Upscale the Quality of Your Life By Downsizing Your Stuff
by Cary Farrell
July 22, 2019
That statement seems upside down according to American philosophy which believes if one is good then multiples must be even better! Unfortunately, the more you have, the less you own because your stuff begins to own you. If you take the time to think about the stuff you use everyday or at least weekly, you will realize pretty quickly that it is a very small amount of stuff. However, our cabinets, closets and rooms are filled to the brim with stuff we don’t use very often, if ever, and comes at a high cost in our time, our money, and our mental stress. These unused items cost us time in organizing and caring for them, money in square footage of our home (using up valuable prime real estate for items we do use often), and mental stress to keep up with them. You are no longer using your stuff, it is using you!
One of the reasons we often have multiples of items is because we can never find an item when we are looking for it. When our homes are filled to the brim, it is hard to create a space for those items we need to use and find. Men tell me all the time that they know they have several hammers but they can never find one when they need it and end up just going to the store to get another one. When I investigate their tool area, it is usually full of unused stuff, most of which they end up letting go of. Once the “stuff” is gone, it is easy to create a place for a couple of different kinds of hammers and know where to find them and where to put them back.
We Americans seem to be Olympic Gold Medalists in acquiring stuff but we don’t have a clue how to get rid of it. Here is a simple tip: one in, one out! Ladies, if you bring home a new dress, decide which dress it is replacing and share the old one with someone else. If you only wear a dress a couple of times a week then how many dresses do you really need to own? Men, before you acquire a new tool, consider how often you will truly use it and whether it would be better to rent it. I find lots of tools and “toys” that have never or rarely been used taking up large spaces. Even if you bought an item at a good deal, its cost of space and maintenance adds to its price. “Stuff” demands being maintained and will often not work when you finally get around to it because you haven’t maintained it.
Think about what you would like to do if you had the time and then reduce the amount of stuff in your life to create the “time” you want. You will also save money and stress less. Many of my clients tell me that one of the important lessons they gain from an organizing session with me is how to shop. They become more thoughtful shoppers. They analyze their purchases and find that they buy much less. Their homes are easily maintained because they have downsized their stuff and upscaled their quality of life!