Back to Downsizing the Home…

And so it’s time once again for welcoming everyone back: back to school, back to work, back to the routine…

The Jewish New Year starts next week. I have always thought September a much more appropriate time for new beginnings than January, in the dead of winter, when all many people want to do is curl up into a ball and rest after too much frenetic activity over the holidays.

For some of us, September may also be a time of returning to houses filled with TOO MUCH STUFF…and the neverending task of getting rid of things.

Last November New York Times columnist Jane Brody announced her intention “to rid my home and myself of a half-century of accumulated ‘stuff’.” And in the spring she gave her readers a progress report.

Brody cites a couple of books that she says have been very helpful to her in this process. One,  The Hoarder in You, by Dr. Robin Azsio,  Brody calls “a very practical book.” The other, by Barry Dennis, is called The Chotchky Challenge. Brody  quotes Dennis talking about “several tchotchkes  I might never have thought of: electronic equipment that keeps us from living in the moment; people who are an emotional drain instead of a joy; piles of CDs and DVDs that are never watched or listened to; food that gets stuffed into an already satiated body; and unwanted or unloved gifts from people you nonetheless care about.”

Brody and the authors she recommends all have helpful and inspiring things to share with those who find the process of getting rid of things difficult. Though a gargantuan and difficult process, and one that is “far from over,” Brody also concludes that “Lightening one’s physical load can brighten the mind and lift the spirit.”

If any of you out there have found other books helpful in this process, we’d love to hear about them–and expect that many of our readers would too.

Here’s wishing you bit-by-bit success in your efforts to “lighten your physical load.” May it make room for brighter minds and uplifted spirits in the coming year!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer/editor,  writing coach travel blogger, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home.

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