Clutter-busting ideas for the end of the year


POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2008

As this year draws to a close, this column continues the recap of ideas presented. Let's see how many you've put into practice:

1. In May I shared six more steps to conquering clutter. How successful have you been? Does what you possess reflect your CURRENT life? Did you CONTRIBUTE your excess so others can use it? Have you CANCELED unwanted subscriptions? Did you CONSOLIDATE storage for household items into designated places? Are you CONSCIOUS of what you bring into your space? When you complete an area, do you CELEBRATE your progress?

2. I also encouraged you to use and enjoy your treasures instead of saving them for special events. Did you identify some things you've been saving for “;good”;? Have you begun using and enjoying them now instead of later or never?

3. I suggested “;kaizen,”; or continuous improvement, in areas such as time or money use, or a project.

At the end of each day or project, do you evaluate how it went, what's worth repeating and what you'd do differently next time?

4. I also shared that being organized is not about appearance and constant neatness, but more about function—being able to find what you need and having simple systems so you don't waste time and money. Did you pick one disorganized area that was distressing you? Did you organize it so that it functioned well? Then did you pick and organize other areas?

5. For those downsizing to smaller homes, in July I proposed that change is made easier with the right mindset—that living in a smaller space with fewer things leaves more time for what's really important, which is not possessions. If you faced a change this year, did you start with a change in mindset to focus on the positive? Do you agree that change begins as an “;inside”; job?

6. Because life naturally gravitates to clutter and complication, I encouraged you to get rid of excess things, activities and obligations. Have you learned the art of saying “;no”;? Do you strive to have access TO things and not ownership OF them? Are you rediscovering the joy of a quiet conversation? Are your home, schedule and life more simplified?

7. In August I shared how I finally completed long-delayed home improvements and wondered, “;Why didn't I do this earlier?”; What long-delayed task or project did you work on? Are you enjoying the benefits and wondering “;Why didn't I do this earlier?”;

8. I also gave tips to live environmentally responsibly. Are you RECLAIMING resources formerly wasted? Have you REORGANIZED a place to store your recyclables? Do you RECYCLE regularly?

How many of the above have you acted on? I hope it's more rather than less!

See you in two weeks for the rest of this year's recap!