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How much is too much?

As I was decluttering I was thinking back to how much money and time I have wasted on buying things for my children that they didn't need or want. For instance, I have purchased way too many cute dresses for my girls when they were younger, dresses that they outgrew before they even had a chance to wear them!

Most people myself included, have way more stuff than they actually need. It is said we should be able to live comfortably with about 300 items and that includes clothing, gadgets, grooming etc. yet most Americans (I am pretty sure Canadians will be no different) have over 300,000 items in their homes (stats Los Angeles Times). Did you know whopping 65 lbs of clothing gets thrown away annually according to the Huffington Post? Shocking I know!!

I have been trying really hard for the last few years to minimize the items I purchase for myself and for the home. How many dishtowels do I need? Or how many pairs of socks or cardigans can one wear? Don't even get me started on black t-shirts or black anything in general. Do I really need to have 4 pairs of black pumps? Okay, maybe shoes, yes you need 4 pairs of those, the girl still got to be able to play dress-up once in a while!


'A few years ago I implemented a few goals for myself to get a better understanding of what I use and what I don't. Here is what I did and still do for the most part:

  1. Turned all the hangers in my closet the wrong way. This helped me figure out the items I was actually wearing and which ones were just taking up space. After a few months, I took all the ones I hadn't touched and donated them without giving them a second thought. A similar trick I used in the drawers, I placed little sticky notes on the -shirts. Those that were worn obviously had the notes removed and the ones with notes in them meant I didn't need them and it was my cue to get rid of those items as they weren't serving any purpose by taking up space in the drawer.

  2. Buy 1 donate 1. This helped me to keep order in the closet and drawers so they didn't come overfilled to point of bursting. This habit has really helped me be aware of what I am buying.

  3. Another trick I use is to ask myself, 'does it bring me joy?' (I know straight out of Marie Kondo's book) Do I feel fabulous in it or does it evoke certain feelings that bring me down? If it brings me joy it stays otherwise out it goes.

It is difficult to part with some items but sometimes you just have to look at the bigger picture, look at all the space you are going to gain and the closet will be able to breathe again. Marie Kondo, in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up suggests that we ask ourselves "What do I want to keep?" Instead of asking "What do I want to get rid of?" This thought process makes decision-making a bit easier.

What are some of your tips and tricks that you use to keep order in the closet and prevent filling up the landfills?