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Reducing your stuff is best way to lessen stress

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:55 p.m.

The easiest way to reduce stress is to reduce your stuff and simplify.

The stuff that you have to do, the stuff you have around you and your personal stuff.

The stuff you have to do can get out of control.

It is OK to say “no” to things that people ask you to do.

Don't volunteer for everything.

If you do less, the stuff that you end up doing might just be better since you might have more time to plan, time to put into it and the extra care and thought it may require.

Make a list of all the stuff you have on your plate right now. Prioritize the list and eliminate some low priority items.

Focus on the top priority stuff that you need and want to do.

The stuff you have around you can be overwhelming.

Take one room at a time and remove items that are lying out in the open that have been there awhile.

It could be nick-knacks or a pile of magazines.

If you haven't touched it in awhile except to dust around it, remove it.

Put the stuff in a box and store it in the attic or a closet for awhile.

If you don't miss is, donate it or throw it away. You don't have to get rid of all your stuff, but reduce the stuff.

Take your old magazines and catalogs to the recycle boxes most schools have in their parking lots.

Your personal stuff can also be too much.

The personal grooming stuff you thought you needed, but it turns out it wasn't what you thought, throw it away.

Donate or throw away the purses and shoes that are worn out.

The credit cards you shouldn't or don't want to use can be locked up at home.

The bottles of expired cold medicines, prescriptions, should all be disposed of. The pharmacy will take medicines to dispose of if they are dangerous.

The kitchen gadgets you have picked up through the years and don't use can be donated or thrown away, too.

Now is the perfect time to get rid of the stuff because you will need more time for the extra stuff you will have to do for the upcoming holidays and to make room for the new stuff you will probably accumulate for the holidays.

Just get rid of the stuff!

April Reible is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media. She lives in Valencia and has a small business called Clutter Free that specializes in decluttering, organizing homes and office and home staging. To contact her, email clutterfree@zoominternet.net.

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