Lived in one home for 50 years?
Move every 5 years?
Or every few months?
No matter, human beings acquire stuff.
I love the George Carlin routine about how we need a place for our stuff.
It’s true, we have versions of our stuff, at home and work.
In garages, sheds, storage units.
In purses, backpacks, wallets, suitcases.
On vacation. In cars. Wherever.
Now we’ve added computers, smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. to the list. Oh my, wouldn’t Carlin fun with that?
So what do we do with this stuff, well, we definitely dust, rearrange, reorganize, store, and bemoan it.
We keep it because it might fit someday, we might use it sometime, might need it somehow, or maybe it was a gift, or it will come in handy during the zombie apocalypse…
I think self-help books are like recipe books, sometimes you learn something new, or it reminds you of something you used to do.
Donna Smallin (best-selling author of The One-Minute Organizer, Secrets of Professional Organizers, Unclutter Your Home, Unclutter Your Mind, etc.) is at it again, offering readers, Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness (Storey Publishing) which gives more one-minute uncluttering and household tips. I like her idea of doing 10 minutes a day, may not sound like much, but it adds up.
Like her other books, Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness is full of great advice; precise, practical suggestions, all presented in an extremely efficient manner (I would expect no less).
I borrowed this ARC from Netgalley.com (release date December 2014; I bet you can think of at least one person who needs this for Christmas), but until it’s released Smallin has many others books to help you unclutter and organize your life.
Smallin suggests rewarding yourself for uncluttering, but I think that’s rewarding yourself for having so much in the first place. Now if something finds it’s way to you as a cosmic reward, then by all means, accept it.
Here are some ideas, should you wish to edit your stuff:
1. Not an absolute yes? Then bye-bye.
2. Have a 3-ring binder to keep track of: To-Do Lists, bills, activities, household info, take-out menus, appointments, coupons, etc.
3. Everything should have a place and it should stay there, not migrate around your house.
4. Figure out your worst clutter habit, ie. not putting like items together. Work on that habit, then move down the list.
5. Declare your independence! Don’t think of uncluttering as a punishment or a chore, think of it as freedom.
6. Plan a purge (no, not like those movies!). In the words of the infamous Red Hot Chili Peppers, Give it away, give it away, give it away now!
7. Avoid comparisons. Don’t say things like, My place may not be as clean as my Mom’s, but it’s way cleaner than people on the Hoarders. No, just, no.
8. 5 items into your home, 10 items out.
9. Keep items you use, or need for legal or sentimental purposes. Donate, sell, or trash the rest. Buy less.
10. Things are not as valuable as people or your time. If you pick something up and you’re greeted with dust (this goes for relationships and friendships as well), it’s time to say goodbye.
If you’re not using it, if you don’t love it, let it go.
This should go for every part of your life.
The world is full of literal and figurative clutter, don’t add to it.