways to prevent the clutter.
The pursuit of order was important to Benjamin Franklin.
He is famous for saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” He also said, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
I am sure he would agree with this statement.A pound of prevention will keep clutter at bay - Karen Sprinkle Click To Tweet
You may be wondering why a pound instead of an ounce.
It has been a busy few months
I completed a landscaping project that I began six years ago. That will be the subject of a future blog post. I can tell you that I was hyper-focused and spent all my spare time working to complete it.
Does that mean that I let the weeds take over the flower beds again? Not this year. I have been able to keep up. I spent an hour last Saturday clearing the Nandina sprouts from the shrub bed and clipping Creeping Jenny off the walkway. I also cleared them two previous times during the summer.
I was proactive last spring when doing my early season garden cleanup. My goal was to prevent Creeping Jenny from rooting in the walkway.
In the past I used sand between the creek stones in the path. As Jenny crept into the walkway she rooted into the sand. When I pulled up the unwanted tendrils the sand came out along with the roots. This left deep crevices and an unstable foot path. I filled the crevices with some potting soil that I had and the cycle continued year after year.
Last spring I filled the crevices with several pounds of pea gravel. I am pleased to say it worked. Jenny did not root in the gravel. I was able to shear away the unwanted tendrils in just a few minutes.
Three simple measures to prevent papers from piling up
Piles of mail, paperwork and newspapers root on flat surfaces in your home just like Creeping Jenny roots in sand.
Here are three things that you can do today to prevent the papers from piling up.
- Stand near a large trash can or recycling container as you flip through your mail. Toss the obvious junk.
- Place a shallow flat basket on the surface that seems to attract the most paper. Let that basket be your in-box until you can process the paper.
- Get off junk mail lists. You can call or go online to remove your name from mailing lists. Most catalogs have a website and phone number listed. Keep in mind when you place another catalog order you land on the list again.
I think you will agree, whether you are fighting weeds in the garden or papers all over your house, a few pounds of prevention can make a big difference.
This article is an updated version that I wrote for my Get Organized Knoxville blog in 2011. For your pinning convenience I have included both of the Ben Franklin quotes below.