Tip of the Month: Keep What Matters to YOU
One person's valued possession is another person's clutter. When deciding what you want to keep, especially when it comes to the sentimental, be sure to listen to your own gut feelings.
I horrified a neighbor when she heard I had thown away my high school yearbook, except for a few pages I tore out. But that yearbook had no meaning to me! What was meaningful was the literary magazine I helped edit, and that's what I kept.
I once worked with a client who happily disposed of her wedding gown. Her marriage was strong - she just didn't feel any urge to keep a gown she'd never wear again.
What matters most to us is often quirky. I worked for over 20 years at Hewlett-Packard and its spin-off, Agilent Technologies. What did I keep as mementos of my many many good years there (before things turned sour)? Not the official HP anniversary coffee mug. Not the plaques I was given over the years. But the teddy bear that a wonderful project team gave to me, and the little plastic Energizer Bunny that was the symbol of that team.
So don't worry if you find yourself giving away the family china and keeping the silly coffee mug your mother used every day. Follow your instincts and your heart, and you'll make the decisions that are right for you.
Recycling Idea of the Month
Stuff Your Rucksack is a new-ish venture. The idea is to let travelers know about items needed in various countries, so they can take them along and donate them. A school in Cuba needs children's shoes, musical instruments and school supplies of all sorts. An orphanage in Guatemala wants school stuff, fishing equipment, and soccer balls. The database of needs is a bit limited now - but it can't hurt to take a look if you're going somewhere and are interested in helping out.
Organizing Quote of the Month
From article entitled Show loved ones you care: Spare them from T-shirts, mugs, trinkets
Whatever made me think my tough-talking Teamster dad would enjoy sipping his Folgers from a commemorative Prince Charles and Lady Di engagement coffee cup? And what possessed me to consider my best friend, Pam, when I bought that clock in Germany? The one that bellowed "COO-COO" every hour, on the hour? In Heidelberg, it was cute. In Alameda, it was an annoying sleep disturber that turned a quick buck in her next garage sale.
Throughout the years, these items and many more were selected only after spending precious vacation time and dwindling funds on each recipient. When I caught my mother using her Panama Canal T-shirt as a dust cloth, I started wondering.
-- Eileen Mitchell
Organizing Statistic of the Month
According to a 2004 study by the Australia Institute, the average Australian household wasted $1,226 in that year on items that were purchased but never used.
-- Per Stuff Happens [pdf]
Product of the Month: A Simple Piggy Bank