Just a few at a time
You know what I hate? Statistics that get bandied about with NO ATTRIBUTION.
Even worse? Opinion masquerading as fact.
I’ve read several times that the average American home holds approximately 300,000 items. I don’t believe this, but who has time to count?
(It turns out that a professional organizer in California heard this somewhere and adopted it as close enough to the truth.* Hardly a solid stat.)
So - how many things do you own?
More to the point, how much more do you own than you’d like to?
Maybe it’s feeling pretty cramped at your place. Here’s an idea: If you got rid of five things per day for the next eight weeks, you’d be 280 items lighter. Not bad, right?
(If you doubled up on weekends, you’d raise that to 360.)
What if you ditched 280 items that now reside in your bedroom? Or the garage? Would that have you feeling less stressed, more peaceful? Would it give you greater ease in your life? If the answer is yes, I invite you to try it.
Just give away (or throw away) five things per day.
They can be tiny (random bits of hardware, sets of takeout chopsticks, refrigerator magnets) or large (tables, appliances, bicycles).
Five is pretty easy. I’ll bet you could find five things you don’t really enjoy owning in about two minutes. On a bad day it might take you ten. So let’s call it an average of five minutes per day.
I know you can spare five minutes.
If you’re feeling stressed and unhappy about the clutter situation you’re living in, try the five per day strategy. January 1 is coming for us all. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet it with a little less clutter?
Need a jumpstart? My tiny email program Five a Day for Freedom will give you just that. Every day for 20 days I’ll send you a short email with a discarding prompt, telling you exactly where to look to find those five things.
Couldn’t be easier.
Here’s to a calmer, saner, more manageable home!
The L.A. times quoted this 300,000 stat without asking for any supporting data. Which just goes to show that you can't trust everything you read in the paper.