Touch Everything

Handle each of your belongings

One of the things I particularly like about Marie Kondo's approach is her insistence that you touch each of your possessions as you declutter.

So many of us have well-organized homes, with extensive storage solutions.  Some are even carefully styled and color-coordinated.  We think, "Look how neat and tidy my home is.  Look how attractive my clothes closet/pantry/linen closet looks!  I don't have a clutter problem!"

But when confronted with the challenge of actually touching each and every thing we own, we balk.  We panic.  We feel overwhelmed with the impossibility of handling every item.

Some studies show that the average American home contains 300,000 objects, from serving spoons to sofas.  That's 300,000 items to hold and evaluate.  To decide "Do I need or want to keep and use this, or should I donate, sell, or discard it?  Is this the optimum place to store it, if I am going to keep it?  Is it easy to access and put away again?"

If your first thought is a sinking feeling that you just have too much stuff to go through the effort of putting your hands on each individual item, then you simply have too much stuff, and need this process even more.

If nothing else, the sheer volume of your possessions may convince you that you can and need to stop shopping.  It should convince you that you can stop worrying about hanging on to things "just in case," because you have plenty.  You might even realize that all of your mementos and collections are a jumble in your mind, unable to get attention, inspire memories, or give you any enjoyment because there's so much you never even notice any more.  Too much is buried in a box, stuffed on a shelf, or covered by a jumble.

So go ahead.  Touch everything.  Decide what to keep and where to store it.  And do everything you can to add things to your "remove it" pile.

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash


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