A Checklist to Chuck Some Stuff!
THERE’S A YACHT MORE TO LIFE
Do you continually root through your closet or dig into a cabinet muttering, “I’ve got to get rid of some of this stuff!” Well, put your money where your mouth is. Follow this simple checklist. Winston and I used it when we chucked our stuff to move to a grass hut.
* CREATE A NOTEBOOK In a blank notebook titled “Freedom from Stuff” create these sections: “Give to Children,” “Give to Friends,” “Give to Salvation Army” (or your favorite Family Shelter) and the inevitable, “Dumpster.” Plus one other very important category: “Can’t Live Without.”
* GATHER FIVE LARGE PLASTIC BAGS Start with white kitchen-size garbage bags, or if you’re brave, go for the big black ones! The ones with the drawstrings always make my decisions easier.
* PICK A TIME LIMIT Block out an hour or two to tackle an area, and dive in! (This project can’t be all-encompassing or you’ll get discouraged. Stick with only a couple of hours at first.)
* PICK A ROOM Don’t choose the most overstuffed room in the house. Choose a small room, even a corner of a room, that you don’t use much. (Never tackle photos or garages until you’ve had lots of practice!)
* GLANCE OVER THE ROOM What catches your eye? In your notebook, list everything you can see under one of your sections. (This is a good inventory for later, even if you take no action at this point.)
* PICK A SMALL AREA Focus on a closet, or under the bed, or a cabinet, a tool bench, even a drawer.
* CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON It can be color (all things red), or size (bigger than a shoebox), or decor, or timing (when did I last use this), whatever your creative mind comes up with!
* CREATE PILES Using only one weapon, let’s say the color red, pull out everything red and only put back the things you really use or really fit☺or you consider treasures. The rest goes into those plastic bags.
* IF YOU HAVE TIME, CHOOSE ANOTHER WEAPON If you’re inspired and have another hour, stay in the same area and choose
another weapon. If you satisfied with your purging and feel empowered, bravely go to a new area of the room.
* DON’T REVIEW THE BAGS, NOT YET ANYWAY! Resist looking through your piles or bags until you’ve evaluated the whole room. Then it’s OK. You’ll find yourself putting some things back, which is fine, but you’ll have great satisfaction even if you have eliminated only a few things red!
FEEL THE FREEDOM??? CONGRATULATIONS! THAT’S PROGRESS!!!
Winston Hovey and Cynthia Zvanut Hovey transformed their desire to simplify their lives and be free of all their “stuff” into a mutual second career in paradise, first running a pirate bar and then as crew on megayachts. Their new book, "There's a Yacht More to Life," spans 25 years of their adventurous career makeover. For more information contact Winston and Cynthia at firstname.lastname@example.org
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