Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Clutter We Carry

Whether you use a purse, backpack, computer bag, traveler bag, or even just your pockets, we all carry things with us on a daily basis.  Over the course of time we collect more items and before we know it, we are actually carrying around our clutter, lugging it around, dragging it around.  It weighs us down, makes it difficult to find what we need and drives us crazy.  I realized that my purse was overflowing with junk earlier this week:

Pads of paper, receipts, tissues, ticket stubs, coupons, multiple pens, medication, vitamins, you name it, it was in there! I had even unzipped the extension part of my purse to make more room, something I only do when I use my purse as more of a carry on when doing long distance travel.  It was time to declutter!

I sorted through the items and recycled all the paper, threw away the old, and got rid of the multiple pens and pads of paper.  I thought through my daily routine and kept only the essentials:

The essentials include: notebook, pen, sunglasses, glasses, wallet, business cards, make up bag, ear-buds, purse hook and winter gear (to be put away once spring finally decides to make an appearance!).


 I was able to close up the extension and fit all my essentials in my light and spacious purse.  The rest of the week was much easier not sifting through lots of junk! I am now making it a priority to go through my purse at the end of each week to get rid of any accumulated clutter and keep the items I carry to a minimum.

What are your tips and tricks to keeping your daily bag clutter free?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Post Traumatic Moving Stress

As a mental health professional by training I do not take Post Traumatic Stress lightly by any means.  Recently my husband and I realized that we were saving unnecessary items purely due to the residual stress from two international moves.  While our physical possessions have slimmed down, we were holding onto every cardboard box that those items came in. Full garbage bags worth of bubble wrap and more gallon sized plastic zip-bags than anyone could possibly need in their life time.  Because of this our extra closet was stuffed to the brim, not with stuff, but with the stuff FOR our stuff.

At first I didn't even realize the issue and told my husband that I wanted to condense the boxes and packing materials to try and create more room.  My husband smiled and said "you sound like your clients," and he was right.  We sat down and discussed why we felt the need to hang on to the myriad of packing supplies. By hanging on to the stuff we weren't allowing ourselves to fully feel at home and settled.  We had already signed our lease for another year and are not in a rush to move (thank goodness!).  If we need to, we will find new boxes for our things when we do face our next move and in the meantime we can part with a good portion of the boxes.  So we went to work:

Before: Every box is empty and being stored for a "just in case" situation

Sorting through the boxes

Boxes broken down, condensed and put out for recycling

A full shelf is now free and open, life just got a little simpler!

We got rid of 75% of the materials and only kept boxes for key items that would need some extra support in the event of a move.  The rest we took apart and put in the recycling bin.  The boxes we kept only take up one shelf in the closet (as opposed to both and being ceiling high!)and there is room to spare if our guests would actually like to use it! Moral of the story, there is always room for improvement.  If you find yourself trying to condense your things to increase space, it may mean that it is time to declutter to make enough room to live more simply.