10 Things, 2 Minutes!
Organizing is like fitness- you gotta do a little bit every day, for the rest of your life, to stay in shape. [Insert groans and eye rolls]. I get it, because exercising makes me groan.
…BUT I HAVE AWESOME NEWS. Here are 10 things you can do, ONE TIME ONLY, to reduce clutter forever. And the best part is? Each of these takes less than 2 minutes to do!
- Register, right this very second, on the National Do Not Mail list. Go on, I will wait here while you do it. It’s secure, private, and it works. Just ask anybody I have ever lived with. I receive 1/6th of the mail that they do.
- Stop credit card offers here (yup, you gotta do it separately from general junk mail. I know. It’s b.s.). They may ask for your social security number- it’s okay, you can give it. This is totally secure. And you know what? All these companies have your SSN anyway. They ask to make sure it’s really you. I know. Scary.
- Opt out of mailings that you intentionally subscribe to, like catalogues, with the free iPhone app PaperKarma. If you really love that company, subscribe to their emails.
- Open a free Pinterest account and you’ll never need those hobby magazines ever again. You can pin the sort of things you love, with zero exposure to advertisements.
- Go paperless with at least one bill. Instructions are often on the envelope. Some companies, like Progressive, even offer discounts for going paperless! You’re saving them postage money, after all. In order to feel comfortable about going paperless, your email inbox needs to be in shape. Which brings us to the inbox…
- Open a promotional email from a company you are no longer interested in- scroll down to the bottom and click “unsubscribe”. I know, you probably have lots- so just do this with 1 to 5 promo emails a day so you don’t get overwhelmed and not do it at all. Small bites! Baby steps!
- Go into your closet and grab all of the unoccupied hangers and donate or recycle them or return them to the dry cleaner. Now you can effectively follow the “one in one out” rule.
- Send a quick email (or make a quick call) to your family about revamping the holiday gift exchange this year. Suggest a change in protocol that will lead to less clutter. Maybe your clan can switch to gifts that are experiences (or perishables- hello, wine and whiskey!)- things that won’t accumulate. Or, perhaps if you have a large family like I do, you can develop a system like we did where one person or family is responsible for one nice gift for one other person or family, rather than lots of little gifts for everyone (or lots of big gifts for everyone… And one empty bank account). Get the ball rolling now and enjoy a more relaxed holiday.
- Download the Key Ring app and spend two minutes a day- or more, if you’re feeling plucky- entering (and then tossing) your gift and loyalty cards to lighten your wallet. Loyalty and gift cards that sit in your desk at home don’t do you much good, but your phone always goes out and about with you.
- Take two minutes to skip (or walk… I’m cool with whatever you choose) around your home with trash bags marked DONATE in everybody’s closet. When a bag gets full, tie it up and immediately put it in your car for when you next pass the donation place. Then replace with another bag. Having a donation bag handy at the exact moment you decide you are so over that jacket will create a convenient “funnel” for it to leave your life quickly. Because it drains us to keep stuff around that we’re no longer psyched about.
Ready? Two minutes. GO!