Have you walked around a warehouse lately? Or have you ever visited an old-fashioned general store—the kind with row after row filled with all sorts of items and gadgets for every possible need? The extreme example would have to be the famous Wall Drug in South Dakota. Since 1931, their seemingly endless displays and showrooms (now about 76,000 square feet) have captivated and entertained many weary travelers. It is hard to imagine where all this stuff comes from and who really uses it. And then as you are browsing, you see that one perfect gadget that you actually “need!” Yes, it was worth the trip to Wall Drug! Take it home and add it to your personal inventory!
There is something about being in a big store with lots of stuff that makes you feel the need to take some of it home with you! Surely there is something here that you’ve always wanted! If you just leisurely walk up and down enough aisles, you will eventually find that “special something.” Multiply this experience by many weeks and years, however, and your home will start to look like a warehouse!
Is that really what you want your home to look like? Is it really comfy and cozy to have stuff bulging out of every cupboard, closet, and shelf? Does your home décor strategy really just amount to adding more travel souvenirs to an already crowded shelf or slapping another advertising magnet on the fridge? Does it really enhance your home to have piles of newspapers, magazines, coupons, travel brochures, unopened junk mail, unread books, unfinished craft projects, or outdated entertainment items? Is it frustrating to constantly move the 72 rolls of toilet paper, 10 bottles of shampoo, 20 boxes of cereal, or 35 cans of soup? Is it distressing to have so many clothes in your closet that you can never find what you really want to wear? Do the extra sheets and towels tumble out of the closet whenever you open the door? Stuff everywhere can be rather overwhelming!
Let’s keep in mind that we do not live in Antarctica! Most of us can reasonably access what we truly need in less than one hour, if necessary. Take a fresh look at your stockpiles—and start using those supplies! It will free up some space while giving your budget a break. And let’s be honest. Sometimes we keep things past their prime using date. Too bad clothes and craft supplies don’t have expiration dates. Just yesterday I noticed that one lonely container of yogurt in the back of my fridge had expired July 17—yikes!
Try these simple steps to keep your house from looking like a warehouse:
- CAREFULLY CHOOSE ITEMS: Know exactly why you decide to bring anything into your home. Quality is better than quantity. For example, 6 beautiful coffee mugs that bring to mind special memories would be better than an odd assortment of 15 free giveaway mugs. A drawer with 3 sharp knives and 8 useful utensils is better than a drawer jammed full with single-purpose utensils that are seldom used.
- ROTATE THE DISPLAYS: Every item you own does not need to be on display at the same time. You could easily rotate your family pictures. In the same way, children’s toys, games, and stuffed animals could be divided, stored, and rotated. We naturally do this with holiday decorations, but forget to apply the principle to other areas of our home. Enjoy having a few empty spaces!
- RETIRE AND WEED: Sometimes an item has outlived its usefulness or attractiveness. It simply doesn’t fit your décor or your life anymore. No problem with that! Donate it or trash it, whichever is appropriate. Just like a flower garden looks so much better after weeding, your home will look better after weeding those unsightly items from your interior landscape. Libraries regularly need to weed out old and outdated books, so I would guess that your home collection of books needs to be weeded also. It really makes the true treasures shine!
Little decisions made every day will determine what your house looks like.
What decision can you make today to bring you one step closer to what you really want?