Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Getting all of the juice I can out of less.

Well so far in 2013 my challenge of less is still that, a challenge.

I have met the challenge of less in the area of finance, I continue to have less money than I need, but I guess we all do. Oh wait; it was suppose to be less debt, not less money. So the pursuit must continue, since there are still several months to go before we bid 2013 ado and I can say farewell to the challenge of less {or re-new it as I'm fearing I might}.

I need to do something to have less, less clutter is one big goal I have. Every room and closet is full. There needs to be less stuff in our home. I want to enjoy space. I want to enjoy time. Not spend my time cleaning up our space and clutter that seems to be everywhere. 

I think the idea of paring down our belongings is hard, our parents and/or grandparents seem to save everything. It's possible that in my father-in-laws' attic are the boxes to everything he ever bought, I'm not kidding. There is also a chance that they still have everything they've ever bought, if it still works, they keep it and even if it doesn't, because it might can be fixed one day. To prove my point, my mother-in-law gave me her juicer last month. I think it's almost as old me, but this is the part that makes it funny, I've been in this family for 19 years and I had never seen it before, ever. But I commented that I wanted a juicer and hated to pay the price for an electric one, the plastic ones I had found seemed flimsy. My mother-in-law pops into the laundry area and comes out with a juicer, there, done, problem solved. She was even reminding my husband about how his dad use to love fresh orange juice. Really? When? Nineteen years and this is the first time I'd ever seen this vintage beauty.

So let's face it, most of us come from people that hold on to things, you never know when it might be needed. Will I still have this juicer to give my kids? Maybe, it's sweet! But we can't hold on to it all and must shed our homes of some of it. It's just good for us.

How can we ease the clutter problem without a full scale attack on our homes and the stuff we've allowed to penetrate it? I offer a tactic that I've used with good success and a small solution toward having less, at least a little less. I started this about three years ago, right after Santa made his annual trip to our home. I wondered where the haul would go, it was then that this idea was born, on whim, but it has been useful.

My idea is this: pick ten areas of our home and get rid of at least ten items from each of those areas. The kitchen, the pantry, the laundry room, bedrooms, closets, the bookcase in the den, any room or space with stuff qualifies. A few items here and there and I was surprised how fast I found ten items to get rid of, usually I'd find more than ten. After I culled at least ten items from each space I quickly sort them, to donate, sell it or trash it. I almost always find several items worthy of my time to list on ebay and have a nice donation for our local hand up organization.

When I use this method I'm done in about two or three days tops and I'm not working sun up to sun down, just few hours each day, stopping to see to my family as needed. I usually try this at lest twice a year, but may go for three times this year. The best part when I'm done I've just gotten rid of one hundred items from our home, and it wasn't a big job, requiring a lot of time and organization.

The next area to tackle, don't bring new stuff home, but the juicer stays!

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