Monday, July 26, 2010

Count and de-clutter

Sometimes when we accumulate a lot of stuff we get so used to seeing it that it doesn't seem like a lot anymore. We only notice our things when they start really getting in the way. Give yourself a wake-up call with this simple exercise. Let's say you're getting tired of having no place to put your books because your shelves are all filled, or the jar of kitchen utensils near the stove is jam packed. Take a moment and count how many you have of the item. Just count them. Do you have five wooden spoons? 12? 19? 30? How many can you use at one time? Maybe three if you're cooking something complicated. Pick your three favorites and let go of the rest.

Counting something like books takes longer, but it's an eye opener to realize you have hundreds, perhaps thousands of volumes. Are they all really serving your life?

Creative Commons photo posted to Flickr by cogdogblog

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email


  1. Couldn't agree with you more. Before I began my Home Staging/Design business I worked as a Professional Organizer and one of the things I kept seeing were homes filled with duplicates of everything, not just clutter itself.

    In order to simplify, you needto get rid of duplicates. Most people I know have 5+ white or black cotton tees.

    Love your tweets, myfirst time vising your blog. :)

    If you pop by mine I'm hosting a stationery giveaway HERE:

  2. Thanks for visiting, Karla! Duplicates are a really common source of clutter, and easy to let go of once you realize you have so many of the same thing.

  3. I counted my wooden spoons after reading this post. 11. I am giving 6 away tomorrow. A start.

  4. Wow, Lena, that's an astoundingly literal interpretation of my blog post. I'm impressed. Thanks for sharing!