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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Do I get rid of it?

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Do I get rid of it?

There really is a simple, no stress way to find out if you need it or not...this goes for clothes, gadgets, tools....basically anything you have laying around your house...or garage...or even yard. We're not talking about absolute trash. That's for another article. We are talking about items that have some kind of redeeming quality (or at least you think they do)...everything from the stuff you buy to things that may have been handed down to you or given to you as a gift. Here's how you can determine it's purpose in your life.

Let me suggest starting in one room, and then when you are done with this room, move to another one.

  • Get a large size box or storage bin. Start putting items you don't need (or think you don't need) or want into this box
    • To help yourself figure this out, ask yourself..."self, when was the last time I used this? Do I have an emotional attachment to this? What will happen if I get rid of this?"
  • Once the box is full, you will label it, "junk" with today's date
  • You will store this box in an out of the way place in your basement, garage or wherever it is out of sight
  • It is okay to retrieve items from the box, IF you should need that item; this gets the item a temporary reprieve until the next time you de-clutter a room
  • Depending on your personality, at the 6 month or year mark, whatever is left in that box gets taken to Goodwill or some other organization that recycles
Look, you didn't miss it in those 6 months, so you won't miss it afterwards either. If you are having trouble getting rid of gifts or items passed down from relatives, feel better about it, by finding out if perhaps another relative would like to have it. If it's something valuable and unique, think of donating it to a museum or other organization that would appreciate it. I am sure grandmom does not expect you to keep everything that she has ever owned. Pick out one or two pieces, and try to keep those in the family.

I had to clean out a whole house of my grandparents' things after they passed on, and after the initial panic wore off, I realized I could not and should not keep everything! I picked out a few pieces for myself to keep. I let relatives pick out what they wanted after that. A few items were sold to collectors who I knew would cherish those items and the rest was sold at auction. There were a few items I really loved, such as the 500 lb porcelain fireplace, but realistically, I knew I could not keep it, so I made sure to take plenty of photos of it, along with other things that were deemed valuable to me. I never regretted those decisions and allow myself to look at the photos to be reminded of my grandparents. It always does the trick!

So, follow these steps, and you'll never sit there and wonder what you are going to do with that thing. It's actually a freeing experience! Try it and let me know how it goes!

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