Packing, cleaning, and de-cluttering (Travis)

Turns out packing up the house is a great time to get rid of old clutter… but it’s always so hard to figure out exactly which things are clutter (like the stuffed mini soccer ball from Dave and Buster’s), and which are precious gems that need to be kept (like the 6 bikes). I just came across these simple tips – check it out if things always seem to be in your way!

Quoted from http://zenhabits.net/identify-clutter/.

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 Has it been replaced by a better model?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.

On an entirely separate note, for your total viewing pleasure, here’s a ruddy duck from Pacific Wildlife Care.

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~ by stormcellar on October 13, 2010.

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