Have you ever felt that we live in a time of constant change, yet some things never change? Conversations around the challenges of overflowing closets, cramped living spaces and clutter could be the same conversation our parents had 20 years ago. The same problem exists today. We have stuff that we’re attached to for emotional and practical reasons, yet when is enough enough?

  • Duplicates. Three ladders, eight sets of sheets and 13 thermal cups in 13 gorgeous colors. All of this drains you of time and energy because it all has to be cleaned, stored, organized and moved from time to time. Pare down the excess.
  • Kitchen items. With limited cabinet space, take into consideration the expense of purchasing and storing appliances with one purpose like a pasta maker, bread machine and ice cream maker. Determine how you cook and look for multi-purpose appliances like an instant pot which takes the place of at least four other things. Also, consider the space needed to store items when buying in bulk. If you have no room to keep a gallon of olive oil, then don’t buy it. You’ll pay the price either way, in space or money.
  • Impulses. Have you ever bought something or acquired it from Grandma, brought it home, and then asked yourself why? Sometimes we look at the immediate gratification while losing sight of the long-term repercussions. Step back and take a breath next time a Fourth of July T-shirt is on clearance. Consider the space to store it for 364 days in order to look cute for one day a year from now.
  • Visual and mental clutter. Think about a garage sale. You probably spent many weeks going through cabinets of dishes, undoing boxes that were marked “just in case,” washing and folding clothes no one can fit into, and then pricing the things that still had the original price tag attached. Nothing feels as good as when you pull things from your home that you’re no longer using or loving and giving it a new home by donating or selling it.

Time, space, energy and money—consider these four things when thinking about the over-abundance of things in your life. Do you have time to care for it and clean it? Where are you going to put it? Do you have the energy to look at it each day and to use it? Is it worth the money to store it? Save the money (and time, space, and energy) and go take a vacation. Just don’t bring home a snow globe to sit on the mantle that ends up in next year’s garage sale. It’s that simple.