Simple Life: Rubber, Meet Road

by Elizabeth on August 24, 2012

We can talk about the whys all day long, really.

I haven’t even touched on half the studies that are out there about why things are so crazy with regard to crap stuff acquisition. There are a billion theories (not to mention actual mental illness) about why we all seem to think we need more than we actually need.

Thing is, though:

We can know all the whys in the world, but it doesn’t make your junk drawer any less cluttered.

That’s why it’s time.

We’re heading into a weekend here, folkses, so it’s the perfect time to start putting the ol’ money where the mouth is (or the pedal to the metal or some other kind of cliche.  You get the point.)

There are a couple of ways to go about this.

It depends on what motivates you.  Because nothing’s harder than trying to decide whether Grandma’s old rolling pin is worth saving for more than sentimental reasons…if you’re already bored.

If you’re a planner, make a plan of attack.  Figure out a schedule, even.  Figure out ahead of time where you’re going to donate things or how much space you’ll need in the dumpster or where you’ll store boxes of stuff you’re still deciding on.  Get four boxes like all the Organization Experts like to tout — toss, keep, decide later, donate.  Plan things in excruciating detail if it makes  you more effective.

If you’re more of a just freakin’ do it already type (like myself), then plan anyway.  Not like the Type As do, though.  That’ll make you crazy.  Just grab a pen, and go to step two.

Step two:

No matter what type you are, you might find it helpful to do this before you do much of anything else.  It’s the Bringer of Clarity, y’know.

Make a list of what you actually use every day.  Walk through your whole day.  What do you touch?  What do you actually *use*…?  What do you love?  (Since that’s just as important.)

Do the same for weekly and yearly stuff.  Not in the same detail, since most of it will probably be the same.  But there may be things you only use in the winter, for example.  (In other words, don’t throw out the snow shovel when you live in a blizzard-prone area, even if it’s five zillion degrees in July.)

Knowing what you actually do is kind of priceless.  It separates what you want to do from what you are doing.  (Duh, I know.  But how many of us have a stash of books we really think we should read, but didn’t like all that much?  Or supplies for some kind of art/craft thing that we loved looking at, but haven’t ever tried?  You aren’t doing those things.  The associated objects aren’t being used for anything other than guilting you every time you look at them.  Who needs all that extra guilt?  That’s what mothers are for.)

Then, your assignment:

Get started.

Throw stuff away.  Recycle it.  Donate it.  But at the end of the day, it needs to be gone, one way or the other.

Challenge yourself to ditch fifty things that you’re currently storing for one reason or another.

Fifty.  It’s a huge number, I know. But it’s not all that big, once you get started.  Depending on how much excess you have, you may even find all of it in one drawer.

Do this as quickly as you can.  The faster you go, the less time you have to talk yourself out of it.  Make sure it’s not something you’re currently using, and then let it go.

Take a picture, if you think about it.

I’d love to see them.  (Largely because I’m annoyingly nosy, but also because it inspires me to see what you guys do.)

Email them to me, or leave a link in the comments.

But do it.

Once we take the weekend to break the cluttered-ice, I’ll talk about some specific stuff on Monday that folks have said they have trouble with.

Good luck!


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber August 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm

LOL! Yesterday, I sorted three boxes of stuff to ditch. Hoping to get most of it hauled out today, and do some more. :-)


Rain August 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I’m attacking my kitchen this week. Can’t wait! Taking one room per week and then doing it a couple of times in a row, because I just know this is going to be a never ending process…


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