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Three times a year we visit my mother-in-law and it always triggers one particular “reminder” in my head. You see, she grew up during the depression and, like my dad, has a hard time getting rid of things.

When my dad moved in with us we discovered that he had every tool known to mankind, most in duplicate, some in triplicate and the majority bought at garage sales because “it was too good of a deal to pass up.” Plus, I’ll bet he had over 12,000 nails, screws, nuts and bolts.

My mother-in-law isn’t in to tools but has piles of paper, empty boxes, etc. We took her out for ice cream and she wanted to save the plastic dish. She saves used envelopes in case she needs something to write a note on (yeah right, as if there’s not enough paper in her condo).

It reinforces to me that we have too much stuff, even though it’s a fraction of what she has. Every time we go there, we come home and get rid of even more things than we usually do – and that’s good. The same goes for our businesses. We tend to build up clutter and get distracted by the administrivia. It takes reminders to help us get rid of the clutter so we can focus on what’s important.

“Time exists in order than¬†everything¬†doesn’t happen at once…and space exists so that it doesn’t all happen to you.” Susan Sontag

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