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The Art of Discarding - December 2022 Newsletter

This weekend I read The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi published in 2005. This book was the inspiration behind Marie Kondo’s the life-changing magic of tidying up.

One of her philosophies that I liked best is to pick an area where you won’t put things. Let’s say it’s the kitchen table. Decide that you will not put anything on the kitchen table until it is time to eat.

I recommend that you first try to establish a place where you won't put things. It's easier to feel the impact if you're dealing with a place you can see. The first thing you’ll notice is how many unnecessary things you have around you, and how they increase in number day by day. By following this strategy you’ll also develop the habit of disposal—of reducing the number of unnecessary things you have. Instead of picking redundant things up and then putting them back, you'll pick them up and dispose of them. This is why it's important to start with a compact place. If the job is too onerous, you’ll get fed up before discarding becomes habit. “

This week I tidied an office space in Brooklyn which included two supply closets and the snack area.

One great quick tip for storage is this: When boxes arrive – empty them!

When you empty boxes it is clear what you have and what you do not need to reorder.

You will save money and space on overordering by emptying boxes as soon as they are delivered to your home or office. This is a similar concept to Marie’s thoughts on tags on clothing. When you buy clothes remove the tags so that you will wear the item. Many times, people buy things which remain in plastic and they remain unused.

Business cards: Every six months or so I go through my small pile of biz cards and recycle the ones that are no longer necessary. This should take you no more than five minutes. 1st, make sure all of your business cards are in one place. 2nd shuffle through them and recycle any duplicates, doctors you no longer see, folks whose info is already in your phone or businesses you know you can google if needed. By the end of the five-minute activity, you should have whittled down that pile to a small batch that you can then neatly wrap in a rubber band and use when needed.

The concept behind much of tidying is to use what you have. Get rid of all that doesn’t serve you. Happy tidying!


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