Space Allocation

One of the methods that really helps me get ruthless with my decluttering is making a decision to allocate a certain amount of space to a category of items. Take my craft space for example. After decluttering quite a lot of stuff from that space I eventually made a decision that ultimately all my craft items must fit into the ten specially made craft cubes I had bought to house it all in years ago. It took a while but I finally achieved that goal. That decision certainly did spur me on to declutter lots of stuff I otherwise would have clung on to.

I made a similar decision with my linen closet ~ one shelf only for towels and one shelf only for sheets, throw rugs and small miscellaneous linen. In my kitchen I decided that one set of double door cupboards should be enough to house all the dinner ware, mugs and drinking glasses, one shelf for the baking trays, two shelves for canisters etc etc. Our clothes were to fit only in our wardrobe and not spill over into the guest room. Which isn’t so easy when married to a man in uniform (cams, blues, mess kits, flying suits, etc etc).

My most recent “space allocation” method of decluttering is taking place in my garage. My goal is to finally declutter enough items so that everything stored on two existing shelving units and a small single door pantry unit should eventually fit onto only one shelving unit. The notion of “I might need it someday” soon is ignored when the desire for space limitation comes into play.

I have to say that I find this method of decluttering very motivating and effective for me. Perhaps it would work just as well for you.

Today’s Mini Mission

Do you have any things lingering around your home that your kids no longer want. Seek out one or two and send them on their way.

Eco Tip for the Day

Don’t use one use throw away cleaning wipes. They are available for cleaning wood, kitchen spills, television screens, make-up removal etc etc. They are usually made from manmade fibres, soaked in chemicals and sold in plastic containers, all of which are bad for the environment. You can do all these jobs with a little water and a microfibre cloth that can be washed and used over and over again.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Fourth Thursdays with Deb J ~ Looking For the Issues Most of us are so used to seeing our homes that we don’t really LOOK at it. We live our days hurrying through life and there are many things we don’t look at but are just in the […]
  • Breaking it down When we think of big decluttering tasks we often get deterred before we even begin. But the truth is just about every decluttering task can be broken down into smaller tasks. Below are […]
  • Efficiency v Plastics There was a lot of chatter generated yesterday about an overabundance of plastic containers. It seems most of us still have an excess of these. In a bid to reduce food items in both the […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. I like this idea, Colleen. When, and if, we ever get our house back in order, your suggestion is going to be implimented. This is especially with our drinking glasses. Good grief! Some need to find a new home!

    • We had a lot of drinking glasses too Michelle, and wine glasses. My daughter has most of them now and some also went with my son. I had actually stored these in a box in the garage for them. Although I was glad to see them leave the kitchen I was, in the end, happier to see them leave the house altogether.

    • Michelle – my daughter and I were talking about glasses the other day.

      When the Olympics were on McDonald did these commemorative coloured glasses that were very popular in our household, right size, interesting colours etc etc. We’d bought some the previous promotion but at that stage at least two of my kids were going thru the gangly, fast growing stage where everything gets knocked over…..especially glasses. And we’d gone thru most of ours at that stage, so we were happy to see them on offer again. On the last day of the promotion the staff member said we could buy them for a discounted amount so we stocked up knowing the death rate on glasses in our household. Guess what? Almost to the day, everyone stopped breaking glasses and these extra 8 glasses are sitting on my top shelf still in their cardboard cases.

      Here’s the thing, I don’t have anything else I would put on that shelf as it is too high for me to easily reach. We seem to have the right number of glasses on the lower shelf but everytime a particular friend visits she always points them out! Yes I know I have 8 glasses sitting up there that have never been opened and its been almost three years! But I know that Murphy’s Law will prevail and if I gave them away, we’d have a spate of glass breakages.

      • Moni ~ That sounds like a little “I might need it someday” kind of clutter. There is always the chance that the kids might be a little more careful with the glass if there weren’t so many spares to fall back on. That being said. I have talked about sheets before and although mine don’t take up a lot of space, as I only had five sets, I was not about to declutter any of them even though I really didn’t need five. Lo and behold two fitted sheets have since worn out. So it is just as well I didn’t jump the gun on those.

        • Colleen – I agree its a just in case scenario – they do date back to pre-decluttering days and at the time Courtney especially was going thru the glasses and crockery at a rapid speed. Last year my son kept saying he was going to leave home, so I’d mentally put them in a box for him to take with him, but he’s decided to stay this year at least.

          • Moni ~ I can so relate to the kids moving out of home scenario. I decided that rather than having the stuff cluttering up my shelves I would prefer it cluttered up my garage in boxes. Although towards the end there was plenty of room in the kitchen and the time was rapidly approaching that bridget, at least, would need things, so I just left it there. I think Bridget actually ended up overloaded with glass and I must remember to mention to her again that if she has too many to give them back and I will take them to the thrift store.

      • Hi Moni – this weekend I will most likely be putting away the glasses and there are four milkshake glasses – super cute, and I simply do not use them. My mom gave them to me. I really like them. But I don’t use them. I think they have to go. I suppose I have a little bit of “might need someday”, like you. 🙂

  2. I love my make-wipes. Darn now those have to go too. Enjoyed your post.

    • Sorry to put a damper on this for you Susan. You will however save a lot of money as well as helping the environment by simply using water and microfibre.

      Bymake-wipes are you saying that you make your own baby wipes with chemical free cleansers and good quality paper towel which you store in the same plastic container each time you make a batch. If so this isn’t a bad alternative. Although paper towel is throw away you are wasting a lot less water and detergent and sanitises than if you use wash cloths. Babies need wiping pretty regularly too so that is a lot of cloths to wash each day. Perhaps this isn’t so bad. I wouldn’t however do this for any other cleaning purpose because the same microfibre cloth can be used to clean most of the house or changed once a day which works out pretty economical on cleaning.

  3. Colleen, this is good advice. I’m still not happy with a couple of areas of our home. I just think we have too much stuffed into a couple of areas. Do you ever go through a time when you are just OVER something and you want it all gone? I”m feeling that way about all the cards I have made up. I’ve started using them as note cards because I haven’t put any sentiments in many of them so that I can use them for whatever I want. I still have hundreds of card fronts that I haven’t put on card blanks. I will get there eventually but I am tired of the whole lot of them. Yet, I don’t want to go buy cards for all of the people we send to. Oh well!

    On your eco tip. I wish I could get my mom away from disposable stuff. I took some microfiber cloths and put them into squares to use for face washing and makeup removal. I have a stack of the big ones for us to use for other things but can’t seem to get her to use them. She doesn’t like the idea of having to wash them.

    • Hi, Deb…I know what you mean about cards. I make cards, and sometimes envelopes too. I had made a bunch of envelopes that I didn’t use, and I got tired of looking at them. Last week when I was cleaning up my art table, I tossed the whole bunch of them in the recycling bin. I can always make more if I need them, but for now, it’s nice to have the clear space.

      • I have over 300 cards already made. I wanted to get rid of a lot of the paper I had been keeping for this reason. Now I wish I had just gotten rid of the paper. Grin.

    • Deb J -I know what you mean about being “SO OVER” something! In a post a few weeks ago Colleen asked us if our homes were destroyed (touch wood) and we got an insurance pay out, would we replace those items? Hell, no!

      Deb – you sounds a bit tired of cards – this is interesting to me, and I’ll get to the point in a minute. But do you actually still like doing the cards? If you don’t me asking, why do you send so many cards? Would you consider a ‘card vacation’? Where you packed it all up in a box, tape it shut and give yourself two months holiday from them. Didn’t have to see them, have them in your space, think about them or have to do anything with them?

      The reason is that I’ve realised recently that I have been ballet concert sewing for 10+ years now and its a huge part of my October-December year, and what has been a labour of love and was initially something I loved doing – the creativity, the pretties, the kids etc – is now a bit of a burden. Over the last couple of years I have been sending more and more groups to the local seamstress in hopes that I would enjoy what I agree to take on, a bit more. Someone said to me, “why don’t you take a sewing vacation this year? At least you’ll know if you actually want to even do this anymore”

      Anyway, recently my daughter had her School Ball (prom) and when we were at the planning stage I was talking to another ballet mum who is a very competent sewer and also had a daughter needing a ball gown, and I found myself saying “I’d rather work an extra couple of shifts and pay someone to make it, than sew it myself” to which she said she was very happy to hear that because that was how she felt too, and she said something along the lines of she used to love sewing but she doesn’t get the enjoyment out of it that she used to and she thinks its time to look for a new creative outlet.

      So I got to thinking, if I could picture my sewing as an item, it would be tired and well used looking, and it would likely get decluttered. So I’m giving myself a sewing vacation for the next three months at least. Courtney needs some comp costumes but I’m using the local seamstress who made Dayna’s ball gown and although it grates a little bit to pay someone to do what I could do, I’m not missing the actual craft/work.

      Deb J – I’d be interested to hear your take on this, it sounds like we’re in a similar spot.

      • Moni, by George you’ve got it! Yes, I am tired of the whole thing. I have been making all of our cards for about 12 years. We have a bunch of friends we keep up with and we always send birthday and anniversary cards. Most of them Don’t send to us. So, I’m thinking I may do what you said and just put it all away and take a vacation from it. I have to think about it a while. I’m in charge of the card ministry at church-every adult at church gets a card every quarter. We have been sending out ones we designed and printed on our color copier. We have done that for a year and I’m tired of those too. I may start using these I have done instead. It’s one way to clear out the mess.

        I would be like you about the dancing costumes. I’d really be over it. I think that a big part of the issue is that as you have decluttered you have found that there are things that are really important to you and you want to rid yourself of the rest. I know that is how I feel. I have less and less energy and it takes me more and more time to do things. I want my time to be well spent and I am not thinking making cards is spending time well.

        Thanks for asking me about this because you have helped me get my head straight on this. I need to do some culling of my card list, etc.

        • Deb J – I actually wrote a reply, but the internet is a bit unstable today and it disappeared, but the epiphany that I had while writing it is this: we both have hobbies that no longer interest us. What a waste of time. What I realised was that sewing for ballet pushed another (by then dull) hobby out of my life, but I didn’t actually sign up for life. Time to phase these out of our lives.

          • You are so right. I just sat here and changed all but a few birthday/anniversary cards to emails. It felt soooo good.

        • Deb J – I’m glad. I know I’m happy to received “Happy whatevers” by e-mail and text, actually I prefer as I don’t have to feel bad about throwing it out, especially if it is pretty.
          So yes, give yourself a ‘card vacation’!!!!
          Is there a community centre attached to your church? If you find you really like this card vacation and the church wants to continue with the card ministry, perhaps the whole operation could be relocated to the community centre, and you could claim a tax refund on donated goods on the paper, card etc. (We don’t have that option in New Zealand and I’m quite envious). I know I’m getting ahead of things hear, but I just took my lunch break and was thinking about our ‘vacations’ looking all happy and starry eyed.

          • I’ve been really happy to be on quilting break. I’m probably on quilting break at least twice as often as I am not on break, but it kinda works for me.

        • Hi Deb J! I think you should let others handle the cards at your church at least partially. It sounds like a lot of work and it might be better anyway if there were more people working on that task, as it’s always hard for one person alone to keep producing good ideas and keep up motivation for a length of time, but if many are involved it often is just little work for each person and so it is a welcome change for everyone instead of a daunting task for one.

          However on another note: did you check the card section at your local thrift store? I know that ours always has a stack of nice cards which they sell quite cheaply. Actually I like it that there are really vintage greeting cards with flower prints as well as rather up-to-date ones. They have many blank cards in store as well – and at least in our thrift shop I also often see cards with some bible verse or so on them, too.
          This might be an option for not having to make all of them, not having to buy them expensively and maybe even supporting a charity cause (of the thrift shop) which might appeal to your church members as well.

          • Oh, sorry, Deb J, I got that wrong. Yes, send out some of your 300 cards to your church members first! You can always make or buy other cards and as much as I like a hand made card, I think more important about a card is that there is one at all and that there are nice, heartfelt words in it – I wouldn’t mind a blank paper slip either and I think, most people think the same. So, if you like caring for others by writing to them, get rid of the mental clutter of having to make elabourate cards and rather keep your mind fresh, so that you actually look forward to the writing part and are able to really think and care for the receiver while writing instead of worrying about the card itself or how many more you need to write to reduce your stack.

      • HI everyone! I wanted you to all know that I am having a great time changing things. Today I am going through all of the cards already made and will be choosing the ones I can use for the church ministry. We have 7 people who actually write the cards (including me) but I am the one who coordinates it. We have a graphic artist at church who helps design the cards but we are all getting a bit tired of the ones we are using so are ready to move on. We have had about 5 different changes in design over the years.

        Sanna, we used to buy the note cards from the Dollar Tree store but making them ourselves was so much cheaper. These I have made I will donate. That will be nice because we will only have to pay postage. A savings for the church for a year.

        • Hi Deb J,
          Was thinking along the lines as Moni suggested to you. It’s a shame sometimes but sometimes you just have to change for your own better!! If something that was enjoyable becomes a chore then it is time to move on and find enjoyment elsewhere. Have fun !! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Deb J, I get that way with my craft clutter as well sometimes. I call it craft clutter because for the most part that is what it is. I have so much yet I use so little these days. So like you it is probably time I sent even more on its way.

      • Colleen, it has taken me a while to get to this point. I think it’s been the driving force behind my craft decluttering but it has taken me awhile for my heart to catch up to what my mind knew (or maybe the other way around).

        • Hi Deb, that is the beauty of taking your time and not trying to rush things. It all ends up happening just when you are ready.

          • I wiped out almost one big full drawer and 2 smaller drawers of things today. Some will be going to other scrapbookers and a bunch of cards is going to the church ministry. Feels so good. I would have bundled up more for the card ministry but they are ones that will take extra postage. Don’t need that.

          • Well done Deb J. I must allot some time to take another sweep through my craft area this coming week. Not today though. I is Saturday, my lazy day.

          • Colleen, I just finished using up some more bits and pieces and the rest is going to a friend who makes and sells cards. I’m done. The supplies that haven’t been used are being given away. I only have about 4 drawers (13X13X2) left. YES!!!!

  4. This method is by far the most effective for me!
    It works very well for preventing me from buying new items as well.
    And it even keeps me from getting too many “storage solutions”. If the amount of space is pre-defined, then I am not tempted to just make more space with more shelves, cupboards, baskets, etc.

    Love-it, Use-it, Respect-it AND Make-sure-it-fits are all prerequisites for my new less cluttered life.

    • Good strategies Creative Me!

    • Creative Me, I understand your thinking about having a defined space means you don’t go buying storage solutions. I think that many times people buy storage solutions rather than declutter and that is backwards. I was that way for a while because I had the money and I think I even had a little bit of pride that I had so much. I’m glad I finally see the truth.

  5. I also do this in our home. It goes along with “A Place for Everything and Everything in it’s Place” It is easy to tell if you have more than you need when things are kept where they belong. If they are all over the house or if you have them in several places, it is easy not to be able to keep track of things.

  6. The older I get, it seems like it gets harder to reach those upper shelves. A year or so ago I took everything out of them, put onto lower shelves what we use all the time, then got rid of, or stored with our occasional use things downstairs, the other items.

    I actually have some empty cupboards in my kitchen, and I like it.

    • I know how you feel Becky. I have some empty cupboards in my kitchen too and I like it.

    • I wish I could get this across to my Mom. She seems to think an empty cupboard needs to be filled. NOT!!

      • Oh Deb J,
        I think maybe your Mum and my Mum are long lost sisters!! hahaha my Mum likes a cupboard to be full!!! The last time she was here and noticed that I had one empty cupboard, she asked me what it was for. I told her it’s ‘My cupboard that holds everything I DON’T BUY’ !!!! “Ok” she said “Point taken” !! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Dizzy, love that description, “It’s the cupboard that holds everything I didn’t buy.” I’m working towards getting rid of 4 pieces of furniture. I’m gradually cleaning them out. I will need to get something to replace 3 pieces but they will hold everything we actually NEED from the 4 pieces. I can’t wait. I’m thinking I might be able to do a trade with a friend of mine for the two pieces I want.

          • Deb J I’m so happy for you, sounds like you’ll soon have only what you want and love left. I have a coffee table that I will part with at some stage. For now it’s great for the coffee cups and biccie tray when people are here, but at times I look at it and want to throw it out the door. It’s lovely but it’s time in my home is just about up!!

            Good luck with the rest of your de-cluttering ! 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Dizzy, hope that coffee table soon goes. Isn’t it great to look at something and know it’s time is limited? I love it.

  7. Just made some custom cases for 2 small size pillows and was surprised how much yardage it took. Means I need to donate some more material which would be too small for my current usual projects , but was accumulated when I thought I would quilt someday. I had been wanting to shrink the volume so now I think I can do it by keeping only fairly large yardage. Also want to shrink the volume of our office supplies. They are stored several places, so need to get them together to see what is unnecessary. The only shortage we all seem to have is time, isn’t it.

  8. Colleen – this is a good rule of thumb system – if it doesn’t all fit in the designated area, its too much. Wish I’d thought of that back when I solved the problem by bringing in two storage cabinets, adding more furniture, building the ceiling storage area, buying storage bins etc.

    I’m on the prowl at the moment for items of a similar nature that live in more than one location around the house – an example is the other day I mentioned here that the warranties and instruction manuals had three different locations around the house. Once they were all back together I realised they wouldn’t all fit in the ‘official’ spot, and so I had a bit sort out.

    There are a couple of things in the ceiling storage that should live in the designated area in the house, and so I will repeat the exercise with those items. One is flannelette sheets. We didn’t use them last Winter because Adrian liked our new Egyptian Cotton sheets so much and when I suggested giving them away last Summer he said the reason that we didn’t use them was because they were stored up in the ceiling. So I’m going to bring one set down, make room for it in the linen cupboard and see if they get used. If they don’t they will leave in Spring.

    • Hi Moni ~ It sounds like a good plan with those sheets. I asked my husband about flennelette sheets just yesterday. I can’t remember us ever owning any. He had asked why we didn’t have any a while back. He didn’t want any, so it beats me why he mentioned it.

      • Colleen, what is it with sheets this week. One pr went to the rag bag, final straw, caught on the screw housing for the foldable line outside, rather windy day, dried them nicely but torn to shreds hahaha. I relented and thought I will go and get some new sheets, but they have to be half decent thread count, so over low counts, if possible, all cotton if price is reasonable, and no more funky colours or patterns, OVER THAT TOO!!! Checked out Target, they had a sale of sorts on. I found 500 thread count sheet sets for $15 and $10. At the back of the store on the clearance tables, Heaps and heaps of white, pale grey, cream and pale blue (almost icy white it was so pale). I asked the girl why they were so cheap, thinking they were missing p/cases or a sheet, whatever. I was told there was nothing wrong, packs were all intact, they just weren’t selling as fast as deep coloured and funky patterned stuff ‘WHAT THE’. I confess, I bought us 2 sets each and I got my niece 2 sets for her engagement and a set for a house warming gift for our friends. I love plain white crisp sheets so I am a happy clam. If I had purchased them at normal price I would have spent a fortune. Thankfully I didn’t, I got a great worthwhile bargain and the animal shelter can make use of all my castoffs.

        I feel happy that I have new sheets, they weren’t expensive, they are what I wanted and they will fit in my linen cupboard no problem. Kinda wondering how all the funky sheet people sleep at night with jarring patterns and colours?????? 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Sorry to hear about your sheet shredding clothes line. And I thought it was bad when occasionally an insect poops on my stuff.

          I also like the plain pale colours when it comes to sheets. I have mostly cream. The double bed however has dark red, Liam’s choice at the time. And 400 to 500 thread count is best in my opinion. I have heard that in our climate anything above 500 thread count don’t breath enough and can be too hot.

    • Moni, you have a great idea. We used to have flannelette sheets. We moved here to this mostly warm climate and they were put in the linen closet. And stayed there and stayed there. Finally I mentioned to Mom that we don’t use them as it is too warm here and that we should pass them along to people who have cabins up in the mountains. Well, that was a good thought to her and out they went. Happy Dance!!

  9. I have found this method, setting a specific space allocation, has helped me tremendously over the past year. In our current home, we have more than ample space in it with lots of cupboards and closets. I make sure that almost nothing goes onto the very top shelves of cupboards due to my lack of height and in some of my cabinets I only use one shelf or none at all. I have many drawers that are empty, too. In my linen closet, I only use two of the shelves. I even have a couple of closets that are empty. I have really benefited from limiting my space. I know the amounts of things that I have and it helps me to make sure that they are being used. When setting limits that are reasonable and not excessive, it certainly helps me with my decluttering goals. Now that I no longer have uniforms, my clothes closet has lots of room :).

    • Jen, I bet this feels good too. I love looking at my closet and seeing lots of empty space or looking at a book case that has empty areas, etc. We still have way too much. I was taking pictures of everything for the house inventory and thought “We need to get rid of more.” Those pictures really helped me see how far we still have to go.

      • It does feel good, Deb J! I have not taken pictures but it is a great idea. Although you may think about how much more you need to get rid of, remember how far you have come too and rejoice in that. I know pretty much what my problem areas are. I have mentioned it before, but I have too many paper products (articles, magazines, etc.). I really think it is just time to be done with it already and move on. I still do not like the amount of books that I have either. I have let go of many of them but I need to get more ruthless in that department too. Other than those two problem areas, I am pretty content but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more that could be considered :).

        • Paper products and books. We seem to have the same areas. I just keep chanting “It will get there” to myself.

          • That’s right, Deb J! Perseverance and patience. I will keep pressing on until I reach the point that my home is what I envision it to be.

  10. I do like the concept space allocation.
    Cheers

  11. Am enjoying reading everyone’s comments!

    I use this method of decluttering most of the time, but since we’ve moved into a bigger house, with less storage (especially NO bookshelves) or shelves for my craft stuff, I have to actually BUY storage (wicker baskets from the op shop are my favourite for craft stuff, and we’re looking at getting built-in bookshelves made. At least it’s making me think twice before bringing any more books/materials into the house, knowing that they will temporarily end up in piles on the floor, sigh.

    • Ah Loretta, here is where you get to look over everything again and say, “Do we really need to build/buy storage for this?” I think my mother will have a fainting spell when I tell her I have more storage pieces I want to clean out and declutter.

      • Deb, I’ve already gotten rid of 1/2 our book collection, so we are down to around 1,300 titles (I catalogued them all on LibraryThing, once a librarian, always a librarian!) and they are all books no one wants to part with. I no longer buy fiction as I get all I need from the library, and I’ve stopped buying books for the kids unless they specifically request something (so no books *I* think they should read, which they never do!) As for material/craft stuff, I don’t have very much and it is all earmarked for various projects this winter:-)

        • Loretta, I remember the days when I had 1000’s of books. I sold a huge amount of them to pay for a year of college. I haven’t let myself collect that many again but I still could get rid of some. If my mother had a Kindle we would get rid of them all and have them on that. I already have 100’s that I have gotten free so we could share them if she had a Kindle too.

    • Hi Loretta, I would also limit those bookshelves to a certain size and space. And on the subject of build in book shelves, when attending open houses with the intent to buy we occasionally happen upon a property with built in bookcases. My first thought is always ‘What am I going to do with that?’. Probably the solution for me would be to put glass doors on them so whatever got put there wouldn’t collect dust.

      • We hope to be in this house for a long time so I’m not worried about resale 🙂 Yes, the bookshelves will definitely limit how much I can shelve, but it will free up other pieces of furniture which I’m currently using. For example, I have a lovely wooden sideboard shelf filled with books which could be better used as shoe storage in the hallway.

  12. I think this is one of the best incentives to declutter. I also like that it is so flexible. You can set a rather big goal that forces you to cut your stuff by two thirds, but you can also set your space limit so that it allows all your things to find place in there and only prevents accumulating more. And of course anything in between as well!

  13. Hi everyone,

    I just discovered this blog today and happened upon on your “space allocation” method Colleen.

    I thought it was worth commenting on and sharing my experience because we are currently downsizing from a 3 bedroom house to a friend’s shed, all in preparation for moving (voluntarily) into an 18 foot caravan!

    So, you see, the ‘space allocation’ method is pretty much driving all of our decluttering at the moment! But i have to say how effective it is. For example, i had been decluttering my clothes for quite some time in readiness for our move, and thought i was doing well. But after having seen just how much space was not available it was clear i had to do more. However, it became so much easier for me to leave even more behind because i had that space quota allocated and that was that!.

    The other component that helps the process for me is ‘the maybe pile’. Essentially, instead of doing a straight ‘no’ i allow myself to say ‘maybe’ and put it away somwehere for a particular amount of time. For example, you might box up some items, label it with a date and put it away in the shed for 12 months. Then if you haven’t come back for an item within the chosen time frame, you let it go permanently. It’s much easier to say ‘maybe’, and if you aren’t using it, there isn’t any justification for keeping it anymore 🙂

    Happy decluttering!

    • Hi Mel and welcome to 365 Less Things. I take it you are going to start travelling, good for you. I am curious as to your age group, family situation and where you are from. The space allocation method is definitely a must for you. But oh how feeing it must feel to almost have no choice but to let the stuff go.

      This second method you use is commonly known here now as The Trial Separation Method. Also another great way to determine how much you really need certain things. I instigated a task which combined both of these methods recently. I wanted my socks to fit into a smaller drawer in our dresser so my husband could use the larger drawer for his socks. I decided to move all of my socks to a basket in my closet and only take out a pair when I wanted to wear them. After about two weeks I decided that I was tired of seeing the basket in my closet and simply ruthlessly culled all those that I knew I didn’t use much until what was left fit in the drawer. I think it is safe to say that I didn’t really need much of a trial separation to determine that space allocation was more important to me.

      Thank you for sharing your story and I hope we will hear more from you in the future.
      Cheers Colleen

  14. I like your thinking. This sounds like a great strategy, and I can definitely see us using it.

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