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Nov
17 2011

Use Less Stuff Day

Syndicated from: Work Smart Live Smart Stress and Wellness Tips

  Use Less Stuff Day - November 17   I have a lot of stuff!  Some stuff I use regularly.  Some stuff is more seasonal.  Some stuff hardly sees the light of day and other stuff, is just stuff taking up space.As we prepare for the holidays and the new year, it is a good time to look and see how you can less stuff and/or get rid of the stuff that you have.  It is also a good time to evaluate the stuff that you give as presents to others.Beverly's Hot Tips For Celebrating Use Less Stuff Day:As you are preparing to clean and decorate your home for the holidays, take a few extra moments to evaluate whether or not you need the stuff that you are organizing or cleaning around.As I converted my boy's play room into the dining room for my holiday guests, we went through old toy bins, bookshelves and computer games and came up with 4 bags of toys to donate to their old daycare plus two bags of toys to give to younger cousins.  2 bags of toys were recycled or thrown away as they were broken and taking up space.  The same parring down occurred in our closets with clothes that were too small being passed along or donated.  The benefits:  less clutter for us and a new life for many of the items that were taking up space and collecting dust. It was also a wake up call for my children to the amount of stuff that they were collecting.De-junking expert, Don Aslett estimates that 40% of the time spent cleaning is spent just handling, getting around, and moving clutter out of the way. Add on the time spent cleaning the stuff you don't need or use and that's a huge slice of time spent just servicing your clutter.Get rid of items that are useful, but you have too many of. Do you really need 5 frying pans, 30 mugs or 10 hammers? As we cleaned out grandma's house when she moved into a nursing home, it amazed me how much stuff we really do accumulate over the years. She had piles of bowls, though I could only remember her using one or two favourites. There were things that she had received as gifts that she was waiting for the right occasion to use...in 91 years, I guess that the right occasion never came around. In the end, we had piles of stuff that we donated to others who could really use the stuff instead of letting it sit in cupboards and closets.  Are you good at recycling, reducing and reusing things?  Do you take your lunch to work or do you buy it?  Do you grab extra napkins then throw them out without even using them?  Do you use a reusable mug when getting your daily cup of java?  Do you turn off lights and unplug electrical devices when not in use? Have bins easily accessible in your workplace and homes to make the recycling decision easy.Take a look at the "Story of Stuff" - http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/ Here are some more holiday tips for the ULS website - http://use-less-stuff.com/:Turn down the heat before the guests arrive. You’ll save energy while the extra body heat of your guests will warm up the room.Did you know that over 28 billion pounds of food are wasted each year in the US..that's over 100 lbs per person.  So, party plan appropriately so that food doesn't go to waste.Use less gas.  Organize your shopping time so that you don't waste time and gas making many unnecessary trips.  Did you know that if each family in the US reduced their holiday gasoline consumption by one gallon we’d reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tons.Hang lights with smaller bulbs. The have lower wattage which consumes less energy and gives off less heat, making your lights safer.Consolidate your purchases into one bag rather than getting a new bag at each store on your shopping rounds.Donate unwanted gifts, along with last year’s gifts that the kids have outgrown, to charity.With New Years fast approaching.  Now would be a great time to commit to stop smoking. In the U.S. each year, approximately 24 billion empty cigarette packs end up in the garbage, and cigarettes represent roughly 20% of litter on roads and beaches, by far the single largest source of litter.       Use Less Stuff Day is an awareness day to take stock and make choices about the stuff that we gather, organize and clean around.  It is a time to ask if our stuff is taking over our lives.  It is a time to decide that our energies may be better spent on the non-material things in the world.If you would like to find more strategies to help you deal with health, wellness and stress - please visit the resource section at http://www.worksmartlivesmart.com/pages/stress_resourcesIf you have some strategies to share - comment on this posting! To bring Beverly to present her stress and wellness strategies to your team or to find more wellness days, weeks and months - visit http://www.worksmartlivesmart.com/      .Providing the tips and strategies to help you gain more joy, success and meaning in your life.

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