The occasional observations of Carolyn Kephart, writer

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Brown-Baggery, or How I Corralled My Clutter

Time's winged chariot rumbles on, and the ruts of its wheels have marked yet another of my existential anniversaries (September 1, which was New Year's Day for the Byzantines and is for myself as well). Along with what seems an inordinate aggregate of birthdays I've acquired a concomitant plethora of chattels, and am reminded by my ever-diminishing mortality that by now it's better to amass memories than clutter. To that end I've made my personal new year's resolution to do more and better with what life yet remains, and to consign the needless knickknackery of ill-considered impulse buys and unappealing heirlooms to storage bins in preparation for eventual downsizing. But the tedium of so much emballage was angst-making, until the recent epiphany of a quick, easy and cheap solution that I'm glad to share with anyone out there who's burdened with a heap of idle items best left safely stowed and unseen.

Brown paper lunch bags are readily available in both large and small sizes at most supermarkets and discount stores. My simple method is to write a brief description of the clutter-maker on whichever bag fits best, using a permanent black marker; slide said tchochke into the bag; fold the top of the bag and crumple the paper lightly around the gewgaw; finally and with a sigh of relief place the package in the bin along with its fellows. No swathes of newspaper or plastic or tape, no risked breakage in the event of fumbled unwrapping, no labels to stick on or fall off. The paper's sturdy wrinkles cushion most objects with no need of further protection, but especially fragile items can be double-bagged for greater safety, with a bit of tissue paper or bubble wrap if absolutely necessary.

Life should always be easier. This helps.