Is “get organized” one of your goals for this year but the task of organizing your entire home and life seems overwhelming? I suggest starting with something manageable and develop new habits around purchasing “stuff.” No matter how much decluttering and physical organizing you do, continuing to buy more stuff will thwart your efforts.
The S.P.A.C.E. system that many professional organizers use, was created by Julie Morgenstern many years ago. The acronym stands for: Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize, and Equalize. The idea is that you start each organizing project at S and end with E. The word equalize is one that few people know and understand. The philosophy is that once you edit your possessions and store them in proper containers, you equalize. This means whenever you bring a new item into that space, you remove something “old.”
However, if you continually bring in new stuff and remove the old to equalize, it will still be a lot of work. Many people understand the concept but struggle with implementation because of the volume of “stuff” that comes into your home. In fact, there are many clients I visit several times a year to help them keep the equilibrium in place.
Let’s dig deeper and look at how new items come into the home in the first place. If you follow my blog, you know that I follow The Minimalists and the tiny house movement with interest. I am not suggesting that any of us need to be that extreme. But I believe that having less and buying less makes life simpler and staying organized much easier.
As you can imagine, as a Professional Organizer, the people I work with buy too much “stuff” and then hire me to help them declutter. If I counted the cost of the clothes, food, and toys that I drop off to charity, it would be tens of thousands of dollars. One thing I have heard is that people in the tiny house community want to leave a smaller environmental footprint and consume fewer resources. That is something that we should embrace. It may give you the motivation to form new habits around purchasing.
New Habits – Ask the Questions
It’s time to develop new habits. When you’re caught in the excitement of a new purchase, stop for a brief moment. Ask yourself, “Could I live without this item?” Or, as The Minimalists suggest, “Does this thing add value to my life?” Then, instead of buying a bunch of new clothes you don’t need, you can spend your money on installing a new closet unit. As a result, you will enjoy the clothes you already have. Or instead of buying a bunch of bins to store your stuff, give the excess to someone in need. You can use the money you save for that kitchen renovation you’re dreaming about!
What are some new habits you might consider this year?