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What if asking "Do I love this?" is the cause of your clutter!

It's really common in the decluttering world to talk about key questions to ask as we make our choices about what to keep and what to let go. The most common having been made popular by Marie Kondo in her book: the life-changing magic of tidying up. Does this bring me Joy? Other common questions include: Have I used it? Would I buy it again? All of these can be really helpful. Unless you are a "see the potential" in everything kind of person. Yes, it will bring me joy when I complete this project. Yes, I would buy it again - in a weird and obscure set of circumstances. Yes, I used it yesterday (even if it was only to prove that I get to keep it...) I've been there and I get it. And while in many ways these questions have served me really well on my journey to decrease my stuff in my house they all miss a key piece. Does the stuff fit in the space? We are all capable of gather far more stuff that we love, is useful, and we will make time to use to defend keeping than we have places to store. So I'd love to add a question to the mix. Do I have room for this? If you find yourself defending and justifying, generally exceptionally elegantly, holding onto more items than you have room for, it's time to take a step back and approach the removing of items from another angle. Dana from a Slob Comes Clean calls this the Container method. You have a series of containers - a drawer, a room, a house, in which to fit all your stuff. Like Babushka dolls we need to be able to nest our containers into the room, and the rooms into the house. If you are finding it difficult to get organised the most common issue is you have more stuff than space. Most of us are not in a position of being able to create more space (though if you can add another set of drawers, or shelves, or even a room or two - this can be a solution, increase the space to fit the stuff). For most of us though we need to decrease the stuff to fit the space. If after asking the standard questions of: Does this bring me Joy? Is this useful? Would I replace it? We have more stuff than space, we then need to add in the key question of: Does it Fit? What we want to do here is identify the space in which this stuff will live. Then we pick out our favourites, our non-negotiables, in priority order, and place them away in the space. When the space is full, we let go of the excess. If you find in the excess something that you absolutely love, and are not sure how you missed picking it first, you can put it in the space, as long as you remove something else to make room for it. Within our house we have a certain number of rooms, each room can contain only so many organising pieces of furniture - drawers, shelves, chests, etc. Within each organising piece of furniture, there is only so much stuff that can be kept. While we can buy more dividers, more furniture, at some point we will reach the limit of our container. How much we want in our house, the level of empty space we desire will vary from person to person. When we start increasing our frustration, overwhelm, or guilt because of too many storage items in our house, it's time to let go of more stuff. It's not easy, it's not a journey to be done alone, if you want to join a group of curious, creative, compassionate people who are on a journey to take care of today for a better tomorrow you will find us here:

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