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December 1, 2016

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Choose Wisely What You Will Store

July 1, 2016


As we reflect on our patriotic heroes this month, I am reminded of the contrast between military and civilian families, specifically about how little they “need” to survive. All their worldly possessions will fit in a foot locker at the end of their bunk. Growing up with a life of frequent moves will force you to purge regularly and prevent accumulating too much.


It has happened to many of us – we settle down, live in one house for 30 years and fill it up. Years ago, a client told me she was going to move – that is, move everything into her FRONT YARD. Then, move back into her house the stuff she needed and have a yard sale with what was left.  The funny thing to me is this is what they do on TV now – she was ahead of her time! 


How true it is that the longer we stay someplace, the more we accumulate. Moving day is a time of cleaning out – the more we have, the more we have to move. Moving also reveals the volume we keep – it can be very eye-opening. 


We all have too much; even the organized need to evaluate. It’s been a while since I’ve moved. Recently, my husband surprised me with a birthday present I had requested – a session with a fashion stylist. It was a real-life version of What Not to Wear in my own closet. My husband would hear me saying, “I have nothing to wear” with a closet full of clothes! I realize now I really should have been saying, “I have nothing I want to wear!” 


I knew I had clothes I didn’t wear, but it was difficult to determine what I should keep.  Having a professional tell me something was out of style and never coming back made it easy to discard those items just taking up valuable space. 


It taught me how to make good decisions about the pieces I do keep. If we store only what we will wear or use, we won’t keep as much. Pareto’s Principle tells us we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. So, if we aren’t wearing the 80% in our closet, why do we keep it? 


I did – because I didn’t know what to wear and that is what I had. Besides, something was better than nothing, which was never an option! However, now I am able to make wise choices as I purchase. 


So, imagine yourself a military family, just receiving a transfer – could you pick up and move? How much are you storing? Anything you don’t wear or use?


Choose today what you will store, and choose wisely.