You’ve all heard of Parkinson’s law, which states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
Here is the Organizing Goddess’s corollary: Stuff expands to fill the space available for its storage.
So how can you limit the amount of stuff and thus reduce clutter? By limiting the space you make available to it, of course!
What does that mean in practical terms?
- Clothes: devote each drawer of your dresser, and each section of your closet, to a specific type of clothing. For example, allocate one drawer to t-shirts. If the drawer is full and you want to get a new t-shirt, you’ve got to get rid of one first!
- Books, CDs, and DVDs: when your bookcase or your CD/DVD cabinet is full, you can’t buy another one until you get rid of one.
- Paper: when your file drawers are full, it’s time to clean them out, not buy more file drawers.
- Toys: set aside shelves or toy bins for your children’s toys. When they are full, ask them to pick out some toys to donate to charity. A great time to do this is before a birthday or the December holidays, when you expect more toys coming in.
- Collections: display your entire collection someplace that can accommodate all of it. If you want to purchase a new item, you’ll need to get rid of your least favorite.
By limiting the space we make available to our stuff, we can keep it from overtaking our lives and crowding us out!