Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's That Time of Year Again....For Gosh Sakes!

Ok Folks I am dragging out this dinosaur of a post yet again.
The reason?
It still rings true and is, unfortunately, still relevant today in 2016.

Don't let the advertisers and stores talk you into buying into the "new year, new storage containers=organization".
NO, no it doesn't!

More containers bought is NOT organizing.

The problem is most people own TOO MUCH STUFF.
If  you have too much stuff(meaning more stuff than you can easily fit into your storage areas)you will NEVER get organized!
No matter how many Rubbermaid totes or other gimmicky containers you buy.

When you declutter and get rid of stuff and then have only a-what sparks joy in your life, b-is useful and/or c-fits into your life and space easily THEN and only then can you truly get organized.

Having mountains of stuff such that you can't use rooms for their intended purpose and/or can't move easily about your space and/or can't easily find what you need, then you need to "LET STUFF GO!" before organizing can happen.

Decluttering is an ongoing process not a one and done deal.  It would be a one and done deal if we didn't keep shopping and buying more stuff.....but who doesn't shop?!?
I can't think of a single person who doesn't have the need to shop for something at some point.

So JUST SAY NO! when you pass those shiny new bins and container displays in Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, The Container Store, etc.
Do the hard work first in your physical home and in your emotional and financial life and dejunk your life!

Then and only then when you have purged your life, if you need containers, you have my permission to get a few.
Yes, I know you were waiting to get my permission...... ;-)

But make sure they are clear and label them so you don't forget what you have and go buy duplicates of your stuff. lol

And another thing....a quick rantlet......this way overblown KonMari shit about the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing or whatever it's called?

Let's get this straight--the Japanese did NOT invent decluttering and organizing!

And I find it hysterical that Westerners have jumped on this bandwagon to such a degree because someone took decluttering and organizing and put a cultural spin on it.

It's the same old "clean up your shit" mantra people have been preaching for eons.
So save your money and don't buy decluttering books.  Buying a book about decluttering isn't the answer if you don't actually DECLUTTER anything!  And it's really really bad too if you are already a book hoarder.  ;-)


And yes, that was me yelling........


Reposted from January 2014.

The Resolution We Can't Keep in This Country.....Non-Consumption for 2016

When we start a new calendar year, we tend to want to start fresh in all areas of our lives.
One of the prominent thoughts at the new year is to get organized or get MORE organized.
Being organized is ALWAYS a worthwhile goal, isn't it?

This is when we see stores haul out big displays and sales on Storage Containers and Organizational Systems of all kinds: from filing systems for the paper in our lives, to the clothes in our closets, to the foodstuffs in our cabinets, to ?.  Every area of our homes is ripe for storage improvement.
And the retailers stand at the ready with shiny new stuff for us to buy to make our lives more contained and organized.

It's true that in order to live a life that's streamlined and functioning well, we need to stay on top of everything in our lives, especially our "stuff".  But do we need to pull out the credit card or bank card or money envelope every January to buy something to achieve a functioning home?
The retailers will tell you YES you DO!
I say not necessarily.

Personally I feel that we don't have an organizing problem in this country, we have a "stuff" problem. 

Now think about this......
How many people start out the new year buying containers, spending more money, and either abandon the plan to organize or find that just buying pretty containers and dumping your things in them is not a real organizational plan.

How many do this and by the time next January rolls around, the plan is forgotten and they are again, seduced by all those pretty containers enough to part with more of their money and start the cycle of buying containers all over again?

Do you realize that a fair percentage of people who are clinically referred to as hoarders follow this pattern of wanting to organize their things, purchasing containers/systems, and never do the emotional/physical work to change their habits and organize?  The containers just add to the clutter of their stash and every time they return to this phase of the cycle, more containers are added to the chaos.

Most new year attempts at getting our "stuff" organized are much like those new year resolutions we all make and promptly break or forget by February.  They seem like a good idea at the time, but the follow-through is just not there.

And if after all this organizing and storing away we still can't fit all  the "stuff" into our abodes, there are always garages and storage sheds we can buy, build and utilize.

And if that isn't enough extra space, there is a whole industry that is growing at an alarmingly fast clip that would love to rent you space for all that stuff you have that you don't need access to as often.  Yes, I am talking about the Storage Facility business.....a Billion Dollar industry that has grown up around our inability to throw things away.

Our homes in the US now are on average double the size of the homes our grand and great grandparents lived their lives in.....and usually with fewer PEOPLE living in these homes to boot.

We have double the space for the stuff in our lives than they did, yet we still can't organize it all in such a way to fit into the space we have allocated for it.

We have more clothing & shoes, we have more furniture, we have more kitchen gadgets, we have more dishware, we have more food, we have more cars and related equipment.  And let's not forget all the electronic toys they never had, and all the hobby stuffs and sports stuffs.

And then there are the collections of every type, shape and size.  Most Americans collect something and a large percentage of those who collect have MORE THAN ONE COLLECTION of stuff.  And if you are stuck in a perpetual cycle of buying containers every year to corral your stuff, those containers ARE a collection themselves!

If you can no longer use a room in your house or apartment for it's intended purpose because your "stuff" has taken over that room, you may have a problem.

Sure, if your collecting brings you joy and you have the extra space for it, that is great!

But if your things are taking over the space in your home AND taking the place of people in your life and costing you money that you can't afford to be spending on it, perhaps it's time to take a good hard look at your life and the choices you are making.

If you bought less "stuff", would you have more room in your home?
If you bought less "stuff", would you have more time because you would have to organize and clean less?
If you bought less "stuff", would you have more money in your pocket to spend on needs and not be stressing out at the end of each month that your income would last?
If you bought less "stuff", could you spend that money on the people in your life instead?(And I don't mean buying THEM stuff instead.)

Make 2014 the year you break the cycle of spending on things that are NOT needs, and on this perpetual cycle of cluttering and decluttering.
Make every purchase you make an INTENTIONAL, well thought-out one that fills a need!



  1. I am amazed every year by the idea that storage containers are the answer to decluttering or organization. I wander the storage container aisle that just seem to explode in January.

    Thanks for naming KonMari for what it is--shit. I hate the blogger posts that sing the praises of KonMari.

    A friend who has been helping me declutter three rooms since last March said if I would let her have her way, she could have the three rooms organized and cleaned in two hours. Her ideas are stupid. First of all she has six kids and cleans out the outgrown, torn, and disliked clothing every two or three years at her house because she just keeps putting out grown clothing in with what they can wear. She wants to put like things together in clear boxes so I can see what is in there. No, I want to throw out some things. No, I don't want clear boxes because things I want to save don't need to fade with light. Sorry, I just don't need clear.

    She is in a tiny gov't apartment and focuses on "decorating" and has little junk sitting everywhere, uses over counter space not for storage but for six identical pots of fake flowers and lets real plants languish.

    She saves every piece of artwork or crafts her six children have ever brought home and goes out and buys new frames for many of them yet is three months behind on bills.

    I don't know who is going to buy all these clear boxes she wants me to supply her. Oh, another thing--I don't want a box I cannot lift, albeit it with a little effort.

    She was helping me clean out my last bookcase. Her solution was to put all the books into one of the three empty ones in the other room. !!!! I alternately want to kill her or myself.

    Sorry for the rant, but I know how to declutter, I just cannot bend or stand or carry anything long enough to actually do anything.

    Kitchen stuff--just yesterday I was saying to myself, "I had four other people here and managed to feed them, cook, store food, and had only about a third of what I have in the kitchen cabinets now, so why not get rid of this accumulation." I actually use things that seem extraneous. Okay, I will go away now.

  2. You could post this every week and I would still feel a need for it. Yes-my organization problem is a stuff problem, through and through! Motto for 2016 needs to be Good Riddance!

  3. Yes! Finally someone who gets it! Life is a constant purge - you stay organized by having less stuff. My Mom the pack rat thought she could get organized by buying containers. When I downsized her (thank god we are done with that) I hauled away so many freaking containers. I do have to say though those big rubbermaid containers come in handy once in a while (we have 20 empty ones in our crawlspace now after the downsize). I don't get the Koni Mara thing either. Just another bandwagon to jump on.

  4. I'm really trying to reduce instead of storing more! I took a load to goodwill the other day and already have a new "pile" started.

  5. Yep, I feel the same way. I wanted to get new containers, but ultimately decided to clean up our bins that we had, then get rid of a ton of "things". Ended up trashing 1/2 of the empty bins and went from 12 Christmas Bins to 4. Ahhh, feels so good! And no buying anything!

  6. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this post, esp the part about Kon Mari or whatever. I read the book and didn't see what the big deal was. I cannot believe how it has become the expert book on decluttering. It's common sense to me.
    Also, I've been downsizing for two years and it's hard. When I empty a storage tub, there is such a strong urge to keep it "because I might need it." But then I remember that I don't want to have extra stuff! I'm also being more attentive to what I buy.

  7. Well, I confess that I bought 4 of those wooden crates at Home Depot today. I've been bugging hubby to add a second shelf across the back of my daughter's walk-in closet and he hasn't done it. She does not have a dresser to put her clothes in, so they are all on chrome metal shelving in her closet. She needed some extra space, so I put 3 of those crates across the back shelf that's already in there and I was able to neatly stand up all her college books inside them and put her hats and other things on top of them using all the up space in the closet. I told her the crates are hers to keep if she ever moves. The fourth crate I want to hang on the wall over the toilet in my bathroom to hold towels. I saw that on Pinterest and thought it was a good idea.

  8. Too much stuff, you ain't kidding. And a husband who will not let anything go. I am trying to keep a bag of clothes in my car for the church bin and a boxof other stuff for salvation army. The more space we have the more we keep.

  9. My Resolve for the year is to get rid of 10 things each week of the year. Just this first week and 1 closet HALFWAY cleaned and I am already up to 50. I think TheHub should get rid of 50 percent of his book and I should get rid of 10 percent of mine. He thinks the other way around, but lets face it__my books are way more interesting than his, plus I am a re-reader. In fact I have read one particular book each year for 30 years.

  10. You know how I love to clean and dejunk but I have to say that I love my baskets and bins. Maybe it is a holdover from another life, maybe I didn't have a basket for my bread or something.
    I'm still working on getting the house just how I want it and that includes the closets and under the bed. I love to dejunk!!!


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