Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Retail Queen's Quest for Living Simply

Recently my parents were cleaning their basement and came across a journal I kept when I was about 9 years old. There was one entry that I came across that described in great detail the type of closet I wanted when I was all grown up. "It will be big enough to hold my thousands of pairs of shoes and purses" and house a Jacuzzi as well.  As a 9 year old little girl the mere thought of having so much "stuff" meant I would be happiest girl in the world. Even as a child one thing was clear, I loved to shop. This love of shopping manifested itself into my many years of countless retail jobs. I spent almost an entire decade helping thousands of women make countless wardrobe decisions from the dress to the shoes to the jewelry. The irony of it all? Years later I'm helping them make decisions on which clothing, shoes and accessories to throw away. Why the sudden change of heart?

One of the most interesting things that has happened on my journey to becoming a professional organizer is that I've had time to reflect on certain characteristics about myself as I de-clutter the lives of others. One of my main goals is to help others rid themselves of the things in their surroundings that are not useful or necessary. This in turn creates a more calming and peaceful environment that holds true value. I decided to begin to embrace that concept on my own terms and make steps toward living more simple. The concept means something different to everyone. Living simple has to be applied to your life in ways it will benefit your individual needs. I came up with some steps I'm taking to begin my own de-cluttering process. As it turns out it is much easier said than done. Women love options in there closet! I've always held fast to the notion that if I purchased one pair of shoes I loved, then I certainly need them in at least five more colors! It is truly a hard habit to break, but becoming more aware of what's important and taking the steps to surround yourself with that which holds value is a journey worth taking. My attempt to living simply begins here with 7 simple steps ~

  • Realize what enough means. It's unfortunate today's society creates the falsehood that you can never have enough, but deciding for yourself when to turn that button off is up to you.
  • Buy quality not quantity. Quality is important, and yes you pay more, but I've realized having a bag or a pair of shoes that lasts years is far better than having to replace it every few months.
  • Choose the items that are most important to you and rid yourself of the things that aren't. Rule of thumb for clothing is if you haven't worn it last season, toss it! It's taking up space. 
  • When you are shopping ask yourself before you make your way to the counter if you really need it. I've had many conversations with myself in stores and end up walking away with a lighter closet and with a heavier wallet. 
  • Shopping can become a habit, but all habits can be broken. If you are looking for some "me" time instead of retail therapy try going for a walk, reading a book or just grabbing dinner with a friend.
  • Go through any rooms in your home that feel cluttered or drain your energy and start purging items you have no use for. Instead of running out to replace them, enjoy the freed up space! 
  • Put advertising to a halt. I love my Life and Style and In Style mags just as much as the next girl, the problem? I want to buy everything in them! If you don't read about it you won't want it.
I'll always love to shop, and probably will never not get excited when I receive my Nordstrom half yearly sale post cards in the mail. The lessons I have learned however, since my childhood dreams of becoming the woman with the most shoes, is that "things" do not buy us happiness and the best thing in life are free.

Comments? Questions? Feel free to post! Don't forget to follow me on twitter for more organizing essentials, or like this on facebook!


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