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It’s a new year. Why let a bunch of useless stuff hang around and gather dust? Household clutter zaps the energy right out of a home, time bandits suck, and letting old garbage hang around in my mind is pointless.

1. Does it require antihistamines and more than 30 minutes to dust?

Let’s face it dusting is boring. So the place doesn’t look like Martha Stewart’s house, I’d rather have a few less knick-knacks and a few more hours to do something fun.

2. Is putting away laundry a marathon event?

If the dresser is exploding and we keep running out of hangers but we’re wearing the same things every week, it’s obviously time to look into donating or throwing out something. Those size six jeans are a pipe dream and kind of depressing. Out they go.

3. Are there stacks of stacks?

If everything has a place and is in its place there is no need to continually look through stacks to find the thing I need. What I’m looking for is never there anyway. It got thrown out last week while I was cleaning up a stack of mail.

4. Does having a guest require renting a storage unit?

Tempting, as it is to store all the unused junk in the guestroom, it makes more sense to just get rid of it. It’s “out of sight, out of mind” in there anyway. I’ll never get around to fixing that clock or making a shelf out of that old piece of wood. And who needs the mad dash to hide it all in the closet, when someone visits?

5. Now that the house is clutter free, am I running around in circles trying to keep up?

When I’m stretched too thin nothing gets done well. I’m not doing anyone any favors by saying yes to every task that comes along. Others can do the job just as well, and should have an opportunity to be involved. Keeping my schedule lean also insures that I’m available when I’m really needed.

6. Where the heck did that echo come from?

Time to rob all those old, hurtful words, from the past, of their power. Next time they pop up, instead of pushing them down, I’ll let them come, then take them apart. Let’s see if they can survive the autopsy.

Tomorrow: Taking Control