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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wilson

The Forgotten Wastes of Keeping All the Things

Preface! Zero judgements here. You are the boss of your things. Today I simply want to give you a way to look at your things that may release you from the guilt of what you see as the monetary waste, so you can also be free from these other kinds of waste.

Cute cat for clicks

I very much do not like waste (surprising absolutely nobody, I know). Most people don’t. We want to be smart with our money, time, energy. Yay us! In that spirit, we may hold on to someday-I-might-use-this stuff. Perfectly understandable. HOWEVER. Those things we hold on to may be wasting other kinds of things. Things we very much want to have more of in our lives.

Waste of space.

We hold on to things, thinking “I paid so much for this, I must keep it or else I wasted that money.” I hear that. It is uncomfortable to look at something that represents somebody’s hard work and ultimately became an unrealistic or outdated item. BUT! That money is already gone. Keeping an unused thing won’t bring it back. Now that thing represents wasted space. The space it is taking up in your home is valuable. Most of us have small amounts of storage space, especially in our kitchens and closets. That thing that doesn’t serve us is eating space that could be used to better house the things that we do want.

I had so so so many caulks

Waste of money.

Keeping things that don’t serve us actually wastes money. Think about how much you pay for your home. Do you have a bigger home than you really want to manage so it can hold stuff you don’t use? Do you have an entire room that is only used to store things that don’t really bring you joy? Or how about this: Do you have so many things that you don’t know what you have so you buy multiples? Or you have so many things you can’t find the thing that you know that you have, so you buy another. Or maybe you chose to rent storage space to hold all those things you’re not using. That’s an average cost of $2,400 a year according to the Googles. I’d much rather spend that money on a really nice road trip to the beach.

My closet

Waste of time and energy.

How many times have you rummaged through your closet for 20 minutes only to put on the same, favorite pants and shirt? Did you end up sad about clothes that fit poorly, or have stains or rips? Those clothes that don’t serve us are taking away our time and energy. Imagine the freedom of having a closet containing only clothes that fit and feel good to wear. How much time to you spend searching your kitchen, study, garage for That Thing that you need right this minute? Picture having the right amount of things for you that makes it so you can always find your keys, super glue, and those needle nose pliers with ease.

Waste of resources.

When I tell people what I do, many people put on a smile and call themselves hoarders. I reply that clinical hoarding harms, that most people aren’t actual hoarders. Clinical hoarding is a disorder that requires professional healthcare to properly address (there’s hope if this is you!). HOWEVER, some of us hoard stuff in the sense that we collect and collect and collect way more things than we could ever use. We have 10 sets of sheets, and endless racks of clothes, and 24 sets of flatware when we’ve only had like 8 people over for dinner in the history of ever. Those things we pile up in our homes could be used by other people. We can be part of the good use of resources by sending on the things we know we will not use. That’s not to say 10 set of sheets and 24 sets of flatware are too much for all people. We know what we need and use and makes us happy. Imagine how good it would feel to know that the things you give forward help others have an easier, more comfortable life? You could be the kindness and generosity that someone is desperately looking for.

Jenny Lake

Everything we have is a thing we have responsibility to manage. We may be at a place where that responsibly has become an overwhelming burden. What if we gave ourselves the gift of time to choose which things are worthy of our care? How much time, money, and peaceful breathing room could we give ourselves?

When you are ready and able to invest in your future calm, you can hire me or any of the talented pro organizers listed with the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) at

I'm fully vaccinated and now open for in person organizing sessions, sanity saving cleaning services, as well as packing and unpacking services. Gift certificates available.

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