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other recent LOUNGE articles:
o The Furniture Facelift Fiasco, part II
o The Furniture Facelift Fiasco, part I 
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ON Weeding: school stuff | | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 1

With the nature of the world around us as it is, itís no surprise that we all have so much stuff. Itís equally easy to understand why we have so much trouble getting rid of our stuff. But weíre not here to make excuses -- the title of this article isnít "How to Stockpile Stuff", right? We're here to learn how to separate the unnecessary stuff from what we really need, and how to make sure the unnecessary stuff makes it to the proper disposal bin (and not just to another space for stuff). While some might describe this process as "purging" or "cleaning up," I show deference to my librarian roots: I call it "weeding."

A Plan for Weeding
1 Visualize a new use for the soon-to-be-empty space
. Keep your goal in mind while you are clearing away the junk. Put this newly uncluttered space to good use, or you may be tempted to fill it with more of the same junk!
2 Have plenty of containers ready to carry the materials away. You should have enough boxes, trash bags, recycling bins, and other containers so you don't run out of them in the middle of your cleaning, potentially leaving the remainder of the junk pile to linger for months or (gasp!) years.
3 Set aside a short period of time to weed your junk. For example, give yourself only 15 minutes to gather those magazines into bags or recycling bins. The short amount of time guarantees that you will not dawdle and leaf through each issue to look for an interesting article that will cause you to keep the magazine (and all the ones like it). Working under a self-imposed deadline will give you only enough time to collect the materials and head for the door.
4 Ask a friend who is not a packrat to help you. Choose someone who you know won't let you keep anything you don't absolutely need.
5 Have the getaway car ready. If you are donating items to the Goodwill or other local charity, be sure you can move the items straight from your place to the car and off to their final destination all in the same day. Otherwise, that large box of well-intentioned donations might stay in the hallway forever.

so what to do about all that school stuff?


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