What, exactly, is this?
Have you ever opened a drawer, closet or bin and wondered “what the heck is in here?”. Welcome to the club of too much stuff and lack of organization. In our homes and offices, we accumulate stuff because as humans, we have an amazing capacity to create use scenarios for things. You keep the old version of your phone system “just in case” the new one doesn’t work as expected or breaks. The dishes you replaced because they were mismatched and chipped become the extras you keep “for a dining emergency” – is that even a thing? I bring home a beautiful new black sweater to replace the misshapen and faded version in the drawer but keep the original one for “kicking around the house”. Does any of this sound familiar?
Something in, something out
One of the simplest organizing rules to follow is “something in, something out”. When you replace an item – a camera, tv, suit jacket, pair of running shoes – get rid of the original! Can you find an excuse to keep the original item? If so, did it really have to be replaced at all? The rule of something in, something out helps us to manage the volume of stuff in our space. Closets, drawers, garages, basements, warehouses and every other nook and cranny is crammed with stuff we no longer use. Open a random drawer or closet and see what’s lurking in there. A not-so-smartphone from 2009 along with the cords and chargers. Clothes too small to be worn by anybody in your home. Storage cabinets filled with old technology. This is clutter. Anything that you are not using or enjoying is just taking up space.
Start employing this simple rule of organizing: when you buy something new, something must go. Donate it. Sell it. Recycle it. Someone, somewhere will benefit much more from having that thing. Are you stuck for ideas on where to donate so your item has impact? Check out these resources on my website. As a bonus, you gain space – physical, psychological and emotional – by letting go.