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Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

One annoying thing I owned was a financial folder from my financial planner. Blue leather-bound with an engraved name plaque on the front and the year engraved on the spine. I can see the idea is for clients to line these folders up in a regal line along the shelf of a study bookcase. It is also a great marketing tool to make people feel better about spending $1500 on an annual service fee when you get a ‘free’ folder. Obviously I abide this kind of thing. What a waste of resources.

So today as part of my mini challenge to break into the 200 list zone I threw out the folder. Not ideal as it will go to landfill, but better than taking up space in my home. I have taken out the paper work to scan and keep as an electronic file (online backup) for reference. I will then shred the original.

I have cancelled my annual reviews with this financial advisor, and in the future when I do go for meetings I’ll ask them to hold the ‘glamour file’ and just show me the presentation on the overhead projector (which they already do) and email me the file in soft form.

Also out – 2 childhood books which I passed on to my sister.

Items: 397 (I had accidently listed the finance folder twice in my 100 thing list so it has reduced by a total of 4)

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The smile test is the quintessential decluttering tool to help make decisions about things.

Being surrounded by friends and family during my decluttering whirl winds would be awesome. I imagine that I would hold up a pair of leopard print shoes, and like in the days of the roman gladiators, my crowd of supporters would roar; Yay or Nah! Thumbs up, keep it. Thumbs down, it goes.

After reading  Sue Kay’s book, No More Clutter, I’ve realized I have my own little decision-making Coliseum, right on my face: it’s my smile.

I’ve found this test is excellent for sentimental items. All those old childhood toys, teenage diaries, photos, cards and jewelery. When decision-making becomes difficult, like when I start thinking about how my Mother regrets burning all her teenage diaries, I just look at it and reflect on how it makes me feel. It’s then easy to tell whether you’re hanging onto things for the wrong reasons (guilt, obligation, laziness etc), because there’s no smile on your dial.

I’m currently using this technique to decide which sentimental items I’ll keep for my memory box. And using my list, rather than physically going through the items, has helped me decide more rationally which items are significant and worth treasuring and which items are things in my life but not needed for my future happiness.

The sentimental (or things not used on a daily basis) items that won the beauty pageant smile contest are:

  1. Book – Frida Kahlo
  2. Photo album – childhood
  3. Pink crystal
  4. Tiger stone
  5. Jewelry – childhood unicorn
  6. Jewelry – childhood silver bangle
  7. Jewelry – teenage Celtic ring
  8. Pile of cards and letters
  9. Toy – teddy ‘roobear’
  10. Toy – tiny dance skirt
  11. Diary – 1997
  12. First bank book
  13. Race ribbons
  14. Tiny shells in tiny box
  15. Photo with Dad when I was 3

I still need to down size some of these things. I don’t need a whole pile of race ribbons or letters to bring a smile to my face. Just a few of the best.

Once I see how much space these things take up, I’m going to buy a special ‘memories box’ to store them in.

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