Excess: according to the Oxford Dictionary excess is defined as an amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable. A lack of moderation in an activity, especially eating or drinking. I would add consuming to this definition. Excess is exceeding a desirable amount. Do you have excess in your life? I would like excess cash and wealth and I don’t want excess stress or responsibilities. We see a lot of excess of things and stuff when we Organize and Downsize people’s homes. That insatiable desire to acquire more and more Excess.
A few stories of excess. Ann, not her real name, recently separated from her husband. She wanted help deciding on items to keep or get rid of before she moves up north. Her 2-bedroom apartment filled with stuff. We worked on creating homes for articles of clothing, toiletries, and décor. There was an abundance of Knick knacks and newly purchased items. Ann struggled with anxiety of where to put things…so much so that she did not put them anywhere. They just piled up. Does this sound like you? If so, just try something. It does not have to be perfect or permanent but try something! Move forward. We learn by storing items in different places. Where would you look for the item? Start there and make progress.
The other advice I give to anyone who might be moving soon: is to not buy any furniture or decorative items. It is very expensive to move, stuff gets damaged and you can buy practically anything and have it shipped for free.
Barbara, another client, has Elementary age girls, and a beautifully remodeled home with amazing closet organizers installed. Young girls, with lots of creative pursuits, will create a lot of clutter. There are so many fun items they use: art supplies, American Girl Dolls, Lego’s, stuffed animals and lots lots more. The toys were taking over Mom’s space too. During our session we moved all their items back into their bedrooms. Barbara reclaimed her living and dining rooms. I told her that she deserves to have “her” space.
A few tips to reduce your kids clutter is to 1) limit the amount of Lego’s or Dolls to a specific container(s). Once the container(s) are full they have to get rid of some (of that toy category) if they want more. 2) Growing kids change sizes frequently. Have a container in your kids closet designated for the clothing they can’t fit into or don’t wear anymore. It's best if you implement systems like this when your kids are young. They are more likely to keep it up. They are also more likely to do it if they see their parents “practicing what they preach.” My husband and I have a bottomless container in our garage for clothing and other items we want to donate. When the container gets full, we bring it to Habitat for Humanity and start all over again. Having a designated spot to put unwanted items in helps a lot.
One of my Team Members and I were working with a Downsizing client. Renee, recently retired and wanted to simplify her space. She donated a lot and is Consigning through Finders Keepers Consignment in Decatur. Renee told me she no longer makes impulse purchases. She shops online a lot and will place items in her cart. She waits a couple of days and returns to the cart and generally does not make the purchase. This practice deters impulse buying. Great advice!
Removing excess items that you and your family no longer want or need opens up your space for what you do want and need. Excess stuff weighs us down emotionally and physically. Let go of some excess stuff this month. You won’t regret it. If you struggle to let go of your stuff, we can help.
Adele Tusson-Gross Chief Executive Organizer