Thursday, January 3, 2013

Start Out 2013 Clean: Is It A Tool, A Treasure, Or Just Trash?

There's a tool we all own, but don't utilize to its full potential--it's called a trashcan.  It's no wonder Americans are so stressed out.  We bury ourselves with things we don't need.  The more stuff we have, the more stress we feel.  How many of you keep magazines you'll never re-read?  How about cabinet full of cassette tapes?  CDs?  How about that great satin jacket you bought back in the 90s and haven't worn since prior to Y2K?  I'll bet there's a drawer in your house somewhere full of old electronics--outdated cellphones, PDA's, iPods, chargers, etc.

We can't help ourselves.  It's human nature.  But try something I've done for years--classify everything you own as either a tool (something you use), a treasure (something you enjoy or means something to you), or trash (neither of the first two).  I simply don't keep things I don't use, or don't need.  Once I've read a magazine, I know I'll never re-read it so I simply don't keep it.  I recycle it as soon as I've finished it.  When I get a new phone, I get rid of the old one--I know better that to actually believe if my new one breaks or I lose it, I'd ever go back to that old phone when you can usually get a replacement shipped overnight.  So why have that drawer in your house full of old outdated electronics?  I got news for you--it's unlikely your ever going to use that Sony Diskman again . . .

Want a little taste of true freedom?  Start small--take twenty minutes and clean out your top desk drawer.  I mean really clean it out.  Get rid of anything in that drawer you don't need.  I'll bet there's all kinds of stuff in there you haven't used in years.  Seriously, when was the last time you used a pocket calculator?  Do you really need three of them?  Or even one at this point?  Isn't there a better one on your iPhone?

Once you've cleaned out that drawer, every time you open it, you're going to smile, because all that's in there are things you need, and finding what you need will be easy.  Take that happy feeling and repeat that exercise in your medicine cabinet, or that hall closet all the crap falls out of every time you open it, or the junk drawer in the kitchen.  Or even (gasp!) the garage.  Once you get started, you'll find it difficult to stop.  You'll realize just how little of the stuff you own you actually need. 

And here's another thought... couldn't somebody really use that winter coat in your closet you don't wear?  Wouldn't somebody really like to have that old chair in your garage?  You know, there's an organization that sends old cellphones overseas to Vets serving our Country--and you've got several collecting dust. 

It's often said that less is more.  It really is. 


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