A Different Kind of Abundance, Part IV

The topic of the last three posts—a different kind of abundance—tackles the, often tough, issue of how we experience a fullness of life that’s not tied to an abundance of physical “stuff”.

11/2 part 1– initial questions, why we have so much stuff
11/3 part 2– guidelines for owning possessions, how to define clutter, the Pareto principle
11/6 part 3– organization goals, relationship with your home

Today, we’ll finish this series with procedures that help you to live with less so that you can enjoy your home more.

I’ve developed three specific sets of “rules” to aid in the process of getting organized. (I’m not a big fan of the word “rules”, but in some situations, rules are exactly what we need. So if that word is tough for you, feel free to substitute “guidelines” or “practices.)

Preparation—getting ready to get organized
1. schedule organizing time
2. make sure you have the supplies you need
3. invest in a label maker
4. be prepared to have items in these categories: keep, store, donate, recycle/trash
5. work in a way that makes sense for you
6. start with one area that will positively impact your life
7. be methodical
8. allocate 50 minutes
9. have only one “to do” list
10. don’t keep stockpiling

Action—moving through the organization process
1. examine your reason for keeping anything and everything
2. everything has to have A place
3. have a “holding space”
4. don’t simply move stuff from one place to another
5. get rid of the things you simply don’t use
6. don’t keep duplicates of things
7. keep like-items together
8. customize every storage space
9. make spaces for things where you’re going to use them
10. if you decide to have a yard sale, make a commitment that anything that doesn’t sell doesn’t come back into your house

Staying Organized—how to keep your house organized
1. if you can take care of something in less than seven minutes, do it now
2. don’t do things halfway
3. don’t create piles of stuff to process later
4. watch out for horizontal surfaces
5. don’t “overbook” yourself
6. don’t store other people’s stuff
7. create a habit of “one item into my home, two items out”
8. don’t shoot for “perfect”
9. realize this isn’t something you do once but rather a life process
10. think of organizing as an adventure..it really can be fun (I know that may sound crazy to you now, but once you get used to living in a home that works for you, brings you serenity and is the place you “can’t wait to get home to”, you’ll understand what I mean!)

These three sets of ten rules have a lot of explanations that go with them. When I teach organization class we discuss these points in detail, so if you have questions or need clarification about any of these steps, leave a comment on this blog and I’ll get back to you. (Or, if you live in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, join us for a three-hour organization class in January.)

One question that came up as a result of these discussions was “How do I move forward when I want to live with less but my spouse insists on hanging onto everything?”.

Ideally, the adults in a home would be “on the same page”, but sometimes that’s not the case. You can’t simply throw everything that belongs to someone else—that you don’t want in your home—into a bag and drop it off at a donation center. (Well, you could but that would likely start an entirely new set of problems.) But, in the cases where the “holding onto possessions” truly isn’t healthy and clashes with your desire to move forward, there are some options. These depend on your particular situation, so feel free to reach out if you’re stuck in this space.

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” has been popping into my mind a lot lately, and it applies to a lot of human choices:
“Should I eat three more pieces of pizza (because I can)?”,
“Should I share a confidence so that I feel powerful (because I can)?”,
“Should I leave clothing on the dressing room floor, instead of hanging it up (because I can)?”
“Should I stay in a relationship that just keeps minimizing me and wearing me down (because I can)?”
With our resources, the same question needs to be asked over and over: “Just because I can buy more, own more, hide more, hoard more, does it mean I should?” In many life situations, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

May the rest of your week be filled with less “stuff” and more joy, positive experiences, and peace.










Blog: peacefullhome.com
Twitter: @kaymclane
Instagram: @peace_full_home
Facebook: facebook.com/kayspeacefullhome

©2018 peace full home®/intentional living


4 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Abundance, Part IV

  1. I have used that expression for years … “just because you can doesn’t mean that you should”. It applies to so many aspects of our culture – as you said, it definitely applies to the accumulation of material things, but also to our daily actions. Most people don’t think of that expression while making decisions … it can apply to how you treat others in your career, taking a lost/left behind item as your own, over consumption on complimentary buffets or open bars, being the center of attention so that it’s all about “you”, etc., etc. We’d all be better off if we reminded ourselves of that expression more often. Love your posts, Kay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you completely, Betsy. Too often, especially with lifestyles that are full of choices and opportunities, we think that simply because we have the ability to do or be part of something, or the resources to own something or take advantage of something, we should. Your examples of career people (often those in positions of power), over-consumption and having to be the center of attention are all excellent examples. Thank you for your insight!


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