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The Urge to Purge

You may remember the commercial broadcasted years ago about the North American House Hippo that lives in your closet and builds his nest from lost mittens, dryer lint, and bits of string. At the end of the commercial, they dispelled the myth and cautioned you about believing everything you see on TV.  So, if the house hippo does not exist, what is living in the corner of my closet?

Every spring, families dig out the cobwebs, dust bunnies and those pesky house hippo nests, that accumulate in the closet corners.  For some, it is a quick cleaning and then on to more interesting things.  For others, cleaning the closet is the start of a deep dive into a total room makeover.  As the days become longer, and the sunlight brightens those dark corners, the urge to purge strikes the heart of many.  Cutting the clutter has taken on a whole new realm.  Some read books written by cleaning divas, such as Marie Kondo, looking to minimize their stuff.  Other look for books on storage and organizers, so they can keep all of their treasures, either on display or safely tucked away.  There is no right or wrong way to do it and the process varies year by year.

Depending on the method you chose, there are lots of resources available at the library to help you with planning and dreaming.  There is information on topics such as what to keep and what to toss, natural homemade cleaning products, do-it-yourself weekend building projects, choosing paint colours, up-cycling, room décor, window treatments, re-finishing furniture and much, much more.  There is even information on how to plan your plan, all designed to help you with your individual journey.

If you decided to deep dive into your cleaning, but want to explore options, ask library staff for their assistance.   They have magazines to provide some inspiration and don’t forget the non-fiction books just waiting for you to browse.  If the library doesn’t have your particular topic, it is possible to borrow from other libraries across Ontario, so dream big. For those of you that are embracing the minimalist lifestyle, there are many different ways to achieve your goals.  Learning to save files and photos to digital formats reduces a lot of paper in the home.  Removing everything from a room and putting it into one of 3 piles (keep, recycle or garbage) helps to determine what goes back into the room.  There are some wonderful books on making assertive decisions, also worth a read.  The planning can be almost as much fun as the task decided upon.

Consider too, how you will recycle your unwanted possessions.  There are many ways to keep things from hitting our landfill sites.  Can someone else benefit from them?  Just remember those library resources, when you get the urge to purge. Oh, and if you should find a North American House Hippo, let him know his nest is safe for another year.

Submitted by Paige Turner

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