How many of you have purged a closet and gotten rid of the excess only to have it fill up again?
In my last column I shared the story of an executive who successfully purged 75 knit polo-type shirts from his bulging closet. Was he able to maintain the spaciousness in his closet or did it bulge again? Here’s the update:
A few weeks after my appointment with him, the man’s wife called me and said, "Ruth, I need to tell you what happened. Recently we were at a golf resort and were in the pro shop. There, I saw a really nice golf shirt and brought it to my husband, and said, ‘This is a nice shirt, why don’t you buy it?’"
To her surprise, her husband replied, "No."
Again she tried, saying the shirt would look so nice on him. Again he answered, "No."
She told him it would be OK to buy the shirt as long as he got rid of an old one when he got home. Again he declined, saying, "No, I don’t need it, I have enough."
His wife said to me, "Ruth, you have done a miracle!"
The cycle of buying and cramming new shirts into the closet had been broken. His desire to maintain spaciousness and simplicity in his closet was greater than his desire to acquire new clothes.
If you have successfully cleaned out and streamlined your closet, here are some tips to help you maintain your newfound space and simplicity.
Before you buy or acquire something new, ask yourself:
» Will this purchase add something new I have been missing?
» If I don’t buy this, will I lack?
» Do I have space to store it?
» Can I live without this?
» Is there a better and more lasting use for this money?
If the answer to the first three questions is "no" and the answer to the last two questions is "yes," try to exercise restraint and say "no."
These 3 R’s may help:
1. RETHINK how much you really need.
2. RESTRAIN yourself.
3. REFUSE to purchase just for the sake of having something new.
It will be time well spent and money unspent.
Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.