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STREAMLINE YOUR STUFF: It takes time to take care of ourselves

Any front-load washing machine needs to be kept clean as the rubber can become mouldy quite easily, so wiping it down with vinegar and water regularly is essential.
Any front-load washing machine needs to be kept clean as the rubber can become mouldy quite easily, so wiping it down with vinegar and water regularly is essential.

It occurs to me that the things we own, and even life itself, can be a whole lot of work. I don’t know about most of you, but I’m a busy person and I never seem to have enough time. I’ve been thinking that if we had less stuff, maybe we could eek out just a bit more time.

My van requires regular maintenance, as vehicles tend to do. For some reason I am always terribly annoyed that I must spend an hour of my precious time taking it to the dealership to get an oil change every three months or so. It also requires the tires to be changed twice a year and right now there’s a big scratch and a dent along the passenger side that I just can’t seem to get around to getting repaired.

Then I think to myself, ‘well, if only I didn’t own a vehicle, I would have more time.’ And I would also save a considerable amount of money. Sadly, I need the van to run my business. If I didn’t, I have to say I would consider giving it up. There are always rental cars or car share services.

Since downsizing to 600 square feet, my life is pretty simple when it comes to things to look after. However, when I moved in, I brought my nearly new washer and dryer with me. I am not sure how many of you actually follow the maintenance schedule on these valuable appliances, but I do. Any front-load washing machine needs to be kept clean as the rubber can become mouldy quite easily, so wiping it down with vinegar and water regularly is essential. The washer should be drained every few months based on how often you use it. Because I purchased a Bosch ventless dryer that also requires regular cleaning, it only takes a few minutes to remove the condenser, rinse it out and wipe out the excess lint in the machine. But, that’s one more thing I have to put on my list every two months.

Then there’s the vacuum cleaner. You need to change the bags and clean it out every so often. Which means you need to remember to keep a supply of vacuum bags. My trusty blackboard by the front entrance helps me keep track of things like that. I make a note as soon as I use the last one. Hint, hint.

It also seems as though electronic devices add extra work to your life. Your cell phone needs replacing every few years and I always find that a mildly annoying task. It takes at least an hour if not longer to go to the store, buy the new phone and have everything transferred from the old phone. Then figuring out how to use the new device can be a bit of a challenge for a few days. You have to log in to many of your apps to make them work again and I discovered you have to download all your playlists on Spotify again. Another task on the list related to an item I own.

While I’m on a roll, even your clothes and shoes require maintenance. Obviously you have to keep your clothes clean and if you want your good shoes to last a while you need to take them to your favourite shoe repair place and then pick them up again. Then you have things like your passport and Nexus card that you need to keep track of. If you forget to renew those in time, that causes exponentially even more work.

If you own a house, a cottage and a boat, if you have kids and pets, they require a lot of work. And alas, you need to feed yourself and try to stay in shape. Good grief, I’m exhausted and all I’ve done is thought about all the things I have to do to take care of my stuff and my life.

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