Keeping things becomes a habit

I received an email from Di last week which contained this passage…

I’ve got to the deeper layers – it’s not just about clothes… and it’s quite hard. Jewellery (gifted and pretty – just too much – have managed to donate quite a bit), photos (out of 6 albums and a box and now ready to go and be scanned but have discovered loads of digital ones on a hard drive), digital clutter (hard cos it’s not so tangible and takes ages – currently doing a ‘folder’ a day), my christening shawl (beautiful and knitted by my gran but now going to a friend’s daughter who is having a baby), unwanted ‘inherited stuff’ that ‘should’ be worth money (all off to the auction house) and you’ll laugh at this one – concert tickets from the late 80s early 90’s – hard to part with simply cos I’d kept them in the first place and keeping them became a habit, doh!

…which is what inspired this weeks set of mini missions. It got me thinking about things I still have or do out of habit, habits passed down through the generations and habits followed just because they are the norm. Some of these habits are quite futile when you start to dissect them.

Have you noticed that keeping things becomes a habit, like Di and her concert tickets. Once started, collecting habits can be hard to break, even though you might have lost the interest to continue you feel you should. Then when you do, so much history and sentiment is attached to these items yet, not so deep down, you really want to be rid of them and still you just can’t bring yourself to do it. At that point they have become clutter and you have two choices keep them or liberate the space and purge them. It is that simple, and that difficult, and the only person who can make the choice is you. The question is ~ what do you want more?

Then there are habits of the generations. In my parents, grandparents, great grandparents… eras it was the norm to pass down items like crystal, the good china, furniture and other items from one generation to the next. It is still happening to this day but what I have noticed among my readers here is that many of our generation don’t want these items that are usually “kept for good”. This creates a problem in itself ~ you feel obliged to accept these items because it is the custom (habit) to accept what is handed down. Well guess what you once again have choices, you can either conform either wilfully or against your will, you can accept and  use the items anytime not “just for good” or you can just say no, politely of course. Trust me, it is possible, I have done it.

Then there are the habits we have developed through childhood to adulthood simply from the world around us. Habits we don’t think twice about following until such I time comes that we begin for one reason or another to change the way we do things. Take today’s mini mission for example. My entire adult life I have always stocked white sugar, caster (baker’s) sugar, brown sugar and icing sugar in my pantry as did my mother before me. As one gets older too much of a good thing can end up on your waste line so for some time now I have been using low GI sugar in my tea, I also don’t bake sweets much any more, and recently I have started using maple syrup on my porridge (natural sugars, although still naughty, are better for you). It occurred to me last week that I have had the same canisters of white sugar and caster sugar in the pantry for a long time. The last time I bought it was purely out of habit. I have decided to free up a little space in the pantry by using up the white sugar and not restocking it. If a visitor wants white sugar they can use the caster sugar. Perhaps you keep stocking something out of habit that you really could live without.

One of the other things we do out of habit is own certain things simply because everyone else does. The idea of owning few or none of these things just seem weird somehow. Televisions are one of them, even having only one television in a household these days is unusual. As an Australian it is almost unheard of not to own a barbeque. And I know people think I am odd because my dining suite  seats fewer than six people.The fact that I only own one handbag disturbs many of my female friend, and Heaven forbid that it may not match the shoes or belt I am wearing. I think you understand by now what I am trying to say here. Society is broken so why bother trying to keep up with it anyway. Do the environment a favour and march to your own drum.

These are just a few of the things we do out of habit that clutter up space in our homes. Why not spend your week questioning some of your habits, perhaps there is a better way of doing things. It is never too late to change especially when it is for the better.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter a consumable item that you don’t use much where an alternate product you also keep will suffice.  Good places to find these items is in your pantry, among your cleaning supplies or your bathroom cabinet.

Today’s Declutter Item

Here is a consumable product I had too much of and the silly things is I don’t usually get lazy and do hemming the cheats way anyway. I either sew them by machine or use good old needle and thread. So why did I have so much of this, because it was cheap and I could. That simple and that foolish.

Hemming Tape

Something I Am Grateful For Today

It was another of those days today when I was grateful for my mother and the things she taught me.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Decluttering & discovering your true self ~ by Andréia Not so long ago, Colleen wrote an excellent post about discovering who we really are when decluttering. The post was “Who are you”. I thought that post was great. It encouraged me to […]
  • Owning your life skill ~ By Doodle One of our long time regular readers Doodle has kindly agreed to help out here at 365 by writing a blog post for me every other Wednesday. Today is her first regular post although not the […]
  • Staying ahead of the clutter. Of late I have been getting the felling that maybe there is more stuff coming into my home than there is going out or being used up. Typically craft supplies is my biggest area of concern. […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. “Society is broken so why bother trying to keep up with it anyway. Do the environment a favour and march to your own drum.” I love this, and believe that I’m trying to live my life in such a manner. Thanks for your continued inspiration. I really shouldn’t read 365 while on vacation because I’m itching to rid our lives of more fluff, and it’s difficult to do from so far away.

    • Anne, sit back, relax and save all that pent up decluttering energy until you get home, the longer you have to wait the keener you’ll be when you get there. Happy vacation, I hope you are somewhere sunny and warm.

      • We live somewhere sunny and too warm, so we’re somewhere cooler. Of course it is cooler where you are, and you’re looking for warmth.

        Perhaps I’ll be able to convince my mother to do some more decluttering while we visit. She already knows I don’t want the job when she and my dad are gone.

        • You are right it is cold and rainy here at present and I really would like to go for a walk in the sunshine. I think we have had about 20 sunny days in the last month and a half so I am a little over it.

          I hope you manage to convince your mother. I think the older one gets the less stuff one needs so there is no excuse for not getting rid of it. The problem is that not everyone sees it as clutter or could be bothered dealing with it.

  2. Great post. I too like “Society is broken so why bother trying to keep up with it anyway. Do the environment a favour and march to your own drum.” I have had a number of people give me odd looks lately when they hear we have sold our TV, have only an emergency cell phone, don’t go out to eat often and see all that we have decluttered lately. I don’t care. I”m not on this earth to compete with everyone on accumulating things or on meeting some artificial requirement to be in or successful. My Mom is seeing this too. For some time she has thought I was just in a mood or something. After she finally started listening instead of bristling she is seeing that I really do have a good reason for what I am doing. Now she has bought in. I have a few others who are beginning to get a bit of the idea and I think I will convert some others as time goes by.

    • “…listening instead of bristling…” I like that one and it is so very common. We spoke of this yesterday of course. Just consider with your mum how much more of a lifetime her habits had been formed over, any wonder she thought you were “just in a mood or something” and wasn’t willing to conform. So many times I have said how communication is key to successful decluttering when there is more than one person to consider in a household. I am so excited for you at the moment Deb J because you aren’t just decluttering, you are forming a whole new and stronger relationship with your mother.

      As for not conforming with the rest of society, I rather like being different so I am in my element.

      • Yes, comunication is key. Very key. I’m glad it is finally going two ways here in this household.

  3. Such a thoughtful post, Colleen. Like Di’s decluttering which was reaching a deeper level, so too does your analysis. Great advice!

  4. I dont want to spoil anybody’s day, but all sugars are natural. Some are more processed than others, but their calorie/ energy does not differ. Sirop is just sugar with caramel coloring.
    GI sugar has a lower glucemic index, but it comes from genetically manipulated sugar cane, which is not so good for the environment. Also it has has almost the same kilocalorie content as normal sugar, so it will do the same for your figure. If you don’t want the extra calories, you should try artificial sweeteners.

    • Hi Hunter_xs,
      I would think the when food is referred to as natural it means that it is less processed not simply that it is grown or of just one component. One could say that chemical cleaners are natural as are plastics and metals or theoretically, everything on the planet is natural because their components originally come naturally from this planet. It is what we do with them the makes them harmful. Everything in landfill taking hundreds of years to breakdown are made for stuff that at one point was completely unprocessed.

      I have been lead to believe that the less processing involved in any food makes it better for you. Most plant foods that are less processed have a lower GI or are higher in fibre so it takes longer to process them so you don’t get hungry or need another sugar hit for longer periods of time.

      I must admit I did have my doubts about low GI sugar. I fail to see that it is much different to raw sugar which goes through a lot less processing than white. My mind is certainly open on that. As for artificial sweeters, many of them are carcinogenic not to mention the fact that they taste disgusting. Eating natural healthy food in moderation is a better answer to maintaining ones figure I would think. Not that I am always a saint when it comes to that but I do try. Since I am 47 years old, 165cm tall and weigh only 57kg (the most in my life) I figure I must be doing something right. Sadly in Australia that would put me in a pretty low percentile, I don’t have many friends my age that aren’t overweight.

  5. Hunter – I’m worried (perhaps irrationally) that artificial sweetners are bad for you too – and might lead to cancers or other nasty things. I generally try to not eat sugar (which includes most types of sweets). Of course I’m not perfect (this weekend is a case in point!) but I try!

    I only have one TV (and it’s my friends third – the two of them had 3 tvs in their home!! NUTS!). But I do agree that it’s ‘normal’ in Australia to have more than one. I don’t have a BBQ – partly cause I’m not a huge BBQ’r, but my balcony is tiny AND my rooftop has two HUGE communal piped gas BBQs – more than I could ever fit/afford, but free to my use. Just driving to work, I was thinking about how out of hand ‘stuff’ has become – like I was reading in Singapore, cars are really expensive (due to some permit to own a car, rather than the actual car), and then after 7 years, it must be off the island. My parents thought this was a good idea – but I was wondering, why this demand for MORE new cars, and dumping perfectly usable 7 year old cars on another person/country to deal with?

    • That car situation in Singapore sound good for their environment but not so much for the environmental health for the rest of the world. I suppose the oil for the plastics come from somewhere else as does the iron ore for the steal and the manufacturing process would also occur off their shores. I do have an open mind to the fact that I am sure their exhaust emissions are lower and possibly less cars are bought (mostly affect the lower class) but I wonder if there is any overall benefit to this system. I bet though that they have a very good public transport system which countries like Australia could do well to mimic.

      • Hi Colleen – I think the train system in Oz is pretty good, just goes to show how ours is! Public transport is improving here, Wellington’s is really good and a lot of funding has gone into improving Auckland’s. Our local bus system is ok, probably in that catch 22 space where they don’t want to invest more into it until it gets used a lot more, and the majority of people don’t want to use the bus system until the routes are better.
        Senior citizens have unlimited use of the bus system between 9 and 2 on week days, which is great because they can get out and about without the cost of a vehicle. We have friends who are in their mid 80’s and although they seem a lot younger than 80 they say they love the bus option because the traffic system in our area has become too swift for them, they don’t mind pottering around in our suburb but going into the city or on the motorways or even navigating the double lane roundabouts that are common in our area just makes an outing a bit stressful for them.

        • I get stuck with the catch 22 situation with the bus service myself. It costs $3.50 to ride down to my local shopping centre which is about 3km away. I dare say it is cheaper and certainly more convenient to take the car. It costs the same amount to go all the way into the city which is about 7 km away. The ride duration allowance is only 1 hour so that doesn’t give me enough time to do what I want and use the same ticket to come home on. I noticed in Seattle the the bus fares were a lot more expensive now but they punch your ticket to last about two and half hours which gives you time to do things and use it to come home on. That being said it only costs me $10.70 for the three hour train ride to Sydney and back again and I can stay all day. Now that does make economic sense because you would pay at least double that just for the parking once you got there in the car and add the tank of gas and the wear and tear on top of that.
          It is very cheap for seniors and people on other pensions though and I don’t mind if my fare is subsidising that I suppose.

        • oh this is fantastic! I know that some municipalities have reduced prices for seniors, but I never heard of gratis public transportation. Amazing!

          As soon as I am no student anymore, I will have to pay full price (at least in winter, in summer I will take the bike for sure), but I will pay it gladly, because then I will help to improve public transportation, make it better, stronger, more reliable, and for sure cheaper in the long run.
          please use public transportation, even if it is not perfect and far too expensive, if we dont use it, we will lose it, and it IS so much better for the environment. make it a statement.

          • As a foreign student in Rennes, Brittany, France, they let all international students travel on public transport for free – it was such a great idea (and I don’t think it caused HUGE issues). I wish Australia was more welcoming to our students too – we seem to hike up the prices for foreign students.

    • Hi Snosie – I love the idea of a communal BBQ – we do own a big BBQ but we use it a lot, even thru winter, my hubbie cooks the BEST roasts on the bbq. In summer if we want to boil a big pot of potatos or corn or whatever, we often do it on the gas element of the bbq so that all the heat and steam is outside.

      If it makes you feel any better about vehicles in Singapore – NZ snaps them up by the ship load from such countries especially Japan. I believe we have only one or two car manufacturing plants here, maybe we would have more if it wasn’t so easy to import 2nd hand cars here, who knows? It could all be argued several ways on this, economy versus environment in the manufacturing versus importing, but its just how it is here. I’m not a car enthuisiast so I don’t really care if my car is new or 2nd hand or an import – therefore the extra expense of a new car would be wasted on me. I also tend to keep a car for around 10 years. My current car is a 7 seater but I will downsize in the next couple of years once my youngest has learnt to drive, I don’t particularly want to update my car and then have teens learning to drive in it.

      I saw a documentary on tv on the weekend and it said NZ had one of the highest number of cars per capita ratios in the world. I imagine that has to do with imports making it cheaper to get into a car, and also apart from the big cities, we tend to be sprawled out. I can’t complain about that as my hubbie has his work vehicle, I have the family car and my son bought a cheap car last year that my hubby and him have been doing improvements on but having a full license and own transport will hopefully make it easier for him to get a job next year.

      It is quite likely that when my older daughter starts driving next year, once she is past the early stages we will get her a small older manual so she can go thru her restricted and full license with a manual license versus auto only license. My car is auto and would be expensive petrol wise for her to clock up the amount of driving hours/experience before sitting the next level of license. And she will have to share it with her sister who starts driving the following year.

  6. Calico ginger :

    Hi all, re the sweetener debate, I am now using stevia which I believe comes from a naturally super sweet plant and has zip calories! I haven’t bought any kind of sugar for well over a year now.

    I had a big win this weekend – I free-cycled our 2 remaining budgies, their giant cage and all accessories. It was hard and I felt really guilty, but I was the only one who ever paid them any attention and now with my mum living with us I am just so much busier. The up-side was the nicest family with two little kids took them. Win, Win!

    • Hi Calico ginger, I tried Stevia the other day and it leaves that same bitter taste in my mouth as the artificial sweeteners. I would go without before resorting to that.

      I am glad you found the budgies a new nice home. I decluttered a budgie and it’s cage once. We were moving a long way awayand it was a big enough challenge to bring the dog never mind a budgie and since he had been decluttered from someone else’s home to me why not send him on again.

  7. Very thought provoking..these things that we do out of habit. Never quite looked at it this way before, so thanks for opening my eyes to a new concept.

    • Hi Sarina and welcome to 365 Less Things. Quite often it is one small thing in comments from my readers that spark these posts so keep those comments coming.

  8. Hmm does sugar go bad? You just reminded me of a (sealed) bag of brown sugar I bought..hmm, must have been at least 4 years ago, eek! I don’t remember what I bought it for, but I stopped adding sugar to food a couple of years ago and I really don’t bake or make sweet foods since having a large amount gets me into trouble. I think I forgot it was there because it’s on the top shelf in the back corner, which is the one spot I can’t reach and don’t see often. Outta sight, outta mind.

    • Elspeth, bye-bye to that 4 yr old brown sugar….right? 🙂

    • Hi Elspeth I am not sure if white sugar goes off or if it does how long that takes but I do know that the last packet of brown sugar that had sat on the shelf for a while smelled funny so I threw what I hadn’t used away.

    • use it up. search for a recipe that requires a good amount of sugar and then ENJOY. or you give it to neighbours. if it is still good, but then how could sugar go bad?

      I never knew there is so much to say about sugar. 😉 I stopped adding sugar to my coffee years ago and I only use those small amounts between your fingers for cooking. so the main amount of sugar gets used when I bake (once a year a cake for myself) and when guests need it for coffee…

      • Lol Annabelle, yep, it’s gonna go bye-bye. If I were going to use it, I would have by now. I just went into the cabinet to get it and also found some flour that I probably bought around the same time. It’s funny to me that it’s so easy to forget what I have in my cabinet – I live alone and have very little space, so I can’t have much lying around in the first place. The sugar (I discovered was opened) still smells good, so hopefully some baking freecycler can use it.

  9. I can really relate to Ann’s comment above–I derive a lot of inspiration from this blog and I also feel itchy, at work for example, to get home and work on decluttering projects when the momentum is strong.

    Pantry: I have some Thai “quick foods” (noodle bowls, ramen & such) that were left by my mother’s housemate when she went back home. I accepted them but shouldn’t have–highly processed and full of salt, which my blood pressure doesn’t need! Out they go.

    Also–I took a big step this last weekend and recycled 3 grocery bags of old class notes from college. I don’t know why that was so hard for me (especially as I haven’t looked at or needed them in the past 7 years) but it was. Once I put them in the recycling bin, though, I was ready to keep going!

  10. Wow Colleen, excellent post, as always!

    Recently I got rid of a part-time job (wasn’t working out) and a commitment to a volunteer situation (that I had been involved with for several decades). So to declutter deeper into a different level is right up my alley these days. I’ve never felt so relieved and so happy. I feel so much more focused and able to give freely to what I believe in, not what someone else tells me I should believe in (ah ha!! NOT going with the norm or w/ society, but branching out ON MY OWN!!! Amen to that!). My next step is to lighten my load with some friendships that are seriously more stressful than loving and friendly.

    🙂 Thanks for todays enlightenment! 🙂 Super triple smiley faces on this one! 🙂

    • Hi Annabelle thank you for the super triple smiley faces. Sometimes stuff isn’t the only thing that needs decluttering. I think we can all relate to that. As you might remember I decluttered my part time job just before Liam’s accident in 2010. Boy was I glad to see the back of that. I am glad they didn’t hire anyone else because were it something I could have donated I wouldn’t have foisted that onto anybody.

  11. I actually dealt with some of this sort of clutter this weekend. I’ve had “mementos” from my last real vacation (in 2006!) plus things I’d picked up from places I was sent while traveling for work since then – all still in bags, not in albums as intended. I pulled out my scrapbook that hasn’t been touched in at least 7 yrs (all photos since are digital) and decided I could happily declutter ALL the paper, scissors and other scrapbook stuff. =) I plan to scan the pages of the album so that heavy weight can go away too. I’ve been in a major decluttering mood the past few days and have hit my books, yarn & knitting patterns, games and closet hard. It feels so good to be lightening my load. =)

    • Hi Karen, that sounds like a whole lot of aspirational clutter out the door. I bet you feel good. Not only did you get rid of stuff but you got rid of the bad feeling that you should be doing something with it. You did the best thing you could do and relieve yourself of it.

  12. Me likely this post a lot 🙂 it’s funny how you just accept some stuff cos it’s always been there and then suddenly you take afresh look and think what is that all about….
    I love how many topics have been discussed here too – here in Scotland we have free bus travel for those over 65 which I wholeheartedly support, it’s brilliant.
    Mama Minou – well done on the college notes – I nearly fell of my chair t’other night when my dad (who has hoarding tendencies) mentioned he still has his college notes – he’s in his 70s – and was thinking of having to put them in the recycling, whether he does or not is a totally different matter – he probably doesn’t even know which box they are in, lol, but I was impressed that he was even thinking about it.
    And I agree with those who use less processed versions of sugar, I think the more processed it’s is worse for you. I switched back to real butter a few years ago too instead of margarine in plastic tubs – the butter comes in paper and has hopefully been less messed about with. Having said all that if I could just declutter my attraction to cake, biscuits, cheese, puddings etc, hahaha

    • ha! I wish I could do that too. although I am working hard to change from chocolate (m&ms are my cryptonite) to nuts and raisins… changing the habit. it is my shopping habit that I really need to reflect. I could so use a personal shopper who just gets me those things on my list and resists all those temptations… Moni! send some of your oompa loompas over but I just cant walk by the sweets department these days without taking at least 3 items.

      • Hi Lena
        If I ever get my hands on some of those oompa loompas – I will definately send one your way!

      • Hey Lena,
        I have faced a similar problem with sweets in the past. You probably won’t be happy with a sudden change to nuts and raisins, but you can find a chocolate that is healthier for you. Find a fair trade organic dark chocolate, the higher percentage the better (I know here I can get chocolate that is up to 85% cacao). I don’t know if you have Green & Black’s where you are, but they make mini bars, and it can be so nice to eat the whole thing without guilt (a past nutritionist told me to do this).

        Something else you can do to get your chocolate fix: raw cacao nibs. They are bitter, but if you put them in something like cereal or oatmeal with some fruit, you get a chocolate taste and a nice crunchiness too and the fruit gives you the sweetness. All the antioxidants of chocolate without all the sugar!

        • I mus have missed this completely. I dont like dark chocolate that much. I know its much healthier though. I also tried all the organic and fair trade chocolate, but besides 2 bars of really nice chocolate I didnt find any that was really “it” for me.

          its not really the craving for chocolate but the craving for the specific product that is my problem… and I have the slight feeling this wont go away until I leave the “first world” with all its temptations.

      • I seem to be a strange kind of gal, but I don’t consider chocolate “bad”. 🙂
        I know for sure, that all this substituting for “unhealthy things” and dieting leads to only eating more in my case. I remember those days when I was young and foolish, thinking I should join this common trend among women to eat less and healthy all the time and feel guilt when eating chips, chocolate or really anything that isn’t fat-free and organic. I tried to “limit” myself then, say “one piece of chocolate per day” – only resulting in that I ate chocolate every single day, even when I didn’t really feel like it, for fear of depriving myself of that single “allowed” treat. Another time I didn’t eat any sweets for a few weeks, which led to eating a sandwich with mozzarella and tomatoes any time I just wanted a bite of chocolate, thus a gain in weight.

        Fortunately, I realized soon enough that all this dieting and depriving just isn’t for me and I am now just eating what I feel like eating – sometimes that is a bar of chocolate at once and then again, I don’t eat chocolate for weeks in a row, I don’t really track it and am just happily eating.
        Like Colleen, I just have “my weight” for years (since I was 15) – it’s about 61kg at 1,63m – at 18 that felt “fat” , but I accepted not being skinny quite soon and have never had problems keeping that weight by just eating what I felt like eating. (Fingers crossed) Going for “healthy” nutrition deliberately doesn’t really help me.
        (This said, I don’t eat very “unhealthy” either, but I’m not afraid of eating sugary, salty or fatty things from time to time)

        I usually don’t stock sweets or snacks of any kind. If I want some, I go and buy what I want and eat it all within the same day.

        • I am like you. I have to allow myself certain things once in a while because I will eat them anyway, if I like it or not. the point is here in once in a while. because as soon as I dont watch out, I gain weight. there are people on this planet that can eat whatever they want and keep their weight for ages, but I am not one of them. maybe next life. so I will watch out for the rest of my life. its going to be ok, I guess.

          when I switched my diet into vegetarian, I found out that cheese is also not really helping a lot in order to loose some pounds. especially mozzarella, although there is nothing better in summer than tomato-mozzarella-basil-salad. myamyam.

  13. I’ve been occupied with painting furniture in the last days. (and what’s more, my desk has also been occupied, so I haven’t been online much). The task is not yet completed – some of the chairs were just plain ugly by now and needed a new painting.

    I love this week’s theme. Habit clutter – as I stopped buying things just for looks some time ago and only aquired things for immediate use, most of the clutter that I’m getting rid of these days has been here for quite a while. Out of habit, of course.

    We only have one kind of sugar at home – but it’s mainly my boyfriend who’s using it. I don’t use sugar exept for baking – or cooking, but he is sweetening drinks etc. quite a lot, though he does use honey sometimes. (or maybe just I’m thinking it a lot as I never sweeten my drinks. 😉 )

    My food pantry is always quite minimal, but what could do with decluttering is the cleaning supplies. We’re doing a “use it up”-challenge for more than a year by now and are far from running out of it. That’s of course due to me not using much cleanser, I’m more a microfibre and “splash of something” gal myself, so a bottle of cleanser lasts quite a long time.

  14. I’m glad to hear somebody else is a one purse (handbag, pocketbook–whatever you want to call it) person too.

    I carry a simple black leather shoulderbag (that my husband found free at our town’s Re-Use Shack) that goes with everything, and even if it didn’t, I wouldn’t care.

    I’ve had it for several years now, and expect it’s still got a lot of life in it.

    We also have only one TV in the house, and no cell phone. 😉

  15. This post has had a powerful impact on me (like so many of your others). Keeping things out of habit is something I do. When I find the tiny bits and pieces I have heald onto for so long I feel a wave of nostalgia that almost drops me on my bottom. I enjoy the sensation though, so I put the little box of tidbits away again. Sometimes I think it’s silly because it looks like a box of crap to anyone but me… but it’s a SMALL box, and there are more things to de-clutter that add no positive emotions first, many of those things kept out of habit too! Like books. I have mountains of books that I have not read yet, but they are non-fiction titles on topics that I am genuinely interested in knowing more about. The on-line way of learning just doesn’t feel as good as curling up with a book that I can scribble notes in (and fold corners of the good parts I want to re-read). So even though many of them have been kept with good intentions for too long, I still can’t quite let go of the habit of aspiring to read them!

  16. Hey Colleen,

    Have you tried Black Strap Molasses. I am on a diet for my blood group in an effort to combat Hashimoto’s disease. They recommend, and I have been using, Black Strap Molasses on my oats of a morning. It is a good source of iron and is supposed to be better for you than sugar. It tastes a bit stronger than golden syrup, more sort of bitter.

    • Thank you for the suggestion Leanne but I am quite happy with my choice of maple syrup. I have decided to give up sugar in my tea instead. At one teaspoon in seven cups a day that should make a big enough difference to my daily sugar intake for now.

  17. The marketing and consumerism gurus have gone to great lengths to train us to shop, buy, spend, collect, store and consume. It’s no wonder these can become generational habits.