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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Continuing to Simplify

A place for everything and everything in its place.

The above is a saying that I have always loved. That doesn’t mean that I’ve always been organized, but I like the idea of having a designated place for things and keeping the things in that place so they are not only out of the way, but so that they are also easily located.

I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to giant organization stores like The Container Store and even IKEA to some extent. I’ve always had a slight obsession with bags and baskets and boxes and have to repeatedly convince myself that no, I do not actually need that shiny new organization tool.

One thing I have noticed, though, is that the saying “Out of sight, out of mind” is slowly starting to come true as well, partly because I do have specified places for things. For example, all my shoes are stored either in their original boxes or in clear Rubbermaid containers. They are all neatly stacked on shelves in my closet so I can walk in, look at the boxes, pull the one I want, and be done with it. A few weeks ago, I realized that my work appropriate shoes were all on their last legs, worn beyond repair, and that it was time to look for a new pair of shoes or two. So I bought some new shoes, came home, went to put them in the closet, and found another pair of work appropriate shoes that I had forgotten I owned.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having multiple pairs of shoes that I can wear to work, so I didn’t return my purchased shoes, but it was like finding treasure in my closet.

This find makes me wonder what else I have that I have forgotten that I own. My apartment is not that big, but I do have very nice closets, and when I moved, I paid the movers to pack and load, and my mother helped me unpack and put things away. I had just finished the bar exam and while I cleaned out some things before packing, I also told myself that was something I could do after I moved, since I was paying the same amount no matter what the movers moved.

I’m continually working on weeding out my clothes. I was going through photographs this weekend and realized I still owned an outfit that I wore for Christmas when I was 19. Now, that wasn’t even ten years ago, and I realize that many people still own and wear clothing that’s ten years old, but I shouldn’t be wearing clothes I wore at 19. Nor could I tell you the last time I wore that skirt or top. So those got put into the donation pile (which has grown quite large and I really should find the local Goodwill).

I’m also trying to pare down my bookshelves. I have a number of books that were given to me by previous owners that I have yet to read. I’m working through those and then listing them on one of the various book swap sites.

While neither of these tasks is particularly frugal (though I do get credits towards other books by swapping my read books), it has led to re-discovering things that I forgot I had. I don’t need anything new, when I have all of these things right here, like the shoes that I re-discovered or the multitude of books that I have kept and want to read again.

Plus it’s just nice to open my closet and not feel like it is a mess of things crammed together. I often feel like I own too much stuff. This is just another step on working towards simplifying and keeping only what I need and what I truly want to keep.


Anonymous said...

I often have dreams where I find clothes in my closet that I have never worn and forgotten about. Sadly, this has NEVER happened in real life. My closet is too small to keep clothes for too long, which forces me to clean it out regularly.

Kevin said...

Getting rid of the stuff you will never use again will certainly reduce clutter and ultimately keep you organized. Good post.