Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stress Strategy: Get RID of it!

I orginally posted this on my other blog. It fits well here, so I thought I would repost it.

I have really put this one into action lately. It can be HUGELY destressing!

Stuff has a tendency to multiply in my house. I have all kinds of excuses why not to get rid of things, until I attach them in my mind to some level of stress.

This is another one I have to attribute to FlyLady. She is big on getting rid of clutter and does lots of little exercises and reminders to encourage you to do it. The concept also shows up in most of the "simplify your life" books and articles.

I have always found such liberation in letting go of stuff. Even more so since I added this extra drive to get rid of ANYTHING that adds stress to, instead of adding VALUE or convenience to my life.

Some rules I go by:

* if you dont LOVE it, or NEED it..then get rid of it!

This applies to every area of your home from closets, kids closets, kids toys, living room furniture, kitchen gadgets, clothes in closet, organizing aids in the house, to backyard toys and smelly good stuff in the bathroom.

My sisters and I have been applying this to our kids rooms with some serious DeSTRESSING effects. Less is better. You love what you have more if you get rid of the stuff you dont love or need.

* If you have lots of something..then get rid of some of it!

Looking around the house you can find LOTS of areas to apply this. Its amazing how things collect and you buy when you have some of it already because you have so much you can see what you have!

Get HONEST about whether you need so many of of a may be surprised what your answer may be!

Some examples from my own house towels, sheets, cookie sheets, cleaners, shampoo/conditioner bottles, clothes (especially kids clothes..they dont need 12 pairs of jeans! Less, means less to wash!), silverware (everything but forks..ha!), plastic cups, first aid supplies, kids books, shoes, old food in the pantry...lots of places!

* If you cant remember WHY something is sentimental..then get rid of it.

How often do we hold on to stuff because so-and-so gave it to us? Obviously there are exceptions to this rule. Generally, if someone spent time making something or they have alot of attachment to my having it, I hold onto it. But, I couldnt tell you most if any of the gifts I have given to anyone in the last 5 years if I gave you something, and its causing you stress..GET RID OF IT!

* If its broken or doesnt work..GET RID OF IT!

Adrian and I often disagree in this area. He wants to put it aside to fix it later. Some stuff we do that with, but I have gotten to the point that if I didnt LOVE it or USE it in the first place, it gets trashed.

*If you havent worn it, used it, or played with it in the last 6 months...GET RID OF IT!

This is a GREAT rule. I use it ALL the time. I use it especially in my closet and my kitchen. These are two areas where things seem to multiply unfettered.

* If you feel bad about throwing it away..GIVE IT AWAY

I have found that there are some things that I dont want any more, but that I cant just throw away. Its much easier for me to pass it on to someone who could use it (less guilt).

While most of the stuff goes to Goodwill, I have started using a few different avenues of distribution including Childrens Orchard (get paid for toys, kids clothes, etc.), Kidney Foundation (furniture, they will pick up!), Church library or nursery (books and toys..duh), friends who I think will love it, to friends who are doing garage sales (I have a NO garage sale rule myself..THOSE really stress me out!).

Oh, a word about garage sales. Flylady has a no garage sale rule. I kinna thought that was odd at first, but it makes sense. First, they stress me out completely. I hate the pricing, the setting it up, the sitting there, the bartering, the clean up..all of it.

Then, she says that we often use them as an excuse for just moving our junk from one part of the house to another. I have to agree with that.

Now, I love GOING to them ..with an idea of what I want, and I dont bring anything home I dont LOVE or need.

So, I know I wont convert you all over to that way of thinking, but just thought I would pass that on :)

When I am in my "get rid of it" zone I can take multiple trips to Goodwill/Childrens Orchard a week. It SOOOO freeing!

Okay ..think of some stuff that stresses you out and go get rid of it!

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