by Eva Martinez
If you, like most Americans, have trouble putting your life in order, spending hundreds of dollars on organization tools and containers, perhaps you should be taking a new tack. Why do so many of us have so much trouble with this dilemma? Simply because we have become inveterate collectors. Our consumer culture has inoculated us with the idea that more is better than less. We shop constantly—not for things we need, but because we enjoy the instant gratification of our every whim.
Think about it. Do you really need to redo your entire house for every season? Are extensive decorations for every holiday really necessary? Take a good look at your bulging closets, cabinets, and storage areas—can you honestly say that you actually use all that “stuff”? Especially in these uncertain economic times, we all should pare down our spending. Why waste money on accumulating unnecessary and then spending more by purchasing various organizing systems and containers to help you find places for everything? Why not simplify your life by digging out from under the piles of superfluous possessions you’ve so thoughtlessly collected?
To begin with, take a serious inventory of what you already have. Be brutally honest with yourself. As you move from place to place, set aside any unnecessary items—the clothes that don’t fit or are in other ways unwearable, the shoes that you avoid wearing because they hurt your feet, the broken or out-of-date jewelry, etc. What about craft kits and supplies? Are you going to live long enough to use them all? Check your bookshelves—keep only those books and magazines that you seriously mean to reread or that contain important information.