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.
26 thoughts on “A Place For Your Stuff”
That quote about possessions by George Carlin is one of my favourites.
He was such a wise man. I miss his amazing insights. 🙂
I know, such a big loss to the world.
Voices like Carlin’s are needed now more than ever. 🙂
I’m thinking of doing the 30 day declutter challenge. Day 1, one item. Day 2, two items. Etc. I’m really feeling minimalist lately.
That’s awesome Kate. My house now has an echo. 😉
I figured when I moved house a few months ago it would be a great time to get of old stuff! Unfortunately I moved from a small flat to a house with both an attic and a garage, both of which are now full of said stuff 😦
Yes, storage spaces are so enticing… 😉
Have you heard of “unf—(eff) your habitat”? It’s on tumbler – where people document their efforts to unclutter their lives. I have just started to rearrange certain things in my life – clearing clutter, sorting out my wardrobe and book collections… Sounds like, by reading your list that I am on the right track.
I’ll have to look it up. It’s a never-ending battle of the clutter. Glad you’re on the right track. I am, but my son is resistant, but as I told him, resistance is futile. 😉
I am so grateful I don’t have the hoarder gene. I am not a saver of stuff.
My rationale is that I won’t remember where to find it when I need it anyway so I might as well get rid of it now so I know not to look for it if the time ever comes. I can’t think of a single instance where I regretted getting rid of something.
By the way, the 10 minute ‘rule’ really does work. It is remarkable how much can get done in 10 minutes – not to mention the fact that getting started on anything is the hard part. Once you’re actually into it, 10 minutes often stretches into a lot more because of momentum 🙂
Isn’t it amazing how long 10 minutes is, especially when you’re accomplishing something. I agree, having a lot of stuff does mean you can’t find it when you need it so what’s the point. Thanks for dropping by 🙂
A Place For Your Stuff
I had a hard time moving here, because I had to get rid of lots of stuff. Even when I got
here I had too much stuff. So I figured if I don’t use it in 1 year give it to the Goodwill.
It was a hard thing to do, but I did it. And you know I don’t miss the stuff I gave away.
But now, my place is starting to get more stuff… it’s a long process…..
It is difficult. But you’re right, it’s a process, it doesn’t have to happen right away and any progress is wonderful. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂
Very good advice in this post! I think the rule of not comparing your home to other’s! We’ve moved a lot which isn’t fun but it does help with keeping ‘stuff’ to a minimum 🙂
Stuff does seem to grow easily in our homes and I agree, moving less is always better. 🙂
ah yes. love de-cluttering!! Love those tips too. It is true…it’s a freedom, not a chore. My favorite thing is when I get to the end of a tube of something and I can throw it away!
The more I declutter the happier I am…and yes, the end of something now feels like a new beginning. 🙂
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Carlin used to have me in tears when I was (when we were both) younger!!
He’s still as relevant today, maybe more so, if possible. He still cracks me up. 🙂
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Like👍 like👍 like👍 your smart writing !
Of course I agree with the content of what I have so far read!🌞
Thank you and lovely that we virtually found each other. 🙂
Hope this day treats you kindly. 🙂
Clutter, yeah, you get rid of it and then it magically appears again! Been doing a lot of this recently but my hubby thinks I’m lying, and secretly lying around filing my nails! I like to donate what I can to charity rather than throw things away, at least that way you can share the clutter around with others!
Yes, it just seems to grow…I’ve got a great group that picks up and I’m filling up boxes for them right now. 🙂
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Donna, your “it adds up” made me smile. That’s what my husband always says. I’ll say I only did [some chore] today, and he says, “That’s okay. A little bit here and there adds up.”
He’s so right, good and bad, it all adds up, we’ll just keep going for the good. 🙂
Hope this week is treating you kindly, Jean. 🙂