Things You Don’t Need - The Duplicates
May 28
As a subscriber to 43,000 blogs, design sites, listservs, etc., I am so busy reading that I barely have any time to get anything done. In a way this is fine, as it keeps me from getting in trouble. On the other hand, lifting my head from the computer would be a nice change of pace. But how?! How can I stop reading when there are fantastic posts like this one from Apartment Therapy about home upgrades that are totally unnecessary? Answer: I cannot stop reading, and gathering great ideas, and collecting things I love / want / need, and making lists - and perhaps neither can you.

But it gets oppressive, too. Let's dive into the idea of duplicates (triplicates? quadruples?) you may have sitting around your house and whether you really need them (and then, maybe, your hoarding habit). Adding a twist to the notion of double ovens referenced in the article above: double dishwashers. The first time I saw a double dishwasher I was appalled. Now we're supposed to want two dishwashers? They're not attractive, folks! And they're expensive, and they break down. More stuff means more to break and more to clean. Unless you have staff, double appliances just seems absurd. And if you have staff, why do you need two dishwashers? I have lots of parties, and part of the clean-up ritual is the organization: get that first dishwasher load in and keep cleaning. Put in the second load and go to bed. However you like to break it down in terms of organization, one dishwasher works just fine.

But what about other doubles? The duplicates that accumulate in drawers and on shelves, preventing you from finding a GD thing in your house. Duplicates are often unnecessary, and they exist primarily to clutter your life. If you want to feel some intense non-sexual satisfaction right now (or maybe it's sexual), go open the cupboard where you keep your coffee cups. Do you like all those cups, or are half of them chipped leftovers from old sets? Pull all the cups out and keep only the ones that you wouldn't mind serving coffee in if a friend stopped by. The mugs you love. Life's too short to use crappy cups. Donate the excess.

Some other areas of unnecessary duplication include:

1. Cleaning products. If you've got cleaning products tucked under the kitchen and every bathroom sink, get rid of the toxic stuff and the crap that smells bad or doesn't work. Consider making some basic vinegar cleaner and just having one bottle for the whole house. Carry it around the house with you, because that's not hard and face it, you need the exercise.
2. Pencils. Bet you can never find a pencil or a pen in your house, right? As an experiment, start digging through drawers in every room. I did this and ended up with two gallon bags of pens and pencils. I got rid of them because I wasn't able to find them when I needed them anyway. And now there's more room in those drawers.
3. Hammers and screwdrivers. My dad had a habit of dropping off screwdrivers and hammers that he got as freebies at my house. Most were bonuses he got with purchases at Harbor Freight. I felt I needed to keep them. This is EXACTLY the line of thinking that can ruin your life. I need only one decent hammer. I just use it to break up ice blocks anyway. I need one screwdriver. All the others were donated.
4. Sets of dishes. This is problematic, too. I want to keep my mom's dishes, but why? They're not my mom. They're just dishes. How many sets of dishes do you need? Would you consider getting rid of the one you use the least? Take it to the Community Warehouse for a family in need.
5. Sheets accumulate in odd ways. Look at your linen closet. Do you have 12 sets of sheets for 3 beds? Do you have random mismatched pillow cases? Two words: Community Warehouse. As a guideline, Martha recommends two sheet sets for each bed. Use that math to your advantage!
6. Old phones. Sure, keeping one for emergencies might be a good idea, but more than that is a waste. Take them to the women's shelter or your charity of choice.
7. Pans and other kitchen utensils. Be honest - do you need 5 whisks? My mom swears she does, but I think she really just hates it when I try to throw out her stuff. That seems reasonable, so you should clean out your own kitchen excess. Do you need the electric can-opener, or do you typically reach for the handheld one? Do you reach for one favorite spatula? If so, get rid of the three you don't like.

I bet you could spend five minutes on any one item or area from this list and make serious headway. If you spent ten minutes you might clean out a cupboard. What would happen if you spent an hour getting rid of some dupes? Oh, the joy! Give it a shot - you'll be surprised how good it feels.

P.S. When it comes to freebies, just say no. Whether it's a pen at the bank, a set of screwdrivers, or another crappy water bottle, that stuff is just clutter. If you don't bring it home, you won't have to get rid of it later.
(1) Comments   | Tags: re: Ducere: Clean


Always fun to read your post Nancy! Good ideas! Hard for me to part with my nasty, stinky cleaners.... Something to shoot for!

By Karen Neyman on 29/05/2015

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