I have always been a very organized person – maybe even a bit compulsive. I really thought everyone was like that. But, then I realized I’m a little more organized than others and it isn't exactly normal.
The light bulb clicked when I was tucking my son into bed and without criticism I inquired how could he find anything in here? (because it’s such an utter dump – THAT I didn’t say). He was completely dumbfounded. I explained to him that when I was a child I would organize and then reorganize my room. I could be in there for hours. Once I even switched bedrooms with our guest bedroom when my parents were’t home (yes, I moved all the bulky furniture by myself). Oh, and I did not tell him this either.
chest of drawers by droog studio
Can you imagine the look on their faces? While I wouldn’t advocate my ten year old attempting the same, I would not be upset if he could at least get the books innear his bookcase. After tucking him in that night, I brainstormed how in the world I could motivate him to just be a smidge more organized. I have tried organizing the kids’ rooms myself, pleading, bribing, helping… all with no success. So I began to look for organization tips on Pinterest. OK, so I was really just killing time (shhhh... don't tell anyone) and stumbled upon this...
Kapow! Hit me with an iron pan. Don’t just organize the stuff – reduce the stuff. I did a ginormous purge of our house when we moved, but it was time to do a even bigger than ginormous purge. With pen and paper in hand, I compiled a list of questions to use as a purging guideline (did I mention I also love lists?)
Do we even use it?
Do we love it?
Can it be easily replaced?
Would it really be missed if it was gone?
I started in the kitchen, where there aren’t a lot of emotional ties – usually. I halved the amount of potholders I had. Threw away the fast food straws we (the kids) had been saving. Removed all my place mats (I’m not really a place mat person anyhow– always reminding myself to use them). Once I was done, I felt oddly… relieved. Like I had let go of something I had been dragging. I have since moved onto my children’s clothes, coat closet, my clothes, & my makeup. Mornings are now so much less stressful. Getting everyone up and out the door is easier.
Then yesterday I decided to finally spend one of my Christmas gift cards. And there were lots of bargains to be had and I wasn’t even paying. But I stopped dead in my tracks…. Whoa… These were great shirts at great prices but…what would this go with in my closet? Would I wear it a lot? Do I love it? Would putting any of these shirts on make me smile in the morning? The answer was no to many of the items. I left that store with a lot less than I originally would have. I realized right then that saying that goes…
don’t let your stuff own you,
you own your stuff..
Read it again.
Now let it fester for another minute (or two)…. I mean how many hours do we do laundry, wash dishes, put away toys?
If you had less clothes, dishes, toys, etc., there’d be less stuff controlling your time.
Once I reduce my “stuff” controlling me I’m going to read this on this.