CUT THE CRAP–Three Things You Can Do To Make a Clean Sweep During the Fall Transition

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

It’s almost fall: along with digging out your sweaters and enjoying a pumpkin spice latte, it’s not a bad idea to de-clutter your physical and mental house with some “Fall Cleaning.” No, it isn’t “Spring Cleaning,” but it can quite life-affirming to make some well-founded commitments to “clean” as we end the summer months and go into autumn.  I’ve heard from so many of my friends and colleagues that they feel weighed down, that their physical and mental lives are bursting with unwanted nuisances.  So, here’s the deal: try these three strategies to enhance your “autumnal” transition:

1.     STOP TAKING FREEBEES.  NO, SERIOUSLY: How many times have we gone to Sunday OUT, Pride, or a convention and left with a bag full of absolute crap: TD Bank stress balls!  Comcast pens!  Postcards for some random bar!  Really bad tasting mints in a Citibank tin!  Stop taking that stuff right now!  The fact is, you are never going to use the vast majority of the promotional items that you take from these types of events, and, more times than not, they end up either collecting dust or in the trash.  I remember one time I was at a fair and a major hotel chain was giving away rubber ducks with rainbow flags printed on them.  I cheesed out and got one; it sat in my bathroom closet for almost two years before I ended up donating it to Goodwill.  Cute duck: no need for it.

2.     FOR EVERY NEW ARTICLE OF CLOTHING YOU PURCHASE, GET RID OF AN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING THAT YOU HAVEN’T WORN FOR OVER A YEAR: We often times find clothing to have emotional significance, but if you haven’t worn that Banana Republic argyle sweater for over three years, you really ought to consider getting rid of it (more on that shortly).  Get in front of a full-length mirror and try things on that you haven’t worn in a long time.  If you don’t like it, make it go away.  Furthermore, if you’re stocking up on some new chinos from J. Crew and you have a pair that’s ill fitting or worn, kiss them good-bye.  There are plenty of wonderful charities and organizations that would love your used clothing donations (Philly AIDS Thrift, for example).  If you’re looking to make a few extra bucks on your old duds, take your gently-used items to Buffalo Exchange or Platos Closet for cash on the spot.

3.     DON’T JUST DELETE EMAILS; UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THEM: Your email inbox looks like an episode of Hoarders: you’re getting ten emails a day from stores that you’ve shopped at once, like, three years ago.  You’re being offered “25% off your next service” from a salon where the hairstylist butchered your hair.  You’re getting promotions from a restaurant that you tried once and hated.  Instead of just deleting those emails, take the extra five seconds to physically unsubscribe from the company’s email marketing list.  Usually there’s a link at the bottom of the message; one click, and you’re gone.  Given a world where we are married to our iPhones, digital clutter can be just as damning as actual clutter.

You’d be surprised at how taking small steps in your everyday footprint can alleviate the feeling of being weighed-down.  What else do YOU do when you want to feel uncluttered?  Email me or reply to this post on the PGC webpage and I might feature your suggestions in an upcoming Philly Gay Calendar column: [email protected].

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