The Illawarra Mercury column
- Taking Charge 4

Lets be rationale! How rationale? Well it depends on the situation and the items we are sorting, but we do need to apply some logic and some pragmatism. That is, if we want to, really declutter.

Thinking rationale when decluttering

A while ago, I worked on this interesting job helping a relative with decluttering cupboards. We found a board game amongst the many items. As we stood there, a grandchild came in stating she liked the game and wanted to borrow it. This was allowed on the condition that all 72 items were counted after each time the game was played. I stood in admiring silence; who has such amounts of patience? When prompting why all items needed to be counted, the reply was very clear and well, logical. The owner of the board game wanted to keep it for her future grandchildren (did I mention she already had a few) from a particular son. This story sounds still very logical, that is, until we add some facts to it. The board game had been bought for $5,- second hand. The son for who’s children this board game is kept, actually did not have children yet. Nor does it appear, he will have children in the near future. This then brings us to the situation, in which the board game will have to remain in the cupboard for at least the next 5 years. After which, we might find that; A, those grandchildren the game is kept for, might never come into existence. B, those grandchildren might not like board games. What about the person wanting to play the game now?

Clutter isn't only rubbishy items. It could be perfectly functioning things that are not being used.

So what is the moral of this story? Well maybe we can all think about the rationale and the logic we use when we are keeping items for later…. What do you tell yourself? Why are you keeping it for later, rather than use it now? Of course everyone will have some of these items in their house, my European winter jacket is kept in storage for years, as even on the coldest day in Wollongong, the jacket would mean a trip to hospital from overheating. I keep it however, for the time I will eventually visit the snow again. And in my defence, that jacket did cost more than $5,- I do still like it and will use it. Which is really the main point; life is for the living, items are there to be used. Live on the wild side now and then, and use those items that are for a special day. Every day is special in its own right. That special occasion you save keep your possessions for, might never come. I suggest we just open that box, play the game of life with all the possessions we have and if no-one is watching don’t count the 72 items before you move on to something else.

Illawarra Mercury, Column 4, 14 May 2013

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