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Friday, April 18, 2014

My Top Decluttering Tip

We all just have too much stuff.  Packed in among all of our treasures and comforts that we are lucky to have is a bunch of detritus -- the bits of projects, the things we feel we should reuse (but never will), and the things we feel we should keep (but really should throw away).

I'm not explicitly a non-consumer, although I do admire their discipline. I do like to shop, so I'll probably never be one of those people who embraces a "100 item" challenge.  Have you heard of these?  You can search online to see people who have pruned their belongings down to 100 items.  Even if you allow me 100 categories (like "underwear" or "DVDs"), I'm not sure I could do it.

However, Mr. FC&G and I are engaged in a slow decluttering process, much along the lines of this article.  The article suggests removing one item from your living environment each day.  Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up over time.  Just this morning, I cut the pretty buttons off a sweater that had started to run and sag, and I threw the sweater away.  (It wasn't any use as rags, and, sorry to say, I'm not ever going to unravel it and knit something new with the yarn.)  I've been doing this pretty consistently since the beginning of the year, and I'm pleased to say that I'm starting to see light on my closet shelves!

My top decluttering tip?  As you know from reading this blog, Mr. FC&G and I would like to move permanently or on a partial-year basis to Key West.  This is going to happen some time between next week and a decade from now, depending on how quickly we declutter and how quickly we sort out the income complexities.  But right now, our most effective decluttering strategy is to ask one another, "Do you want to move this to Key West?"  Somehow, invoking visions of us carefully wrapping and hauling a chipped dish or a broken tool 1,000 miles usually tips the balance in favor of a discard.

Sometimes, you just have to keep the larger goal in sight.

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