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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Think, Think About It

I love Tip 16 from the Better Homes and Gardens January issue article, Cool, Calm and Decluttered. It's something anyone, everyone, can do. Most of us do it without even knowing we're doing it. Tip 16 urges us simply to think:

If you're having trouble letting go of clutter, whether it's too many things in your house or too many commitments eating up your time, think about what it requires you to sacrifice. Less stuff means less to organize and less money spent. Fewer activities means less running around and more family time. (submitted to BH&G by Laura Wittmann, author of Clutter Rehab)

That Laura Wittmann, now she's my kind of organizer, because a lot of the time what happens to me in the middle of getting something organized is I start to think. I think about all of the possibilities for the closet I'm cleaning out. I think about all of the alternative uses for the box of costume jewelry that's been stashed on the top shelf for five years. Then I think about the room that the closet is in and what color I'd like to paint it. Before I know it, I'm flipping through home design magazines, like Better Homes and Gardens, and thinking about all of the ways I'm going to re-decorate my home someday, when I have enough time and money. But this kind of thinking probably won't get e the kind of time and money to which Wittmann refers.

I am excellent at thinking about my stuff and my time. The problem comes when I must take action, mostly because my time isn't always my own. It's parceled out to 5 other people, four of whom depend on me to help them follow through with their own commitments. And the stuff in my house, other than the furniture and drapes and kitchen appliances, belongs to me only theoretically. Those other five people tend to have emotional ties to things I never even considered important. At some point I think I have to honor and R-E-S-P-E-C-T that.

So, while I would sooooo like to live like a minimalist, the maxed out size of my family prevents me from it. For now, I'll have to settle for thinking about how wonderful that would be. That's okay, though, because I love to think about organization. I am really, really good at thinking about it.

(On a side note, since we're talking about thinking, my husband keeps encouraging me to think about taking a Cosmo challenge next month. Should I do it?)

Lucy Adams is the author of two books: Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run and If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny.

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