Discardia isn't just about things. You can build up too much of
intangible stuff you don't need as well. Personally I've found that
it's harder to get my head clear when my house is a chaotic mess, but
if you need to tackle the head first, just go for a walk and get
yourself somewhere you can sit and think for a bit.
I recommend the beach, but a hillside, park or quiet corner at the
museum can do the job as well. Go where you won't hear other people's
conversations or see any advertisments.
Sit and be still.
[Read more in Internal Clutter]
Today, go into your bedroom and see what pleases you and what doesn't.
Are there things in there which don't belong? Figure out where they can move instead. If they can go nowhere else (hello, studio apartment dwellers!) could they be contained or disguised in a way to make them bother you less?
Are there things missing, for example, enough dresser space or a rug by the bed to shield your morning toes from a cold floor? Make a list and, if you have something on it which matters more to you in the bedroom then where it currently is, move it in right now.
Would a different layout make you more comfortable and work better? Thinking about the morning light can be helpful here.
For those with larger places to live, are you even using the right room for your bedroom? If another room might be better, play with the idea on paper and make some measurements before you start moving furniture. Trust me on this one.
At the least, find one thing you can do today which will make you happier in your bedroom from now on.
I asked you new year's day to think about what you love, now I want you to think about whether your home supports you in doing those things.
Do you want to dedicate a little more time to reading for pleasure? Do you have a comfortable place to do it? Can you arrange for a big chair with good reading light and a small bookcase right at hand?
Are you planning to get out and do some backpacking this year? How's your equipment? Buried in the basement or the back of a closet? Or scattered around the place? What about pulling it together and storing it in a more organized way so you don't have a roadblock to getting out of town?
Love to cook, but your kitchen is a disaster area? Well, maybe it's time for another Friday Freedom round and ridding your kitchen of non-essentials. Would some reorganization give you a better workspace?
Figure out what you can do to set the stage for the life you want to be living.
Many people engage in some kind of projects that involve supplies. Knitting. Carpentry. Scrapbooking. Stained glass. Building Linux servers. Whatever.
When one has a hobby, somehow, through a magical process, the supplies for that hobby proliferate beyond reasonable bounds. Perhaps they breed in the closets, but in any case, one day (today, for instance) you take a look and realize you have far more supplies than you've ever used since taking up the hobby.
Get a paper grocery bag and fill it up with your excess craft cruft. Depending on the hobby and the stuff, give it to a school or charity or throw it back in a dumpster (which may be where you rescued it from in the first place).
Do the dishes so the sink is empty. Wipe it down after so it's clean & dry.
Take everything out of the freezer and put it all in the sink.
Quickly wipe down the inside of the freezer with a few paper towels.
Quickly put back into the freezer the things which you know what they are and that they are still fresh.
If you have ice cube trays, empty them into an ice container and set them aside to wash them before you refill them with water.
Close the freezer door if you haven't been closing it between things all along.
Evaluate the remaining stuff in the sink. Anything freezer-burned and nasty goes in the trash. Anything completely unidentifiable goes in the trash. Anything that is over 6 months old goes in the trash.
Got anything left? Could you make a nice soup with it? Do you want to eat it? If the answer to both of those is "no". Throw the damn stuff away.
Take out the trash.
Do you like tea or cocoa? Make yourself a cup. Or grab a coffee or a beer or big glass of water. Pick up some paper and a pen, sit down and write some things for yourself.
What would qualities would you like your home to have?
Think back over the places you lived. What was great about each of them? What didn't you like and want to avoid in the future?
Write until you're pretty sure you have captured the most important stuff to you.
Now look it over. What do you have in your currrent place? What could you add here? Or do you need to start thinking about a move to bring you more in line with your dreams?
What's the most important thing to you of the changes you want to make? What's the first step towards that? Write that down.
What's the easiest thing? Do it right now if you can or make the arrangements to do it as soon as possible.
Keep your list where you'll keep coming back to it regularly.
Note: the list can change, just like you. That's fine; just keep moving towards what matters.
Most of us are busy people, busy with work, busy with play, busy
with our communities and friends and families. We look at our homes and
think "Oh my gawd, there is no way I can get this clutter under control
without spending weeks working on it full time!" It's so easy to be
overwhelmed by the seemingly vast distance between the way things are
now in your life and the calm, clear, open life we'd like to be
But don't worry. You will get there and you don't have to take giant steps. Every little bit counts.
[read more of Where To Start]
Now that you're focusing on what you want and don't want in your life, there are probably some things you'd like to save up some money for. It can be hard to do that, though, if you find that you never seem to have extra at the end of the week.
Take a look at what you have to spend each month (rent, bills, payments to reduce debt, groceries) and what that leaves you for flexible expenses. Assign yourself an amount that you get to spend each week (or fortnight or month) on optional things.
Take two index cards. Tape the cards together on the long edge. On the inside left, write the list of things you want to be saving up for and the amount that will take. On the right, put the amount you have assigned yourself as available for optional things.
EVERY non-essential purchase should be entered and deducted on the right.
Before making a non-essential purchase you'll see your wishlist and think about whether it's really worth it. You'll also get a clearer picture of where your money goes.
- latte & croissant $4 $196.00
- new TMBG album $17.50 $178.50
- pizza & beer with pals $20 $158.50
Okay, go into your closet and turn around all the hangers so the hooks are pointing towards you.
When you wear something, put it back with the hook the normal way.
In six months, I'll remind you to get rid of the things that are still wrong-way-round.
This bag about to leave your house might be better off as a big plastic garbage rather than a paper grocery bag.
Go through your extra blankets, pillows, and sheets. Put the ones you haven't used in the last year in the bag.
Now check the winter coats, scarves, gloves, sweaters, rainboots, etc. Add any of those you haven't used in the last year.
Now take the bag down to the homeless shelter or another local charity.