Monday, April 27, 2009

spring clean

Its the time of year when we all decide its time for a little spring cleaning. We try and reflect on what we have, and have not used in the past year and decide what stays and what should go. Its hard to stay focused and very easy to get sidetracked. I found a very helpful article to support us in that process. I especially like #5 .. The Obstacles (which I posted). Please comment with any organizing and de-cluttering tips you may have. Check out Aby Garvey for full article.

#5: Anticipate and remove your obstacles.

Before entering your space of excess, the place you want to whittle down a bit, think about which items will be easy to let go of and which will be a challenge. Add the challenging items to your worksheet along with the reason they’ll be difficult to let go of. The reasons are your obstacles. Now, let’s figure out some simple strategies for removing common obstacles.

Obstacle 1: The “I might need it someday syndrome.”
Strategy: Decide when someday is.
Here’s how it works. You come across something and think “I might need this someday.” Ask yourself, “realistically, *when* will I need this?” If you can’t come up with a definite answer then assign an arbitrary date up to six months out in the future. Put the item in a box, write the date on the outside of the box, and move on. If the “someday” (the date on the box) comes and goes and you haven’t needed the item … you are now free to send it off to a happier place. Ah, doesn’t that feel good?

Obstacle 2: The “I paid good money for this syndrome.”
Strategy: Accept that the money is spent.

No amount of hanging-onto an item can bring your money back. Whether you keep it or not, the money is gone. Forever. Cut your losses and move on. If you look at something and feel guilty about what you paid for it, yet you’re not using it, the guilt won’t entice you to use the item. You’ll continue to not use the item and continue to feel guilty about it. Why linger in the yuckiness? Let it go.

Obstacle 3: The “garage sale syndrome.”
Strategy: Find an alternative happy home for your previously enjoyed items.

The garage sale syndrome sets in when you have decided to let go of some things and yet they continue to linger in your presence, waiting for the big garage sale. It’s true; garage sales can be a way to turn some of your no longer needed items into cash. But not without a cost. If letting go of things is difficult for you, a garage sale simply extends the process. Instead, find a charity you’ll feel good about donating your items to. Schedule a pick-up for the day after your letting go session. Or check out In no time, you’ll have treasure hunters lining up to relieve you of your things!

Obstacle 4: The “gift syndrome.”
Strategy: Take the fact that the item was a gift out of the equation.

When you come across a gift, ask yourself “Do I need, use or love the item?” It the answer is no, you aren’t obligated to keep the item. A gift doesn’t come with strings attached. I know this one can be hard to swallow… but it’s true.

There are ways you can honor the memory of the gift, without actually holding onto the actual item. For example, if you’re a scrapbooker, you could take a photo of the gift and create a mini scrapbook or scrapbook page called “gifts of love.” Record who gave you the gift and for what occasion, and then, why that person is special to you. This will allow you to focus on the person who gave you the gift, and their meaning to you, instead of feeling tied to the gift itself.

Let me know how your spring cleaning is going.. I am setting 30 every night to organizing and de-cluttering. Keep me posted on any strategies you have found that work.


jhe055 said...

this is a great post. instructive and inspiring. makes me want to get my act together...

KatieFineDesign said...

Lets do it!