Thursday, December 24, 2009


We helped an elderly woman sort through her clothes.  She is well past 90 but is still interested in fashion and standing out in an impressive and attractive way.  She can barely stand and doesn't have the energy to sort through her tiny closet and lift out clothes that are out of season and not likely to be used for months.  If she can see the garment, she can make a decision as to whether it should be kept or stowed.

Similarly, we might free ourselves of much of our stuff if we could see it from a comfortable position and make an informed and sensitive consideration about keeping it.  To that end, inventories can help.  They don't sound like much.  An inventory is basically a list of what is currently in stock.  Stocks might include foodstuffs, clothes, CD's, leftover lumber, photos, books, etc., etc.  The list can be very simple, one or two words per line on paper, or quite complex, using a computer database such as Excel or the free Open Office database called Base.  Excel is known as a spreadsheet, which most people think of as software for math and taxes and so forth.  It is that, but it is also quite handy for what Excel refers to as a "list" such as a list of contacts with names, addresses, emails and phone numbers in separate columns. 

Making an inventory might be easier with the use of a camera or video camera. The point is to actually note in re-usable form, what you have, whether it is friends, books, trips taken or accounts.  Doing so is not especially difficult or challenging but can be eye-opening.  Several semesters of classes had enormous fun making inventories of the books they had read from the first ever to the most recent.  Sometimes, it is less challenging and may actually lead to better and more organized decisions if an inventory is made before cleaning or de-junking or giving away.  Once you have a pretty good idea of what there is to decide about, the decisions may go faster and make more sense.

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