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stuff, stuff, and more stuff

It seems the Portland housing market is picking up because my team and I have been downsizing/rightsizing, packing, and unpacking many clients this spring.  I have lost count, but I would estimate that we have eliminated over 200 black garbage bags of "stuff" in the past two months.

I have learned over the 11+ years of working as a professional organizer, that it is very difficult for people to make decisions about what to keep and that's why they have too much stuff.  We decide to deal with our stuff later and later never comes.  [Lack of] decision making is often the reason we have too much stuff.

Regular practice of anything makes the task or activity easier.  If you want it to get easier for you to make decisions about what stuff to keep, exercising the decision making part of your brain daily will help immensely.  It doesn't have to require a lot of time.  Simply spend 5 minutes each and every day and let go of 5 things you have multiples of.  Every day it will get a little bit easier to make a decision about what stuff to keep and what to release.

To get you started, below is a list of 30 items you probably have multiples of that you can reduce. In 30 days you will have 150 less things taking up space.  If you practice this for 1 year you will have 1,825 fewer things and a very strong decision making brain!
  • Vases (you know, the ones you get from the florist that you have 20 of)
  • Books/DVDs/CDs
  • Writing instruments (pens, pencils, markers)
  • Plastic food storage containers
  • Bags (plastic, paper, boutique, gift)
  • Water Bottles
  • Threadbare socks
  • Underpants
  • T shirts
  • Shoes
  • Broken Objects
  • Unfinished Projects
  • Expired canned/package food
  • Linens
  • Home décor objects
  • Partially burned candles
  • Buttons
  • Hotel soap/shampoo
  • Single socks/gloves/mittens
  • Expired or really old spices/herbs
  • Weed 5 files
  • Wire hangers (I say ditch all, but start with 5 if that is too hard)
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Greeting cards you received
  • Household cleaners you decided you don’t like
  • Toys/games/puzzles
  • Expired over the counter medications
  • 5 items in your junk drawer (I know you have one drawer, maybe two)
  • Expired makeup/dried up nail polish

Let me know what you experience from this exercise and what other items you released.

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