Monday, October 18, 2010

Nine Quick Tips to Identify Clutter

‘How many things are there which I do not want.’ ~Socrates

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project.

Lately, I’ve been on a clutter-clearing frenzy. For me, as for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and sweeping away a bunch of unloved, unused stuff has given me a huge happiness boost.

As I sifted through our possessions, I identified nine questions to ask myself when I was confronted with a questionable object. This list helped me decide what to keep and what to toss, recycle, or give away.

1.       Does this thing work? I was surprised by how hard it was to admit that something was broken and couldn’t be fixed—say, our dud toaster or my daughter’s frog clock. Why was I hanging on to these things?

2.       Would I replace it if it were broken or lost? If not, I must not really need it.

3.       Does it seem potentially useful—but never actually gets used? Something like an oversized water-bottle, a corkscrew with an exotic mechanism, or a tiny vase. Or duplicates. How many spare glass jars did I need to keep on hand?

4.       Was I “saving” it? Leaving bath gel in the tube, or hoarding my favorite stationery in a desk drawer, was as wasteful as never using these things. Spend out!

5.       Does it serve its purpose well? For example, we have a lot of “cute” kitchen objects that don’t really work.

6.       Has it been replaced by a better model? Inexplicably, I’m in the habit of keeping a broken or outmoded version of tech gadgets, even after they’ve been replaced. Pointless.

7.       Is it nicely put away in an out-of-the-way place? One of my Secrets of Adulthood is: Just because things are nicely organized doesn’t mean they’re not clutter. No matter how tidily a thing is stored, if I never use it, why keep it?

8.      Does this memento actually prompt any memories? Sometimes I automatically keep things that fall into the category of “mementos,” assuming that they’d set off some sort of response, but they don’t. The attendance trophy from my daughter’s pre-school sports class—out.

9.       Have I ever used this thing? I was absolutely shocked to find, when I started looking, how many things we owned that we had never once used. Many were gifts, true, but I promised myself we’d either put these things into use within a few weeks or give them away.

How about you? Have you identified any questions that help you decide whether or not to keep a particular possession?

Read more from Gretchen at her blog, The Happiness Project, or read more about her #1 New York Times bestselling book, The Happiness Project. 

Great and wonderful ideas from Gretchen and her book, The Happiness Project, is awesome and I highly recommend reading it!!  Learn how to start your own 'Happiness Project' here with help from Gretchen Rubin.  Have fun and be happy!!  Simply, Lisa

Happiness Project

Monday, October 4, 2010

17 Minimalist Guides

I just bought this and wanted to pass this awesome deal on to you!!  I am looking forward to reading all these books and learning more about becoming minimalistic and living simply and being happier because of it!!  I have already read Smalltopia and Simply Car Free when Smalltopia first came out and they were great, now onto reading the others!  

Happy Reading!


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Karol Gajda