Today I was watching TV and saw a commercial about this show Hoarders. It’s a show about people that can’t seem to let go of stuff they collected or used to the point that their entire environment is nothing short of resembling a junk yard. So, for my New Years/New Start Resolution #3, I plan to stop keeping so much Junk!!!
Papers from high school, a ring from a high school girlfriend, the binder of Pokemon Cards, that picture of the Ninja Turtles you drew when you were six. It’s time to pack all of that up in a big box and throw it all away. Well, maybe I should say it like this. If you haven’t used it or talked to that person in the last 2-3 years, throw it away. It’s okay to keep a couple mementos from Girlfriend #3, but don’t keep EVERYTHING she ever gave you. I know you used to be a huge Spice Girls fan, but the posters and life sized Scary Spice action figure can be donated to the nearest Salvation Army.
I have had the unnecessary, but eyeopening situation of moving a lot within the last two years. I’ve moved so much, my grandmother has run out of space for addresses on my page. The lesson after moving multiple times by myself is that I need less stuff. At one point I had 5 miscellaneous boxes. 5 MISCELLANEOUS BOXES. That’s ridiculous. I still have like one or two more cutbacks left in me, then I can truly feel I have reached where I need to be.
The concept behind this is getting everything condensed into the essentials. Time to let go of the fluff.
Some Simple Rules:
Old/New Products:You don’t need the box to everything you bought, keep receipts, warranties, parts and instructions. In case of returns, most stores have a time period when they accept returns and warranty agreements. One the receipts, write the warranty dates and how long they’re are valid.
Memories: Keep your TOP favorite photos but obscure photos and ones that hold no value, toss. With objects, keep two or three objects that represent people or memories that are essential and that aren’t two obtrusive, if you can’t fit the majority of you keepsakes in one to two boxes at most, keep condensing.
Clothes: A close friend gave me the clothing rule of thumb #1, if you haven’t worn it in a year, throw it out. This might take a little help because people hold on to clothes due to them doubling as memories, but ask a friend for help. Clothing rule of thumb #2: Take a picture of it if it meant that much to you, then throw it away or give it away. If you look at it and you can’t absolutely give a reason why to keep it, get rid of it. You’ll never wear that tie-dye shirt in public except on 70s days at work. Clothing rule of thumb #3, in seemly opposition to rule #1, if you wear it everyday but it has lost it’s zest for life, no longer fits, is bleached/spotted to death, and has holes or rips in it, follow rule #2. Only exception is with lounge clothes. With lounge clothes, if company can show up and you need not to change it can possible remain as one of the possible 5 lounge shirts, 2 lounge pants and 2 lounge sweatshirts!
Shoes: Almost identical to the clothes category but with one major difference. Good boots and other leather shoes that are slightly worn on the bottom, if they are special enough, send them off to get resoled. Sometimes that’s better than working in a new pair of boots. Those old running or basketball shoes that are coming loose at the seams need to be put out of their misery. No, they are not lucky.
Papers: These are hard for some and easy to others. If they are bills, only keep the more recent bills because they usually have a yearly breakdown up to date. If they are any other important documentation, get a file cabinet and keep those documents in there where they won’t get destroyed. If they are papers from classes or work, once you no longer are at that job, in that class or need that paper, throw them away. Keep a couple books for reference if deemed necessary. Otherwise, run this check monthly.
Now, I was never saying get rid of everything, but you should essentially be using the vast majority of everything you have within a year. That includes season appropriate apparel and objects. Important documents are on file and when things get old, you can replace them. A close friend of mine told me that you should never have more than what you can carry, I agree and it’s time to get closer to that.
Good Luck Dreamers!