Lessons Learned from Reorganizing

Over the past few days I have been reorganizing the closets and shelves in my home. I’ve managed to fill five large shopping bags with barely worn sheets, towels, and clothes. As I look at the piles of items awaiting their trip to the goodwill I realize that I simply own too much stuff. In one closet I found over 20 bath towels. My household consists of two people, my husband and I. What do two people need with twenty towels? We received towels as wedding presents and never purged the old ones and we bought towels on sale for our home in North Carolina and then brought them home to Maryland. The same thing happened with a number of other items in our home. Over time we accumulated new items but simply never purged the old.

At first, I couldn’t decide whether or not I should donate these items. After all, one day we will need new towels and many of the ones I’m donating are practically brand new. But in the end I decided it simply didn’t make sense to keep all of these items hanging around our home when we don’t need them. The same thing can be said of our bread machine and rice cooker. We have so many items collecting dust around our home that we simply don’t use. Why keep them on the shelves just because they are still in working order?

While reorganizing the closet I also realized that my husband and I should stop shopping at warehouse stores for most items. As I cleaned out the hall closet I found 8 bottles of toilet bowl cleaner. Again, what do two people need with 8 bottles of toilet bowl cleaner? Or four bottles of Windex? And three enormous bottles of Tilex? From a monetary standpoint we may have gotten a better deal by purchasing in bulk, but if we aren’t going to use the item for a few months, what else could we have done with that money?

As I look at the piles for donation I hope to keep these thoughts in mind the next time I go shopping. It’s not just a matter of asking myself whether or not I need the item but also asking my self how long until I’ll actually use it. To me it’s not worth saving 20 cents if it means I have to store the item for six months.

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