Out with the old, Part 2


In January’s first blog, we looked at making and keeping traditional New Year’s resolutions.

Usually, people make resolutions because they want to change some thing or things in their lives.

They are unhappy with something OR they want to achieve something … or both.

The idea of change often comes bundled with the thought, “Out with the old and in with the new!”

Of course, when it comes to getting and staying organized, that phrase is a bit troubling.

Not that I find anything wrong with letting things go!

You’ll never hear me argue about immediately getting rid of the unrepairable, worn out or obsolete stuff—the obvious clutter.

But along with that impulse to just trash the “low hanging fruit” of clutter, there’s also often a promise made that “this”—meaning the clutter—will never happen again.

That’s where “in with the new” becomes problematic.

When changing behavior, swapping out a useless or destructive choice for a stronger choice more in alignment with our core values makes great sense.

When dealing with clutter, getting to “stuff equilibrium” is actually the goal.

Having enough of everything that serves you and nothing that doesn’t is where you want to be.

If you currently have clutter, you’re going to need to do a lot more letting go (out with the old) than swapping (in with the new) if you’re going to achieve stuff equilibrium.

And as anyone who struggles with sentimental attachment to objects knows, “out with the old” isn’t always the solution.

Curating your belongings is a better solution.

I have plenty of “old” things that I don’t want to get rid of.

Some of them have sentimental meaning and others just work. Like my toaster.

So when it comes to stuff, it isn’t the age of the object that makes it a target for decluttering—it’s whether the object still provides comfort, convenience or beauty.


Avoid cliches like “out with the old, in the with new,” when organizing. Focus on achieving stuff equilibrium and getting to zero clutter before you start to bring anything else in that isn’t easily consumable, like groceries or toilet paper.

That way you’ll never accumulate more—once you get to stuff equilibrium, you’ll just be swapping out things that are broken or that you’re finished with and replacing them rather than augmenting.

For anyone who has too much stuff, more stuff even if it’s different stuff, will never be the answer.


Tweet out your commitment to achieving stuff equilibrium by releasing one thing that no longer provides comfort, convenience or beauty: hashtag #amiorganized #orgtriangle

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