Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Streamlined Advantage

(No, this is NOT my house! I found this picture at:

I am inspired. A couple weeks ago I learned how to "streamline" my apartment. Streamlining is, defined by Alice Osborne: the 8-step program of sifting through your stuff to find what matters most to YOU. She was the guest speaker at an enrichment meeting for the sisters in our stake. She first asked us:

Do you lose things?
Do you buy duplicates because you don't have the time to keep looking for the thing you've lost?
When friends drop in unexpectedly do you get embarrassed about how the house looks and apologize for it?
Do you wish you had more living space? More storage space?
Do you wish you had more help with the housework?

If you said yes, listen up. Alice taught us that we are "stuff rich" and "space poor" and therefore, our homes are usually packed full of things that we might not really need, want, like, use, or have room for. And that brings me to the point of why we keep all of this STUFF.

Alice found the three most common reasons we keep stuff that we don't really need, want, like, use or have room for. They are: 1) Sentiment. For some reasons we are just emotionally attached to the object. 2) Money. People often say, "I paid good money for that and I just can't get rid of it." 3) Future use. We often think, Someday I'm going to use that. Yes, someday we will probably use it, but we are not using it today, and someone else who really needs or wants it today could benefit from having it. So, later, if we really need it then we can buy it or borrow it, or get it free from someone who is streamlining their stuff.

Here are the basics of streamlining. When you streamline you get rid of the "clutter" (things you don't like, use, need, want or have room for). This includes clothes, toys, papers household items, books, etc. And you also utilize the "keepers" (anything you DO like, use, need, want or have room for). After you streamline you can then organize all your keepers, meaning, have a place for it all, and put it all in its place. So, as you go through your house, touch EVERYTHING and ask yourself these questions, "Do I like this? Do I use it? Do I want it? Do I need it? And do I have room for it?" Choose what's most important for you to keep today and give away what you don't want to keep--give it to someone who could use it today.

Yikes. Sounds overwhelming, right? A little, but tackling the big project of streamlining my apartment sounds a lot less overwhelming than accumulating and incorporating a ton of stuff that I don't really like, use, need, want or have room for. As I am preparing to move I plan to slowly streamline my apartment. I am looking forward to unpacking boxes that are filled with everything I need, want, like, use, and have room for. Thanks, Alice.


okbushmans said...

This is why I LOVE nesting! Both Ryan and I have been on a stream lining kick. I need to take pictures of what we have accomplished. But it makes you feel SO much better! And it is amazing how much faster cleaning up your house is (I am a constant tidier) when everything is organized.

Rachel and Todd said...

It's weird, but I take pictures, too! I'll take a "before" picture of the tub and then an "after" picture because sometimes I scrub and clean and don't feel like I've made any progress, but if I look at the "before" picture I feel much better. Yes, Alice pointed out that having a streamlined house makes it so much easier to maintain, and that's one of its biggest perks.