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Trust Your Inner Creative Problem Abilities

Whenever our Minnesota winter gets extreme, Facebook gets a few images of people’s feet in Wonder Bread bags. Many of us remember moon boots. I did not have them, but 90% of the kids in the 3rd grade did and they all had bread bags inside them to keep the kids’ feet warm. People used this simple hack to make Moon Boots work for their kids.

In 2001 I was in New York City during a big snowstorm. Being from Minnesota the snow wasn’t that out of the ordinary, but many New Yorkers were at a loss. I saw a person using a clipboard to scrap snow off their car, people wearing plastic bags over their shoes, and a variety of items used as make-shift bridges over dips in crosswalks (a mattress in one case).

Some of these solutions work better than others, but what is significant is that for better or for worse, folks found a solution to accomplish what they needed to. Everyone knows that a clipboard is not going to be as effective as an ice scraper, but it actually did the job pretty well.

When we keep items “just in case” they are ever needed, it is like we have lost faith in our abi

lity to use creative problem skills. Nothing is wrong with having multiples of one item, but if you are trying to downsize and trying to have less, then remember that 99% of the time, things will be just fine if you are forced to use the next best option.

I find this a lot with luggage and toiletry bags. Because each one is slightly different we may be tempted to keep them all because we don’t know what will be the best fit for our future activities. But really, if you got rid of everything, you could borrow a suitcase and use a Zip Lock bag for toiletries.

I also find this frequently in the kitchen. We want to keep every cooking utensil because it might be perfect for something we do next year. Meanwhile, our utensil drawer is overflowing and we spend extra time finding what we want. If we let some of those items go we will have a more functional drawer and will likely come up with a perfectly fine way of doing whatever that specific utensil was meant to do.

So you might take a chance on letting something go in order to simplify your current space and life. Know that if you wish you had it in the future, you will be able to find a creative solution and everything will be fine!

I never want to spend money on something to hold earrings. I found an ice tray works very well! I have heard of other people using tackle boxes.

A lot of us hold on to boxes because we don't know when we will be looking for on to ship something and what size the item will be. But you could also use thick cardboard boxes that bulk things come in, or, in this case, we used a kid's cardboard brick to wrap a Christmas gift.

The first day we were in Hawaii last year we my son found a coconut at the beach. We had no tools but he was determined to open it. Using sticks and rocks (and throwing it against some big rocks) he finally did it. While it would have been easy if we had the perfect pocket knife in our pocket, this became an adventure. We can make due with a lot less if we decide to.

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