Some people like to spend their change so that it doesn’t accumulate while others like to collect it and be surprised by the total after a year or a few. Years ago, I saved all my change for a couple of years and when I rolled it, I had $500!
Whether you spend it or save it, keep your change together. Don’t toss some in a decorative dish along with your keys and throw other coins in a junk drawer.
It may take some trial and error to find a container and location that works for you. If you find that your coins aren’t going into their designated location, ask, “what’s the problem?” and figure out why you aren’t carrying out this task.
That little question, “What’s the problem?” is a great question to ask when something isn’t working the way you want it to.
I am guilty of having a lot of pairs of scissors.
Can you live with a single pair of scissors? How many pairs do you need?
Do you have an air mattress for guests? When was the last time you used it? Are you planning on guests this summer? Are you thinking that the last guest to use it commented that it was leaking, and you thought it would be a quick fix … but you haven’t got around to the task yet?
Do you or your kids have sleeping bags? Have the kids outgrown their sleeping bags? Do you go camping (the backyard counts)?
If these are useful, used items, you might want to make certain they are someplace handy. If you can’t remember the last time you used an air mattress or a sleeping bag, consider that it is time to let these items go.
If this doesn’t apply to you: unsubscribe to a shopping website’s emails.
When we moved into our house, three-and-a-half years ago, the previous owners had left behind a broom with worn-down bristles.
Even though we came in with our own brooms, for some reason, we never tossed that broom even though it did a horrible job of sweeping. Why? Because I never made a point of grabbing the thing and tucking it into the trash bin.
Yep, laziness kept that useless broom in the corner of the basement. For three-and-a-half years.
Your choice. Get rid of one thing that you don’t need, use, or even like. Or, see how many things you can get rid of in fifteen minutes. Or, bring in every member of the family to see what they can release in a quarter of an hour.
I know, you just need to sew that hem or replace the switch on that lamp; but, you haven’t. I’m not suggesting that you are lazy or disorganized. Perhaps, just perhaps, you know, deep down, that you have no intention of doing this task.
You don’t find it interesting, but you feel that if you say you intend on fixing this object, that you are putting in some effort. Right?
You have permission to toss the item. If you have the components that will allow you to fix the item, then use your fifteen minutes of decluttering time toward working on this project.
However, if you know that you won’t do this, toss the damaged item.
I don’t know what your just-in-case item or items are. It could be clothing or a hobby item, or something connected to self-improvement. Maybe you’ve held onto the item for six months … or six years … or, ah hem, much, much longer.
I’ve seen the suggestion that if you can acquire a replacement for less than twenty dollars or within twenty minutes, then you don’t have to hold onto an item out of concern for not having it when you need it … if you ever do.
Yes, this task has shown up before, but chances are you have more things around your house you that you don’t like.
This item could be an objectionable knickknack or an as-seen-on-TV gadget that didn’t live up to its claims. Maybe it’s a sweater in a color not seen in nature (that looked completely different in the store) or a trendy accessory that looks out of place when you wear it.
(Okay, so the weird way my brain works – 144 is a dozen dozen, also called a gross. Gross is also slang for something objectionable. Hence, today’s task.)
If you got caught up in the adult coloring book fad, you may have a bunch of coloring books that you no longer use. You could pass them along to some older elementary school-age children or preteens who may appreciate the challenge of the complicated designs.
(Really, I’ve been surprised by the enthusiasm some young kids have for these complicated designs. Yes, they color outside the lines or color over some of the patterned details, but they still enjoy themselves.)
If you find you still enjoy the meditative quality of coloring, there’s no reason to give up on it because the fad had passed. However, if coloring didn’t do anything for you, you don’t need to hold onto these books (or the markers or colored pencils).
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.