My tidying hack

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Last year I upped my decluttering/minimalism game by reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’ve given some thought to the lessons I learned from the book and from my own experience of getting rid of stuff and I was reminded of one of my key lessons recently by a Happier podcast. Each podcast episode of Happier includes a “Try This At Home” feature and in this episode it was “get rid of it as soon as it becomes useless”. As it relates to my own experience with minimizing and getting rid of stuff, here is my lesson: get rid of the storage containers when you get rid of the stuff inside!

It had never occurred to me before to get rid of my nice wicker baskets, storage cubes, or under-bed containers before. Sure, I had emptied them of stuff plenty of times. But by keeping them around I was only inviting more stuff to find it’s way into the containers again. Instead, now when I declutter and find myself with an empty container, I give it away as soon as it’s empty. I’m no longer looking for stuff to put into them and I’m reminding myself that I have enough stuff. If I add more stuff, I need to buy more containers and it’s very hard to do that when you know you just gave some away. It seems like a waste of money! I can’t tell you how much this made a difference in keeping my spaces permanently cleaner and my mindset on minimalism.

Storage containers cost money and it’s hard to give them away. They promise to hide your stuff, to give everything a home, to make everything seem organized. But nothing is better for organization than getting rid of stuff, and that includes storage containers.