Simplify Your Life

One of the most important things you can do to make housekeeping easier is this: Get rid of your junk!

Why? Because each item of junk you possess will need cleaning. It will need storing, it will need rearranging, it will need repair and parts. It will sap you of time, energy and resolve — so get rid of any part of your hoard that doesn't add to your life. Just get rid of it.

Ever notice how attractive many nice motel and hotel rooms are, yet how devoid of knick-knacks and junk they are? The hotel and motel industry has learned one very neat trick to keep cleaning and maintenance down to a bare minimum — they simply don't junk up their rooms with a lot of clutter.

Next time you stay in a nice hotel, take a look around: furnishings are often wall-mounted without legs to clean under. Beds often have enclosed bases so nothing can get underneath. Shelving is often wall-mounted. Wall decor is tasteful, but simple.

When the cleaning crew comes in, they clean even the largest and most elaborate accommodations in minutes, not hours. Why? It is largely because there just isn't any junk.

Real valuable or real junk

Most junk isn't junk just because it's old or beat up. You could have a valuable set of golf clubs in new condition that really is junk to you because nobody plays — you just inherited those clubs from your grandfather.

Whatever doesn't truly add to your life and in all honesty probably never will is real junk. Old magazines are 80% advertising — therefore only 20% of those stacks of old magazines you are saving are non-junk, then only maybe 1 or 2 % of the articles of that 20% are really of any interest to you. In addition, information is constantly being repackaged and brought up to date in the latest magazines, so you really don't need the old ones. And if we're honest, how many of us ever go back through ten years of Good Housekeeping or Popular Mechanics to dredge out an article or recipe? Rarely. Get rid of them!

How about knick knacks? They make dusting and window cleaning ten times more difficult. They are usually fragile, which slows you down. They are often made of materials that are non-cleanable. So what should you do with knickknacks? If you must have baubles and bric-a-brack, put them in an enclosed display cabinet but don't leave them out to clutter up your house and add literally hundreds of square feet of additional surface that will need dusting and cleaning.

A good way to de-clutter your home is to have three boxes or bags: label one, "Throw Away", one "Put Away" and one, "Give Away".

Go through your hoard of questionable items and put them in one of those categories and you will drastically reduce your cleaning time. After all, what you get rid of you won't have to clean.

© 2006

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