Everyone out there reading this probably has a lucky number that makes them happy for what ever reason. Amongst us professional organizers, there is another number that we talk to our clients about on a regular basis, one that can also bring happiness. It’s called the “right number.” I’m talking about determining the right number of items that live in your kitchen and your home. Let me ask you these questions and try to answer them quickly and without too much thought.
1. How many spatulas should your neighbor have in their kitchen?
2. How many mugs should your coworker have in their home?
3. What is an appropriate number of tablecloths for your friend to have in her linen closet?
Your answer to those questions will be a helpful indicator of how many YOU should pare your collection down to. As you start the process of sifting, sorting, and purging, be aware of the areas you get stuck in releasing items: emotional attachments, the guilt of a gift, the familial obligation of keeping items you don’t like or use and so many other traps that exist to encourage you to have too much stuff.
My motto: Surround yourself with only THINGS YOU LOVE AND ADORE.
A current trend in our shopping habits which hold us back from determining the right number are stores like Costco. Don’t get me wrong – I love stores with deep discounts and bargains – until you come home with 8 tubes of toothpaste, 24 cans of soup and 36 AA batteries, which will last for 2 years and take up valuable space in your home. The simplicity of living day-to-day and not having to be stressed out by the amount of stuff you now have to organize, store, and ideally use before it expires can be a nice change for you.
While organizing kitchens in Boulder and around the world, I’ve found a few common offenders in this “wrong number” category:
-Outdated pots and pans
-Coffee Mugs (hands down, the worst and most popular offender)
-Kitchen Gadgets that NEVER get used
What’s your lucky number? What is your “right number”? I invite you to simplify your life and find the right number for each item in your house. Just because we live in America – where excess is the accepted norm – does not mean we have to abide by the rules of over-stocking, over-indulgence and over-cluttering. Managing less stuff can truly bring you a feeling of peace you’ve never known.