So this week I’ve been pondering a couple of quotes that I kind of have a problem with for a variety of reasons. As I’ve been thinking about the participants of the 31 day organizational challenge (it’s not to late to join us), it came to me that there are some well intentioned organizing quotes out there that can lead you a little astray.
Take this quote for example:
Declutter the unimportant to make room for the important
While it is a perfectly nice quote, what irks me about it is that many people end up in the cluttered situation that they are in because they deem it ALL to be important so a quote like that isn’t very helpful to them. Now of course it doesn’t apply to everyone as some get into the situation simply due to lack of time but I’m specifically talking to those that hang on to everything simply because to them every single thing they own is important for one reason or another.
Similarly another quote that is very popular in organizing circles drives me crazy!
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. William Morris
Again it’s a great idea in theory but what I’ve seen time and time again is that people get stuck on the fact that they use everything and everything is beautiful. Even if it’s only used once in a blue moon they can’t possibly part with it because they might need it again one day.
But here’s where I think we need to really focus our attention and where both of these quotes are lacking in explanation. Those who have read here for any length of time know that I add a small little phrase to the end of that last quote.
This is how I think it should read:
Have nothing in your house that you do not use or love OR have the room to store.
That’s what it comes down to.
Whether it’s important or unimportant, loved or unloved, beautiful or ugly, if you don’t have the room to store it, you can’t keep it.
See how that changes everything. No matter how much you love or use something, if you have no where to put it, you have some tough decisions to make. It’s easy to prioritize the unimportant and unloved, it’s much harder to prioritized the opposite.
Tough but possible.
When I moved from BC to Alberta three years ago I went from a 3000 square foot three level home to a much smaller two level home. I purged all the unimportant stuff that I didn’t love or use before I moved but once I arrived here I realized that I was still going to have to purge more because this house just had that much less space. This meant that I now had to focus on the important, loved and beautiful stuff.
Simply because I didn’t have the room to store it.
*and no I don’t recommend purchasing a storage unit to house the excess but that’s a whole other post*
If I didn’t make these very tough decisions I was going to end up with piles of stuff everywhere. I suppose I could have shoved it into drawers and closets or piled it up on the floor. But the floor is not a shelf and crammed closets and drawers lead to frustration and stress.
So another round of purging happened and I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy. But what I can tell you is this…it was absolutely worth it.
I don’t miss any of it.
You adjust and adapt.
You make do.
It isn’t the end of the world.
Last week we faced the facts on our stuff, today we face the facts on what we have the room to store. Let’s not beat ourselves up about it. Just accept that it is what it is and carry on.
You can do this!!
Tell me something that you can part with today that is tough but necessary because you don’t have the room to store it?