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Chronic stress leads to chronic healthcare issues, such as high blood pressure, colds and stomach problems. So it’s good to de-stress. Although there are many sources of stress, let’s focus on one stress creator… and that’s CLUTTER. Fall is the perfect time to de-clutter because this is when you switch over clothes, put away lawn furniture, etc. So clean out drawers, cabinets, and sheds and throw away, give away and de-stress.

Each change of season when I de-clutter, I use a pretty simple rule. If something hasn’t been used that season, it is given away (or used for your yard sale). I have large heavy duty trash bags on hand. I keep one for charity. I have another bag for trash. It does my heart good to fill these bags.

To minimize “clothes hoarding”, remember this rule, you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time. So give away the 80% and you’ll never complain about closet space again. Right now with the changing of summer to fall clothes, it’s the perfect time to give away those clothes that went ‘unworn’ this summer. Even if it is brand new…. If you didn’t wear it, it means you don’t love it and there’s surely someone else who will love it.

Another easy rule is to never have more than you need. Do I really need 3 black tees or 2 unused TVs in the closet? And what about that basement and shed?? Oh you can have some fun there. This key is to not get overwhelmed. Start with one closet or one drawer if that’s all you have time for or, frankly, can handle. I do this cleaning out process continually. When putting folded laundry away or unloading the dishwasher, I might take the time to clean out a drawer or cabinet. It always amazes me how much stuff accumulates in our home. And don’t forget about your office environment. When we decluttered our office we were able to fill up an entire extra long dumpster, shredded 30 boxes of files and had a 5 foot high pile of x-rays to give away for recycling.

I’m not sure the study behind this thinking, although one must exist. Be by getting rid of stuff, i.e. material, we become less materialistic. In a world that thrives on materialism, in particular our country, I think getting rid of material is a good thing. It opens the door for your mind to focus on other, perhaps, more important areas of your life, like your family, your health, and your passions.