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Perhaps nothing makes you as aware of your environments as a major impending storm.  As I go through my day making preparations for Hurricane Irene, I find myself thinking about what would happen if my home and/or many of my possessions were destroyed.  What of my material things are so important?  My photos.  My laptop and iPhone, of course.  But truthfully, most things can be replaced.  I’m ruminating on why I have so much “stuff” to begin with.

There’s nothing like being focused on priorities to make the idea of a major de-cluttering and scaling back very appealing.

I had a friend who recently became an empty nester remark the other day that her goal is to get her life down to where most everything she owns fits into two suitcases.  To her, that meant complete freedom to go anywhere and do anything.

While I’m not about to do something quite that radical, I think the time has come to throw out 2/3s of my closet, 1/2 of my paper files and most of the assorted memorabilia, knick knacks and do-dads (that’s a technical term).

Stay safe, dry…and decluttered.

9-5-11  Follow up note:  We lost power for five days.  As a result, I wound up throwing out 3/4 of my refrigerated and frozen food.  I took that opportunity to completely clean these inside and out, and restocked them with only nonprocessed, whole foods.  That felt so good, I’ve been decluttering my pantry and reorganizing my kitchen.  It’s amazing the amount of energy and pleasure that gives!

One of the most effective ways of improving your physical environments is to declutter.  You know how you feel after you clean off the top of your desk, or clean out a closet?  It’s an energy rush, aside from that feeling of accomplishment.  It can actually make you feel more creative and motivated.

Organizer Elvie Look offers 10 Steps to Getting Organized.  Here’s a preview: “3. The floor: is not storage space. Do you have clothes lying around? Go through now picking them up and putting them away in their respective rooms, closets or into the laundry hamper. While you’re at it, throw a load of laundry in. If you have clothes that need folding, do that and get them put away.”

Now go and post that sign in the kids’ rooms, the bathroom, and on your husband’s review mirror. “The floor is not storage space.”

10 Baby Steps To Getting And Staying Organized from Elvie’s Essentials