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Developing an Essentialist Mindset

Here's the thing. Professional organizing is not a one-size-fits-all career. There are some organizers who specialize in closet systems, others who love to organize pantries, and another whole group that basically live at The Container Store.

And then there's me.

In all the years I have been a professional organizer, I have never once shopped at The Container Store on behalf of a client.

Here's why.

Most people have too much stuff.

Lack of containment is not the issue.

Excess is.

My work is based on teaching my clients to adopt an essentialist mindset.

What's essentialist mindset, you ask? Well, let me tell you!

Unlike being a minimalist, which can feel extreme, an essentialist mindset is practical and based entirely on your logic and comfort level. Additionally it will change over time as your relationship and awareness of your possessions changes.

Here's an example. You gather up one category of possessions. Let's focus on bath towels.

You see that in total you have 15 bath towels for a family of four. Let's also say you currently have a crowded linen closet to store said bath towels. My question is, What's the least number of towels you can comfortably live with in a week?

You estimate three towels per person based on one towel in use, one towel in the laundry, and one extra towel in the linen closet. So you comfortably donate the three towels.

But here's how an essentialist mindset is fluid. A few months later, you look at those four bath towels in that still crowded linen closet and realize they have never been put to use. Your pattern has been to wash one set and use the other. And, truth be told, you need the space they are currently taking up in the linen closet to store backup toilet paper. So you comfortably donate four more towels.

Now take the essentialist mindset and apply it to other categories of your home. How many black t-shirts do you actually need? Wooden spoons? Rags? Crayons? Coffee mugs? Puzzles? Leggings?

When you learn to view your possessions through an essentialist's lens, you learn to actually see what is simply taking up space in your home, and can donate it without looking back. Not all at once, which for many people feels abrupt, but gently over time.

Needless to say, the less you own, the less you'll need to organize. And, circling back to those eight bath towels, what if you upgraded them to eight new bath towels? Now you're into my favorite situation of all, owning fewer things of better quality!

As always, let me know if this was helpful!



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