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Decluttering – your new addiction

Now that everything is organized, I’m sure you’ve noticed the sheer volume of stuff that you own.  Decluttering is a process and surprisingly, is not all-or-nothing.  It doesn’t have to be a chore, in fact, it can get quite addictive (just be careful that you don’t throw out important papers).  Here’s your quick guide to simple decluttering:

  1. Never have a storage unit, storage area or storage closet unless you access it regularly and remove items.  Live with your stuff, not to support your stuff.
  2. Set up a time schedule that works for you.  Some people prefer 10 minutes a day, some people prefer several hours on a weekend.  Do what makes sense for you.
  3. If the area is not already organized (yesterday’s blog), organize it.  If the area is not in a position to be organized, you’ll have to clear it out first then organize the contents.
  4. Set up two bins – one for donate, one for toss.  If you’re choosing the 10 minute method, these bins may or may not be in a semi-permanent location elsewhere.
  5. Quickly go through and toss out anything past it’s expiry date.  If it is a consumable product and you don’t know when you bought it, consider tossing it out.
  6. Now look for anything past its prime.  That Van Halen tee that the moths got to – toss.  Your Nan’s prized vase that you shattered when you were five and tried to put it back together – consider tossing it but keep it for the moment if you really feel the need.
  7. Check for items that just need to be used up and that you realistically will use.  I’m eye-balling your collection of hotel lotion bottles.
  8. Gifts that you received but never used or don’t like – just let it go.  Once given, the gift (and it’s future) belong to the recipient.
  9. Donate anything that’s inappropriate, like those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sheets for the single bed that you no longer own.
  10. Look for redundancy and keep only what you’re going to use.  Great Aunt Mabel keeps sending you kitchen towels and you don’t have the heart to tell her that you don’t have a kitchen.  Keep a few and donate the rest.
  11. Get rid of things you no longer need – like that phone bill from 2005 or Fluffy’s personalized cat bowl or everything from your embroidery phase.
  12. Arrange everything that you have kept.  Still not enough space?  Get creative – put up new shelving, store craft stuff in bins, take photos and toss the items.
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