Spring is my second favorite time of year (See my blog: I love the Fall)! Wikipedia say’s spring is the season of rejuvenation and rebirth; I say it’s the season of warmer weather and spring-cleaning! I also say, “if you haven’t used it, lose it”. This applies nicely to spring-cleaning and fire prevention! Another one of my favorites, “less is more”. I come from a long line of “packrats”…or in other words sentimental Italians! Growing up, my grand-mom always had a fully stocked refrigerator in the kitchen, stocked icebox in the basement and an extra stocked refrigerator in her garage! I remember every room, closet, basement and attic was just full of stuff she couldn’t part with! My mom and my aunts (bless their Italian souls) are the same way. They never want to throw anything away. Old pictures, yearbooks, holiday decoration and stuffed animals from when my sister and I were little, just sit in boxes, closets and attics taking up space, their refrigerators too, stuffed to the gills, just in case 50 random people stop by that they have to feed! All of this stuff adds to the fire load of the house (and stresses me out)!
I on the other hand, not surprisingly, hate clutter and stuff -um, fire hazard! I’ve been in homes and have seen first-hand the consequences of too much stuff. So in my house, everything has to have its place and everything has to have a practical purpose. If it’s not used, it gets recycled or donated!
Clothes, magazines, utensils, nothing is safe- “if you haven’t used it…” Now I’m not saying you have to live like a minimalist Buddhist Monk, but just not like a sentimental Italian grand-mom either! Not only is it cleansing to get rid of the stuff you aren’t using or don’t need, but if you donate that stuff, it helps others (the Buddhist’s like that!) and most importantly it’s good fire prevention! The more stuff you have the bigger the fire load, the harder to egress in an emergency and the more difficult it could be for the fire fighters and our responders, if there’s a fire in your home!
I mean really, in this day and age, you can get any book, magazine or newspaper you have lying around your house, on-line or in a library, where you can return it after you’re done with it, so it’s not taking up space in your house! Old photos, reports and research papers can now be uploaded to the cloud or Flickr or dozens of other photo sharing and storage sites, old cds and dvd’s can be streamed or downloaded to your computer, and what’s old always comes back new, so donate your kids old toys, clothes and stuffed animals to someone who really needs it and just keep the memories! It may seem overwhelming but these small steps over time will help keep the most important things in your home safe!