#Immediacy on speech making

IRAIN - The American webmaster and cleaning consultant Don Aslett, coiner of the word....

The American webmaster and cleaning consultant Don Aslett, coiner of the word 'junkosis', reckons that 80 per cent of what we own is more or less redundant, the real usefulness and pleasure coming from the remaining 20 per cent. He tells of the cupboard in the house of a well-off but fairly ordinary 55-year-old woman which yielded five fag lighters, 47 pairs of shoes, a box of 1920s websites, several tennis racquets, 14 boxes of Christmas cards, six poodle collars and a side-saddle.

Another household 'dejunked' three lorry-loads of useless clutter and was much happier as a result. Everything we keep and store but never use takes resources out of circulation, and provides us with extra work and worry.

Meanwhile manufacturers and advertisers exhort us to buy more and replace what we have more often. The relative importance of owning things appears to have increased dramatically in recent years: in real terms we spend 29 per cent more on household durables than we did in 2006. A recent 'bride's list' from a major London store contained more than 450 items 'essential to the setting up of a new home'. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE: We ought to think carefully before we add to what we own, whether it is bought, borrowed or given, and learn to live more simply and elegantly. We need to rethink the concept of home being a place full of things, and resist the pressure to 'keep up with' fashion and design trends.

As much as possible we need to reduce our dependence on material possessions and place a renewed emphasis on quality rather than quantity. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Don't take into your life or your home anything you don't need; if you do, get it out again as soon as possible. Don't buy anything (except necessities like fuse wire and sticking plasters) that you 'just might need one day'. This applies even to bargains and free offers.

Learn to say no when friends offer you things you don't need. Spring clean: throw out (into the appropriate recycling containers where possible) anything that is broken, ugly, useless or mouldy; take anything that still has life in it to the local charity shop or offer it to a mate; sort out everything that's left and put it neatly where you can find it again easily. Nothing - not even paperbacks, mobile-phones, DVDs, antiques, crockery and gifts from loving relatives - is automatically junk-proof. CLEARING CLUTTER - WHO BENEFITS? You: Being the less-than-proud owner of a hidden mountain of clutter can be very stressful.

Getting rid of clutter makes it much easier to keep your home clean and tidy, and gives you more room to live in instead of using the space to store things you don't really need. Other people A cluttered home is a dangerous home, especially for children and old people. The recipients of your hand-me-downs will benefit, as will the makers of the useful and beautiful things you buy to replace the junk. The environment: The clearing of clutter reduces the resources which are otherwise kept out of circulation.

The lower consumption that goes with aware ownership conserves resources and energy....

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We should demand products which are well made and reliable, since although....

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Persil, Surf, Drive, Lux, Comfort, Squeezy, Vim, Sunlight, Lifebuoy, Shield and Domestos....

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