Keep SimplifyingDejunk your home

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Your home clutter is right in your face, where you live, every day. The thicker this clutter is, the less efficiently you can do almost anything.

Take the attitude that you will live in the world, rather than accumulate parts of it. You might not be a spiritual leader like Mohandas Gandhi who avoided material things, but you can learn from Gandhi's example: It is possible to own only a few possessions and live a rich and meaningful life.

There is a benefit to having fewer things. You place less stress on the environment. You can focus more clearly on what matters. And ultimately, I think you may find the old cliche--the best things in life are free (i.e., not possessions)--reveals a profound truth.

CASE STUDY: Denielle looks through her possessions in her small bedroom.

TIP: You can live without a dresser, armoire, freestanding closet, or wardrobe.

TIP: A college student should travel light.

TACTIC: Cut through your stuff by regularly performing the clutter triage on one small area of your home at a time.

For example, work on a single closet, a section of a room, or a storage area. Don't say, "I'll clean the attic," or "I'll clean the basement." By choosing just one area of the attic for one dejunking session, and saving the rest for the next time, you'll do the job more thoroughly and you'll feel a greater sense of accomplishment.

TACTIC: Consider disposing of extra versions of items that you can only wear one at a time.

For example: pairs of shoes, clothing, coats and jackets, sunglasses, belts, and hats.

You certainly will want to have a variety of clothing for seasonal weather or style variations, but do you need three winter coats? Do you need four pairs of boots? Four belts?

TACTIC: Check through your home and dispose of items you tend to accumulate, but can always get more.

Then dispose of all but a much smaller supply. Examples include: paper and plastic bags, plastic containers, cardboard boxes, and glass jars. When disposing of these items, first pass them on to someone else for reuse before recycling.

TACTIC: Pay particular attention to getting rid of items that are useful, but not in the quantity you may have accumulated.

For example, pots and pans. You certainly need them, but do you need five saucepans or three frying pans? Other examples include: pencils, pens, radios, clocks, chairs, extension cords, lamps, luggage, and calendars.

TACTIC: Rethink your choice of owning structures that hold items; for example: shelves, dressers, or free-standing wardrobes or storage units.

On a room by room basis in your home, list those items which are merely structure. What is in those structures? By purging the contents, you can free up an enormous amount of space in your home because you can then get rid of the structures.

TACTIC: Get rid of all television sets you own.

From a material perspective, a television is a good value. For a moderate cost, you can get a television set that will last for many years. Via over-the-air television broadcasts, you can watch shows for free. But from the perspective of your personal time, a television set is a loser. Unless your dream is to become a television critic, watching television uses time you could otherwise spend with people or use to follow your dream. A television clutters your attention. Ask yourself, "Is television advancing my dream?"

"Hone Your Routine," covers more about time use and television.

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2022-07-21 · · Terms © December Communications, Inc.