As professional organizers, one of the most common things we hear is: “I might use it someday.”
We may hear this while looking through old shoes to broken plates…. crumbling books, plastic bags, and of course, some things that actually can and should be reused. And we aren’t all type-A tyrants. Anything that serves a purpose or CAN be re-purposed usually falls into the category of future-use-potential. Many times, our clients have a point, though sometimes sentimental value (or even forgetfulness) is outweighing their decision making abilities.
This week our country celebrates the Fourth of July, which made us recall a fabulous client of ours. Her favorite holiday was July 4th. Upon coming across her vast supply of red, white, and blue party supplies, I suggested we weed through them and perhaps cut down the quantity. That was immediately met with “but I might use them some day.” This client had the kindest of intentions and was a client who purged so often that when she did hold on to things, she usually had a reason that I could not argue with. So when she was resistant with these party supplies, I was content to believe her.
A few months later, July 4th rolled around and we were still working together. I arrived a few days before the 4th and found that she had gone out and purchased brand new party supplies with a different pattern than the ones she had kept earlier in the year. When I asked her, “What about the ones you already had?” She exclaimed, “Oh shoot, I forgot about them. But you know what, even if I hadn’t, these are so cute I would have bought them anyway!” I was fairly surprised by this. She had seemed so sure of her future use for those supplies.
This may seem like a tiny example, but please regard for a moment, the thought process that went into it, and the money and time that was spent surrounding it. Not just the purchase of more party supplies but the hourly rate of a professional organizer. Now… times that example by 100’s of other examples. How much is a delayed decision – ie. Clutter, costing you?
The moral of this story is “Now Is The Time!” Now is the time to get out those party supplies you have held on to because you “might use them someday.” If they are in an organized space, you should be able to find them easily! If you do choose to purchase new supplies, let go of the ones you kept before. If you are ready to begin again then you are ready to let go of the old. This lesson applies to every other item that you have hung on to, due to the idea that you might find a use for it later. Life continues and moves forward. Times, trends, and tastes change. Use what you have OR allow yourself to move forward. NOW IS THE TIME!
I challenge you to use what you have this week and for every holiday to come. Find fun, new ways to incorporate your current possessions into your special occasions. Personally, my friends and family will be eating off of Princess Sophia plates tomorrow because THAT’S THE STOCK THAT I HAVE right now left over from my 4-year-olds birthday. But don’t worry, I’ll sneak some stars and stripes somewhere into the day.
Original content provide by: Erin Hodge, previous Professional Organizer with Charm City Organizers, 2014.
Edited by Mary Cate Claudias, CPO®, CEO of Charm City Organizers, LLC, 2018.; www.organizebaltimore.com; President, NAPO Baltimore