Less Is More

by Elizabeth
(Lincolnshire, UK)

I grew up thinking that having every storage place filled to the brim was normal. I also had boxes of "stuff" waiting to be stored. I was always looking for more space to store things. Boxes were moved from place to place without ever being re-opened.

Then a friend suggested that the solution was not more storage space, but fewer thing to store. I could hardly believe that her basement only contained off-season sporting equipment, her laundry machines and an ironing board. Mine was filled with boxes.

She reminded me that by the time I fit back into my "skinny" clothes, they would be out of style, and that the money was not lost by getting rid of them, it was lost when I spent it. She also asked: "if these things were so important, why are they put away in boxes in the basement?"

It has taken years for me to get rid of all of those boxes, and now that I have done it, I wonder why I ever kept them. I still have way more than I will ever need or use, but it all fits into the space I have. I have at least one empty shelf or drawer in every room, and only 4 boxes of "stuff" in the basement.

My filing has been reduced from two filing cabinets to one plastic file box. It is so much easier for me to get rid of things now.

I get up early every Friday to declutter, tidy and clean for an hour before work. I also put in a load of washing, and it is ready for me to hang when I get home. This way my house is tidy almost all the time, and I have the weekends free to do something fun.

At the first of the year, my clothes are hung in the closet with the hangers "backward" (hooks facing front) and when I wear an item, I replace the hanger "facing front" so that I can see what I have been wearing and what I have not. Now it doesn't matter "why" I haven't worn it, if it doesn't get worn in a year, it gets donated to a women's shelter.

I really like living in a tidy home, and when I need something, I can usually find it in under 30 minutes, without leaving a huge mess in the process. I just wish I had known about this long ago, and I encourage anyone to at least give it a try.

~Elizabeth

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