Organization is a tricky thing. It can fool you into thinking you’re getting rid of clutter and getting rid of your mess and chaos. But often instead of getting rid of the mess, you’re just putting it in cute color coordinating bins or stacking it neatly so it looks more presentable. It’s sort of like people who dress their dogs up in costumes for Halloween. It’s really unnecessary and kinda silly.
As you can see from the picture above, we currently have an excess of Rubbermaid food containers. I had a set and my mom liked them so much she got a set. Together we have a ridiculous amount of Rubbermaid. We do have 10 people in the house and two refrigerators and we go through a lot of food. But when a fridge can be packed with leftovers in all those cute matching containers and there’s still nearly an entire set still left in the cabinet, that tells me we have too many of those things. It just seems a shame to get rid of containers that actually match and you know exactly where to find the lids. It’s organized though, right? So, how can that be wrong?
It’s not wrong to be organized and it’s not wrong to have extras of things. But living in excess and being surrounded in things we no longer need, doesn’t fit with the minimalist mindset. It simply doesn’t fit the paradigm for how I want to live.
That’s clearly more Rubbermaid than we need so why not bless someone else with it? Perhaps someone else out there has a cabinet full of containers with missing lids or is reusing Cool-Whip containers for leftovers like my grandmother used to do. I could help someone like that, so why not? It helps them and it helps me.
How Do You Identify the Excess?
If you want to avoid the excess in your life and avoid its cousin Clutter, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really use that many?
- Would I buy that many if I bought them again?
- Could I make do with less?
Those questions can be applied to everything from Rubbermaid to extra socks. The answer to question number three is almost always going to be “Yes.” Try it for yourself and see. You’ll be happy you did.
Article originally published on 10/08/2010