Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone on a trash bag spree.
You feel like your stuff is closing in on you, growing at a threatening rate like an alien baby, so you swing big and throw everything out. No mercy.
Closets and clutter feel under control, and you can breathe again. Finally… peace!
And then six months later, you’re doing it again, wielding another trash bag like a weapon.
So often, we have an all-or-nothing approach to our space: live in a tiny house with only thirty personal items or let entropy take its course and see if we can at least get on Hoarders.
There is a middle ground, and luckily, it’s a principle that applies to every person and every home: put everything in its place.
When your stuff doesn’t have a place, it feels like junk because you store it like junk, eventually throwing it out like it’s junk. But your stuff probably isn’t junk! It just needs to be put in its place.
Which means everything needs a place.
If you look at your house as finite (which it is) and the storage systems inside its walls as finite (which they are), the limits are built-in. You only have so many places to put your stuff.
However, when everything is in random stacks and crammed in a variety of catch-all baskets, you’re not giving it a real place where you can find it again.
And now we’re back to clutter and trash bag sprees and tiny home dreams.
Clutter might not have much to do with what you have but more where it goes. Use your given limits, prioritize a place for the most important things, and eventually you’ll see what doesn’t belong in your home simply because it doesn’t have a place to land.
For example, I own an enormous number of books because books matter to me. If I style my bookshelves with more than books like I’ve seen in all the beautiful magazine spreads, the result is pretty but useless. The trinkets and vases take space from my actual books, which matter to me far more than a styled bookshelf does. Guess what? No more decorative trinkets for bookshelves because they don’t matter and therefore don’t need a place.
Put everything in its place and live within the physical limits of your home, no matter its size or storage, and your home will eventually be at peace and hold what matters most.
About the Author: Kendra Adachi went to college to become a high school English teacher but instead became The Lazy Genius, passionately and candidly sharing how to stop doing it all for the sake of doing what matters. Her work includes her book, The Lazy Genius Way, hosting The Lazy Genius Podcast, cooking dinner on Instagram, and convincing her three young kids that talking into the phone is Mommy’s job.