Time to get organized


While you're at it, consider a trip to a health-food store. Perhaps you might consider replacing one pharmaceutical product in your medicine chest with a more natural alternative. There really are some wonderful, natural products on the market. It's just one more way to unclutter your life.

See, that didn't hurt at all, but I bet you have a "couple of pounds of butter" in your bag already. Next, check under the sink. What's shoved in the back that can be thrown out? The old bath brush that no one uses anymore? The hard and dry box of bath crystals you thought you'd like but didn't? Some cleaning products that you hate but use anyway? What can you get rid of? Remember, every bottle, box and package counts.

Next, check the tub and shower. Any old bars of soap or bottles of shampoo that nobody actually uses? Dump it! The goal here is to simplify our lives a little bit at a time, and any bottle that you don't have to wipe and move each time you clean brings you that much closer to achieving that goal.

Consider buying new toothbrushes for each member of the family. The more often you change them (especially after an illness), the fewer germs there will be to transfer back and forth.

Now a quick final look. Anything that you missed that you could live without? Anything on shelves or walls that is "tired" or worn? Get rid of what you don't want to make room for what you do want.

Now proceed to a bedroom. This time you need a bag as well as a larger, second bag or box. Begin anywhere -- a bookshelf perhaps. Are there books there that have been outgrown, old coloring books, recipe books with the kind of recipes that would clog the arteries of a goat? You know what can be gotten rid of. Put them in a box or the large bag.


Older toys that have been replaced by new holiday things can be given away, taken to a consignment shop or saved for a yard sale. (Sometimes, when I really get crazy, I mark individual bags with the names of people I think might want, say, my daughter's collection of baby touch books or whatever. Then I only have to handle each item once.)

Proceed through the closets, shelves and drawers. Keep telling yourself that by getting rid of what you don't want, you're making room for what you do want. When you're done, stop a minute a take a look at surface areas. Evaluate every item that you see on a shelf, dresser top or end table. Do you really need to have it there? The fewer things that you have to clean and dust around, the easier it is. If you don't need it, but really can't bear to part with it, pack and label it carefully and put it in the basement or attic. The less clutter, the lighter your spirit will feel.

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