Getting rid of clutter, getting ready for travel

It’s been a bit of a stressful year. I accepted a job that proved to be a bad fit, not to mention I had to sit in an open office setup that sucked every bit of energy out of me (whoever invented the open office concept is a sadist). I am now freelancing again and decluttering my work area is a top priority. A few days ago I decided I also needed to declutter the closet where I store all of my hiking, caving, backpacking, and paddling gear. Over the past year, I’ve just crammed stuff back in the closet at the end of the weekend, and it was starting to look like an explosion of tents, clothes, and packs. I pulled everything out of the closet and dumped every single bit of gear onto the bedroom floor.

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I’m getting ready for a road trip to Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah to research two historic fiction books I’m working on and I need to be able to find all my stuff when I start to pack. I also have several backpacking, hiking, and caving trips on the calendar this fall and was getting tired of not being able to quickly find the gear I need. The last straw was when I couldn’t find my small coffee press for a weekend backpacking trip. I MUST HAVE MY COFFEE.

I sorted through all of my stuff, including three tubs full of various caving and camping gear. I was reminded of the description of Harry Potter’s trunk as he got it ready for a new school year.  The bottom of Harry’s trunk always held a bunch of unidentifiable detritus. At the bottom of my tubs were random pieces of webbing, a lot of dirt, old batteries, string, and even two spare carbide canisters for my old carbide miner’s lamp I used to use as my main caving light when I was young and poor.

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It didn’t take long to get everything sorted and stored in an orderly fashion in the closet. I have found that when my belongings are organized and neat, my state of mind is more relaxed and creative.
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Now I can get back to writing, and also planning my trip. I’m doing a loop through Manitou Springs, Colorado to visit the Cliff House at Pikes Peak (built in 1873!), taking a tram up to the top of Pikes Peak, swinging through Canon City to visit the Royal Gorge, then swinging down through New Mexico and Utah to visit Chaco Canyon and Hovenweep. It’s been a while since I’ve gone on a road trip specifically to visit some amazing historic sites and I can’t wait.