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You made it! You got married and together with your spouse raised a family. The kids have struck out on their own to start their lives and families. You now have a house filled with memories and packed full of things you no longer need.

When I moved out of my parent's house to start the teaching job I landed after graduation, everything I owned fit into the back of a pickup truck. Along with my clothes and a few personal items like my stereo, my parents donated enough used furniture to give me a place to sit, eat and sleep. Ever since that day over 30 years ago, I have been adding possessions.

Making 2011 the Year of Less

You can reverse the trend of acquiring more and more stuff and improve the quality of your life at the same time. Join me in declaring 2011 as the Year of Less! I have decided that this year I will buy less, own less and do less. By buying less, owning less, and having less commitments, you will have the time and money to travel and to enjoy your favorite things.

Get started by reducing the clutter in you house

The first step to making 2011 the Year of Less is to make your home less cluttered. Start by picking one closet, or even just one drawer in your kitchen or a dresser. You'll be amazed at how many things in that drawer or closet have not been used in the last 6 months, or maybe not even in years. Ask yourself if you really need the item if it hasn't been used in six months. If you determine that you no longer need it, then decide if you want to sell it, give it to someone who would have use for it, or donate it to a charity. Set up a plan to go through the rest of your closets, drawers, and other storage areas over the period of the next few months and sort out the items you no longer need.

Once you have sorted out some items to be sold, donated, or given to friends/family, you must take action and get them removed from your house. More valuable items that you wish to sell can be listed on Craigslist or eBay. Consider a garage or yard sale for your less valuable items. Deliver your donated items to Goodwill or a similar organization and bless your family and friends with their items as soon as possible.

Start reaping the benefits

As you sort through your storage spaces, organize the items you are keeping. You will be surprised how easy it is to find the pan you want, when you don't have to dig through things you no longer need to find it. It is so much faster to find something in a closet that is not stuffed full of unused junk.

You may find that you can move to a smaller, less expensive to maintain home once you have pared your possessions down to only what you need or love. Even if you chose to stay where you currently live, you will still save time cleaning in your newly organized house and you will have less things to maintain.

Take the money you save and the money you earn from selling your excess stuff and use it to pay down debt or to take a trip. Maybe there is a hobby you want to pursue and you can use the money to purchase some supplies, tools or equipment you need to get started.

Clearing your house of excess clutter will improve the quality of your life. You will have surrounded yourself with the items that you truly need and love without the clutter blocking your view. The extra money will reduce your financial stress and free you to do the things you most enjoy. Decide today to change your life by making 2011 the Year of Less, mid-life.

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Sign the pledge declaring 2011 as The Year of Less when you visit my blog for more tips on how to own less, buy less and do less.

Visit Live Your Future Now at: liveyourfuturenow.wordpress.com

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