The Green Cure: Taking a Deep Breath and Pushing On!

Week 5 - Intro


Flickr member jenicra84 has a lovely neat living room!

• Cure Clock: 3 weeks to go!
• Assignment: Read Week Five, pp. 154-184
  • Declutter your files and office area. Go (mostly) paperless!
  • Take a one-day media fast.
  • Go to bed early and read before bed.

• Members: 1,735 (now closed)

Remember back in Week One when you made a style file of your favorite inspirational pictures? Now may be the time to look through those images again to remind yourself why you started the Cure in the first place. It's usually around this time that we start to feel our motivation wane ("There's still 3 weeks to go!?") but looking through your style tray should inspire you to push on. We all want our homes to be beautiful, healthy and organized, and we're getting ever so close. So, give yourself a huge pat on the back for the work you've already done, take a deep breath, and get ready for the last leg or two of the race. But it's not all work: this week we want you to take some extra special time just for yourself…

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Flickr member Orange Door's uncluttered living room.

Go Paperless:

If you're like most people, home office files and papers are some of the most vexing clutter problems. Paper clutter accumulates when decisions on the best course of action are deferred. ("I'll figure out what to do with that later" or "I'll just hold on to it for now.") Personally, when it comes to important files or paperwork, I am horribly guilty of this. I have at least one box of miscellaneous papers and files that desperately needs to be dealt with. My problem is that I didn't file things as needed, and so over the last few months (nay, years!), it's piled up. I've put it aside, but now I seriously need to address it. That is my main task this week.

Most of those papers I need to sort through are old receipts, credit card offers and bill stubs before I went paperless, and I think I'll be able to shred and recycle most of it. We've gone paperless for all our bills and, as I wrote last week, I've taken steps to get myself off junk mailing lists. If you set up an efficient Landing Strip, you're already in great shape for handling your files as they come through the door: sort your mail as you get it, and keep any business-related mail that requires a response by your front door until you're ready to act on it. Your challenge for this week is to go paperless, if you haven't already.

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Flickr member astro naut's bureau after she cleaned it out last week!

Here are a few tips to help you go paperless, pulled from this post on Re-Nest:

• If you can live without a printer, do so. If we have to print something (which happens surprisingly rarely), we do it at work or at a copy shop.
• File your documents on the computer now instead of inside a cabinet.
• Make sure to get a back-up system for your e-filed documents.
• Cancel unnecessary catalogs and junk mail.
• Sign up for online bill paying when possible, and save your receipts as PDFs in your electronic files.
• If possible, start to think of your home office as a portable system rather than a collection of equipment and files. It frees you to cut down on the clutter that collects around work. (We know...depending on your job, this isn't always an option.)

Also, check out a few posts we've written on the subject:

9 Green Home Office Ideas
The Paperless Home Office
How To: Green Your Office
Look! Go Green By Minimizing
AT On... Life Without Paper
How To: Go (Mostly) Paperless

We also think you'll find this article very informative.

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Flickr member Mama Ring found this little table on Craigslist and it was perfect for the mail, keys, phone. And the curtains were free!

Try a One-Day Media Fast:

Everything happens online these days, and I often have a hard time "turning off" at night. I work online all day, then when I come home I often flip open my laptop to relax: I read The New York Times online, I catch up on my favorite blogs, I might do some online shopping, I watch a movie on my computer (since we don't have TV). Unless I consciously give myself a time, say 8:00 pm, that I close my computer and get offline, I might be online until I turn off the light and go to sleep! Not good. After all, the whole goal of the Eight-Week Cure is to reclaim your home and to reduce the pressures and stimulation of the outside world. Even though it's not bad that I'm reading the newspaper online or watching a movie, given the amount of time I spend on my Mac, it'd be wise to try and use my time in the evenings and on weekends to do other things that don't involve my computer, like reading a book, writing, cooking, crafting, writing music, learning a new skill, etc.

This week set aside one day for a Media Fast. Avoid the television and internet surfing. Pay attention to how you feel as the day goes on without all that external stimulation. Perhaps set aside a time every night when you "turn off." You may find it becomes your favorite part of the day.

TODAY'S COMMENT QUESTION

What is one thing you can do for yourself this week if you're not distracted by the TV or the internet?

POST INDEX

Week 4 - Tips & Tricks by Rachel Wray
Week 4 - Intro
Week 3 - Tips & Tricks
Week 3 - Intro
Week 2.5 - Show & Tell
Week 2 - Intro
Week 1.5 - Tips & Tricks
Week 1 - Intro

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