Impose a Cleanout Deadline

By Doug Mayberry

April 24, 2017 4 min read

Q: Every January, I promise myself and my kids that I'll get organized as a good start to the new year. Now it's April, and I've only been half-successful. My son and daughter will visit me in May, and I'm afraid I will disappoint them.

When I made my promise, they said that they'll do the work for me if I can't accomplish it by myself. However, I want to make my own choices.

Since they've forewarned me of their intention, I believe they will definitely follow through with it. What is my option for escape?

A: You have reached your deadline!

You made an agreement, and now you should stick to it. Deadlines are helpful to make us accountable for what we say. As you're nearing the deadline, you need to decide whether you are serious about making your decisions about what to keep in your home. You can no longer procrastinate.

Move forward and clean out one room at a time. Remove everything from the floor, and determine which items you really want to keep. Only keep the books that can fit on your shelves. Begin keeping the surfaces of your furniture clear. Use storage boxes for seasonal items.

This requires a great deal of self-discipline, which you should practice in other ways. Make your bed every day.

It will encourage you to have a tidy mind and a tidy home. — Doug


Q: Once we get to a certain age, we all find ourselves with a variety of health issues. Luckily, we have pills for nearly everything. The problem I'm finding is I can't keep up!

I have about a thousand pills I have to take every week, and I'm sick of it. I'm not convinced that all of them are improving my quality of life.

What should I do instead?

A: Because you're already following a prescribed regimen, your first step should be to discuss your health with a doctor. Going off medication cold turkey could be dangerous and have serious side effects.

If you're dissatisfied with your current physician, you can find a new one. But don't be impulsive, as you could incur serious and avoidable medical consequences. Although we often react emotionally when our health is involved, try to keep a level head and be patient.

Before your appointment, ask yourself what the source of your frustration is. Are you taking too many pills? Are you struggling to remember your medication schedule? Are they too expensive? Are you experiencing severe side effects? Do you think that some of this medicine is unnecessary?

The answer to these questions will help guide your doctor visit. You can ask about reducing costs, paring down medications or lifestyle changes that will be more pleasant and improve your life. The doctor may also know good resources for organizing your medication and relieving stress.

The time spent preparing for your appointment will determine the specificity of the doctor's advice.

Don't waste your time! — Emma, Doug's granddaughter

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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