Is decluttering on your New Year's resolutions list?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Now that we’re 10 days into the New Year, how are you doing on your resolutions?

Losing weight? Exercising more?

How about decluttering your life?

If the last one is on your list, you’re not alone.

Marie Kondo wrote two best-selling books on just that subject and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Now she’s being delivered via video stream, on the new Netflix show, Kondo and her KonMari method, the eight-episode season of “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” which became available Jan. 1.

Is decluttering a passing fad, or does America have a problem? Consider this: 1 in 11 Americans is paying for storage space, and self-storage is a $38 billion industry.

The pain is real, according to some university scientists who found that mothers’ stress hormones spiked whenever they had to deal with their family’s possessions. Others found genuine psychological pain when people were asked to part with possessions, akin to drug withdrawal when hoarders were involved.

Go ahead and binge the series if you like, but here’s the Reader’s Digest version, if a print metaphor can be applied to video:

— Break down the task. Pick one category of stuff at a time, create a mental inventory and start sorting.

— Ask yourself, “Do I use this item, and/or do I love it?” are still the best criteria for choosing what to keep and what to get rid of.

— Don’t feel guilty about accumulating things or getting rid of them; leave the psychoanalysis to your therapist.

— Group things by categories and store the most-used items in the most accessible places, close to where you use them. Everything should have somewhere to call home.

— Don’t go it alone. Get your family to own the organization’s system.

If you start now, you’ll have plenty of time to organize a major garage sale for next spring. If you can’t wait that long, place a classified ad or gather up a load for one of the local thrift shops.

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