Most of us could name several life events, holidays and circumstances that flood our homes with more and more stuff. All of these bring more items in: holiday seasons with all the gifts, birthday gifts our family members receive, graduation presents, and a new baby accompanied with a baby shower. In addition, when a loved one passes, we accumulate their items that we can’t part with and when we move in with a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, the amount of things double in one space. I’m sure I’ve missed other examples but these are just a few that show our lives are constantly bringing things in and more and more is coming at us. Our homes start to accumulate and loose space.
The question I beg to ask is: if we know this is how stuff comes in and accumulates what routines and action steps are we taking to get things out? How will we keep the balance and equilibrium with things coming and going?
- The first suggestion is obvious; use your garbage cans and recycling bin. They shouldn’t be empty week after week. If they are, there’s a big problem.
- Use your local donation center on a regular basis. Get familiar with the local Goodwill or Salvation Army so you can drop things off on the way to and from places that you’re already going. Make it part of your monthly routine so it’s built into your life. Make it easy, not overwhelming.
- Keep a box or bag for unwanted items in your laundry room. As clothes pass by that are ruined, old, too small, or stretched out keep adding to the container.
- Take inventory of garbage cans in all the bedrooms. Often I find no garbage cans in kid’s rooms. No wonder their rooms are littered with old school paperwork, gum wrappers or empty water bottles. Train everyone in the family to clean up and use garbage cans.
- Collect old clothes, shoes and other bedroom clutter in every family member’s respective closet. Once you fill a bag, box or container move the excess out the door into your trunk.
- Take note of and be aware of your city or suburbs’ recycling, shredding and toxic waste community days. If they’re hosting electronic recycling or a city wide shredding day, get those dates on the calendar well in advance. Make them a priority. Most cities post these dates on the website’s calendar. If you don’t know the days, check out your city’s website today before spring and summer hits. Most communities hold these days during warmer weather.