Blog: Clutter-Free Forever
Clearing the Way for New Possibilities
Clearing the Way for New Possibilities Summer is coming close to an end, schools are beginning, some of us are looking forward to the holidays others are dreading them. Suppose we could wave a magic wand and clear all the clutter we have been gathering all summer. What would you wave away? Mail, clothes, books/magazines, objects from trips, family heirlooms to name just a few. I'll start in the easiest category: incoming mail. Whenever I come home from a trip I have a box of mail that needs attention. It is a time consuming task. To avoid the mail pill up on an ordinary basis sit next to the waste paper basket when you open daily mail. Most of the ads, free credit card offers etc. go right in the trash. I did at one time open them and return the junk to the sender asking to be removed from their mailing list. Sometimes it worked often it doesn't. I decided to write to my state and Federal representatives asking them to increase the postage paid for junk mail. Just imagine how many fewer pieces we'd get if each mail item cost companies the same $.41 that it costs us to send a letter? I think it would then become necessary for companies to purge their mailing lists taking my name off of them and yours too. Now they can pollute our mailboxes being satisfied with a two percent return on a mailing. That means 98% of their mailings go into our land fills. So let's all write to our representatives and stop this wasteful misuse of our mail system. For most Americans including me, our closets are stuffed with clothes we haven't worn lately or we don't even like. Let's purge our closets. Let's eliminate the things we don't use and let there be space and breathing room for the clothes we love and wear all the time. There are plenty of people who could use our throw away clothes so be sure to bring them to a charity organization. Books and Magazines Most of us are too busy to read the magazines that come to our mailboxes so they move from the box to our table to our night table maybe to the floor before we throw them away some unread. Start by sorting. Put all your incoming magazines in a basket. When you select one to read be sure you put it in recycling or give it to a friend or to a retirement village. Whatever you do don't put it back into the basket. At the end of the month see how many magazines remain in the basket. Send a note to those publishers to stop your subscription and to donate the funds remaining to a charity of their choice. Each month the number of magazines will decrease till you only receive the ones you read. As for books use the library and make a donation so they can purchase more books for you to borrow. Objects from Trips We all know how tempted we are to buy that cute little object that will remind us of our vacation or museum trip. The problem is when you get home there really isn't a place for the object so it becomes clutter. My solution don't buy it but take a long look at it remembering every detail. All this information will be stored in your brain, the most extraordinary computer, for access in the future. Then when you want to remember the experience of the trip sit in your easy chair close your eyes and picture the object along with your memories of the hotel, beach or environmental setting and relive the trip. No clutter to dust just precious time to enjoy the trip again. Family Heirlooms Some homes have dedicated spaces for objects that have been past down from one generation to the next. If that is the case for you by all means treasure it. But if you are like most people, the object is not quite the size you'd like for the space it is occupying. If that is the case you might want to have it appraised note its value and then ask family members if they would like it as a gift? If no one responds try to sell it or give it away. You might want to take a picture of it before you dispose of it as a keepsake. By all means clear it from your precious space. If you follow one or more of these suggestions and fell you can breathe a little easier in your space send me a note letting me know how the process was for you and how you feel now. Ccfld 8/16/08
posted on: 8/20/2008 8:00:00 AM by Frances D'Amato
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Frances L. D'Amato, M.A. M.Ed. is an Organizational Psychologist as well as a working artist. She founded the Tree Group in 1981 and has been helping Organizations reduce clutter and streamline systems for more efficient management. About ten years ago she expanded her focus to include individuals who work at home and then individuals who need help decluttering their homes. Frances works with the individual to discover the meaning of clutter and develops a process to allow people to let go and live in a more clutter and stress free environment.
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