Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Getting back to less

My necessary "scratch" papers that were transferred to my home management binder & the pile that went to recycle.

A piles of pens that went to the donation box.  How many pens do I really need?

Yesterday while reviewing ways to manage stress and my chronic illness, I was reminded how too many choices and clutter contribute to our stress in our lives.  Courtney at wrote that grocery stores back in the 1950's had roughly 8,000 items in them, today we have a whopping 47,000 items.  This has astonished me. And held true even at Office Depot.  I went to get sheet protectors. They had an entire isle filled with various sheet protectors!  Talk about overwhelming.

I took some time to look at what is cluttering my life right now.  What are my immediate stressors?  I had to laugh.  I had just had a conversation with a friend in Ohio about "death by scratch paper".  I have found it every frugal to repurpose paper that the back of it can be used for something else.  So I would tear it into 4ths and put it into the "pile" for later use.  The problem: I grab the scratch paper to write down notes of whatever and have these torn papers littered through my house, on my bulletin board, in my home-mangement binder and in my inbox.  All with something I thought was important at the time, but as time went on, truthfully I can't even remember what's on 90% of them.

So, today I grabbed 95% of my stacks, including the ones in my husbands office that have been there for 6 years, and they all went to recycle.  Simplicity and freeing. The new plan is if it is important enough, I will write it in my Moleskin organizer for this week, in the small space I have allowed for notes for the week.  If that's not going to work, do I need it?  Can I save it to the computer and properly reference it so I can find it again?  Which is another topic for a later date, computer clutter!

It feels good to get the scratch paper out and to choose either a nice pad of paper, pretty paper purchased for notes, or my organizer.  I probably won't be purchasing pretty paper for notes, as the same habit would still be there.  I hope to learn a new habit:  asking - do I need this information?, will I remember this or apply this at a later date?  or is it just good info that fascinates me.

Courtney's blog has inspired me for years.  I have done the 3-33 for 3 years now. :-)   I will write on that later too, but if you feel you have too much choice in your life, look at what the stressors are.  Courtney's principle and basic guidelines for 3-33 can be applied to anything.  Today I am going to start on the kitchen challenge.  To par down my grocery items to the necessary.  I don't know it I can get to 33 items, but I love the idea of simplicity in my kitchen and my meal planning.


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