I ran into a friend today in the grocery store parking lot and she was commenting on this column. She said she loved to read it every week because “that person” was the person she wanted to be. I told her that I wanted to be the person in this column, too, and I write it!! I told her I live a glorious life in my mind, but time constraints and busy-ness keep me from living it in actuality. That seems to be the case with most people.So begins the annual “OMG Where Did All This Stuff Come From and How Did This House Get So Trashed” cleaning and throwing out marathon. If you are interested in perusing any of my cast-offs, start frequenting the Goodwill in Brownwood, as that is where most of it goes—at least the stuff that is good enough for someone else to possibly want it. I may actually try selling a few things this year. We live too far out for a garage sale, so maybe I will try a classified ad or maybe eBay a few things.I have mentioned it before, but the January issues of magazines always feature cool, clean page layouts. The home magazines have articles about organizing and simplifying. I look with great longing at the pictures and start thinking about tossing and cleaning and painting.As I told my daughter the other day, I want to rent a shipping container to put right out in front of my house and hire someone to move everything but a few essentials out of my house and into the shipping container. That way I could clean everything, do whatever painting and shelf-mounting that needs to be done, then move back in only the things I really want to have in the house. Would that not be glorious? I had the opportunity to do that exact thing several years ago when I got a grant to remodel one of my libraries. The packing up and “weeding” was no fun, but the result was well worth the effort.This, I believe, would get me closer to being the person in this column. If I had a clean, orderly environment, I would not waste so much time trying to find things or running to the store to buy things that I have but cannot find. My mind would think more clearly in such an environment. I would be energized by such an environment, instead of exhausted and overwhelmed as I tend to be now.The reality of my little fantasy is maintenance. No matter how hard I work at creating the simplified environment, my downfall is always stopping the clutter from creeping back in, thus the aforementioned title of my annual event. Life happens, the mail is delivered every day, my husband and children bring home new treasures, the dogs drag up their latest chew-toys, and the UPS man keeps showing up with all those things I order online.Here is my strategy so far: I am letting some magazine subscriptions lapse, I am knitting and sewing like crazy to convert some of my stash into useful items, I am weeding the rest of my stash, and I am determined to digitize as much of my paper clutter as I possibly can then get rid of the hard copies. I am also getting pretty good at weeding out the mail as soon as I get home. If you have any other sure-fire strategies, please share! Your suggestions are welcome at: SpringCreekArtsGuild@gmail.com.