Wednesday, March 21, 2012


"Today is Monday, today is Monday,
 Monday is wash day,
 Everybody happy?
 Well, I should say!

 Today is Tuesday, today is Tuesday,
 Tuesday is ironing, Monday is wash day,
 Is everybody happy?
 Well, I should say!

 Today is Wednesday, today is Wednesday,
 Wednesday is cleaning, Tuesday is ironing, 
    Monday is wash day,
 Is everybody happy?
 Well, I should say!

 Today is Thursday, today is Thursday,
 Thursday is baking, Wednesday is cleaning,
    Tuesday is ironing, Monday is wash day,
 Is everybody happy?
 Well, I should say!

 Today is Friday, today is Friday,
 Friday is fish, Thursday is baking,
   Wednesday is cleaning, Tuesday is ironing,
   Monday is wash day,
 Is everybody happy?
 Well, I should say!"

What does the rhyme mean by "Friday is FISH"?? Well honestly I don't know. Google shed no light at all other than stating that the Roman Catholic church advocated eating fish on Fridays centuries ago. The reasons given for this varied. So go ahead cook fish or eat fish out or go fishing, this Friday.
I'm now going to take 'artistic license' and use this post not to talk about fish, but to deal with a household job with huge difficulties - DE-JUNKING or de-cluttering your house and your life - a fitting job for Fridays, or any day of the week.

" I discovered that people suffered acute guilt and actual damage from the junk that clutters their lives. I found that every one of us is a junker - and that it's the single biggest reason for personal unhappiness" 
To say anything in this area I once again must return to Don Aslett and his book, "Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time to De-Junk Your Life".
I hope his quote caught your attention because living in and with clutter affects, has consequences, creates habits, wastes time and money and energy, is a distraction, makes pressure.... every day in huge ways. The best way to test if this is true is to read on, put the advice you find into practice and re-evaluate the change in your life.
Just reading the word "JUNK" or the idea of having to DEAL with your clutter, may be raising your blood pressure right now. You could be considering deleting this post to head on to something less demanding. If you wish to stay a junk-a-holic then go right ahead, but if you would like help to quit your habit and gain some simple effective strategy, read on.
There are so many everyday innocent reasons why we get into cluttering up our homes with stuff. Don has great fun justifying the tendency with chapters such as "The Junkee Entrance Exam" "The Genealogy of Junk" "101 Feeble Excuses for Hanging on to Clutter" "Committing Junkicide" "The Economy of Clutter" and so on.
Don points out, our junk can be neatly packed away in out-of-sight areas, or be huge collections of gadgets, plastic bags, frozen food in the freezer, perfumed soaps, unidentified keys, knickknacks, left over paint, quaint old antiques, unwanted gifts, trophies, junk mail waiting to be looked at, unread newspapers, books, magazines, old photos, bulging clothes closets, chock-a-block garages, luggage bags ready for travel or returning from travel, and many many more.
1.  Kids junk ~ (A) Get rid of excess toys, clothes, games, sports equipment.
                          (B) Store stuff and rotate it.
                          (C) Give them a place for their stuff "if there's a place to put it, the chances are sixty percent better that it will get put there."
                          (D) Lower clothes hanging rods in cupboards so the kids can reach them.
                          (E) Put wheels on the toy box so kids can push it around for toy pick up.
2.  "How Do You Judge Value?" ~ "Judgements on the worth or worthlessness of things are in the end, your business, not mine....I'll be satisfied if I manage to make you stop and think about, weigh the worth of some of the 'valuables' you hoard, guard, polish, worship and display....  I know people who buy silver saddles and snow mobiles before putting braces on their children's crooked teeth. Fascination with trinkets passes, but a self-conscious child is cheated for fifty years."
3. "Keep it in Your Heart, Not Your Closet" ~ "We can't hang on to everything our loved ones ever owned or gave us, or even to all the things of theirs we find meaningful. But don't hurry to dispose of their belongings; keep them a while, meditate on them, store up the memories - then save a few most cherished items and give or throw away the rest."
4.  Miniaturize ~ This "is the art of taking a big piece of junk that has to go and reducing it to a little piece of junk that can discreetly stay around. ...pluck just a button off that shaggy dog sweater, snip a swatch of the wedding dress, press a rose bud instead of the bouquet. .... keep the elk's tooth instead of the elk'e head. ... For stirring memories a piece, symbol, or sample is as effective as the whole."
5.  Don's "Junk-Sorting Guidelines." ~ 
It IS junk if you can tick one or more of the following:-
 ___  it's broken - unrealistic to be fixed
 ___  "you've outgrown it physically or emotionally"
 ___  "you  have always hated it"
 ___  the size, colour, style is all wrong
 ___  it's not worth the effort to use it
 ___  "it wouldn't really affect you if you never saw it again"
 ___  "it generates bad feelings"
 ___  "you have to clean it, store it... but don't get much use or enjoyment out of it"
 ___  "it will shock, bore or burden the coming generation"
It is NOT junk if you can tick one or more of the following:-
 ___  it gives good feelings or love
 ___  "helps you make a living"
 ___  "will do something you need done"
 ___  it has 'significant' money value
 ___  "gives you more than it takes"
 ___  "will enrich or delight the coming generation"
6. "How to get Rid of It" ~ Don endorses Gladys Allen's method of getting rid of junk. You need 3 garbage bags - 1 for junk, 1 for charity, 1 to sort. You also need 1 box for emotional withdrawal.
Take the bags and box on a tour through the entire house, one room at a time. "Assign every junk suspect - every piece of loose clutter, clothing, magazine, toy, shoe, stray animal, unidentified child etc - to one of the bags or box."
"1. Junk - if it's broken, out of date, lost it's mate, out of style, ugly, useless, dead or moldy, then it's junk - DUMP IT"
"2. Charity - if it's still repairable or useful (to someone else) if it's the wrong, too little..big for you, bores you, or is simply an excess, chuck it in the charity bag ... - GIVE IT AWAY"
"3. Sort - all your loose, misplaced and homeless stuff that is still useful and needed, but that you haven't figured out where to park, put in the sort bag... - KEEP - SORT OUT IN A MONTH"
"4. Emotional withdrawal - inactive, unused, out dated sentimental stuff. - KEEP IN JUNK LIMBO FOR - MONTHS - THEN THROW IT AWAY"
Bag 1 and 2 can be finished with immediately. Bag 3 may sit for a long time as you realize you will require more time to decide what to do with the items in this bag."The longer it sits, the less you miss whatever was in there. You're getting along fine without that whole giant bag of 'good stuff' the longer it sits and the less you miss it. Finally the prospect of pitching most of it outweighs the dread of sorting it - and after pulling out and intelligently placing the things you do need, it's 3 bags down and one to go!"
"No matter how great our zeal to de-junk our lives, and no matter how firm our resolve to be ruthless and cold as we maraud our cupboards and denude our drawers, still, every now and then we uncover something we just can't bring ourselves to toss into the charity box...."
"So what we need to do is  get a box and label it "Emotional Withdrawal". Then when we're mercilessly de-junking with that predatory glint in our eye, and suddenly come upon one of those gripping things that it seems a sin to knowingly discard, then DON'T! Don't upset yourself and lose momentum by trying to argue with your emotions. Just pat it affectionately and lay it gently into your Emotional Withdrawal box." 
Store the box safely away and 6 months later get it out but "DO NOT OPEN IT OR PEEK INTO IT". Don says we will have forgotten what was in it and be ready to get rid of it - but - "if sentimental ties clearly demand a retrial, if an appeal to the Supreme Clutter Court is imminent, remark the bow "trial pending" and let it sit another 6 months".
I have found these methods really do work, they are fair and humane.
There is so much more in Don's book. 
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ make a start with one of the 6 suggestions from Don. If necessary have a reward ready for after the job's done. Happy de-junking!

1 comment:

  1. The reward at the end sounds good :) Great post