At The Organizing Professionals we love the variety in our chosen profession. One day we’re helping a
client move into their new home, the next we’re organizing a closet. But without fail, every week we’re
helping a client declutter.
Some may wonder why a person needs professional help to declutter but as one of our dear clients
explained, “Even the quarterback needs a coach.”
When helping a client declutter, we provide guidance, strategy, emotional support and a whole slew of
other benefits that are not part of this blog. (Visit our website for more details.) One question, however, that pops up frequently is “How Much is Enough?” How many pairs of pants should I own? How many
boxes of pasta should I have in the pantry? How many pens should I keep? (Way less than you have!)
Of course there is no one-size- fits-all answer to these questions. Your lifestyle and household size play a
factor in these decisions but what I’d like to present are some rough (and tough) guidelines:
1. Spacial Limitations. If your clothes no longer fit inside your closet or dresser (and you have
adequate furniture) you have too much clothing. Without decluttering, even the best professional organizer cannot magically create more space when your closets and drawers are completely stuffed. This applies to every room in your home. Every item in your home needs a home. Do all your kitchen items fit inside the cabinets? Do your toiletries fit neatly inside your bathroom cabinets or linen closet? If that is currently unattainable then you have too much.
2. “I forgot I had this!” If you say this frequently when decluttering, you definitely have too much.
3. If you haven’t worn it or used it in the last year, you have too much. Don’t fall into the trap of justifying the need. “It was so expensive I have to keep it.” Or “My mother, child (or other special person) gave it to me.” Or “It will fit me next season when I lose weight.” If a simplified life is your goal, let the excess go.
4. If you (and other household members) can’t locate an object within 1 minute you have too much. Wait…did you say within 1 minute? That’s got to be a typo right? Nope. That’s the beauty of living with less. Everything can have a place and when there’s less inventory it’s easier to remember when things are.
If a spring clean-out is on your to-do list month, take a good, hard look at the items in your home. Chances are you have too much!