Tagged With spring cleaning

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Remember when you bought a new can opener because you thought you lost your old one? What do you plan on doing with that half-used roll of duct tape that's collecting dust in your garage? The last time you used that flashlight in the kitchen junk drawer was to pretend to be a jedi, wasn't it? These are all items you probably have lying around that you can consolidate into a home emergency kit. It might just save you and your family's lives.

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Ever since Marie Kondo took the cluttered world by storm, simply having stuff has seemed like something of a faux pas. There are countless how-to guides on the need to streamline closets and pare down our book collections to only those that bring us "joy," whatever that means. I recently read an article that proclaimed the best minimalist workspace was one that didn't even include a desk, paper or computer -- ideally you'd just sit on the ground and think. As I looked around my desk, topped with books, journals, pens and pictures of my family and friends, I couldn't help but feel slightly ashamed about all of my possessions. Did I really need the 10-pack of Sharpies? Were the two new novels I bought for my upcoming trip bringing me joy?

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This is exactly what always happens with spring cleaning. You start out with the best intentions and a burst of activity, then you get distracted by seemingly more pressing tasks and before you know it the whole process goes off the rails. When that happens, you have to own up to your mistakes, plan better and press on. And that's why our Spring Cleaning Week 2012 series has stretched from a week to a fortnight.

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Spring is well and truly here, and that means spring cleaning time. All this week we'll be offering room-by-room guides to busting clutter and getting your house in shape for the summer (and beyond). First up: the home office.