This post was originally written in February 2015.
No, I’m not pregnant with twins or more. I’m talking about multiples of our things. Francine Jay, in her book The Joy of Less, says, “As your sort through your items, stop and question each one headed for your Treasure pile…make sure it has a good reason for being part of your household.” Last summer when I was going through some of the kids craft and school supplies, I found seven pairs of kid scissors. SEVEN! I have TWO kids! Why on earth would we need seven pairs of scissors? The answer is we don’t. They snuck their way into our lives and home in cute little craft sets or as well-meaning gifts for which I am thankful. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever bought a pair of scissors, so thank you to whoever gave them to us (Mom :-)). We currently homeschool, so we certainly have a need for scissors, but not seven. So all but two pairs were given away. We could have survived with one pair of kid scissors, but decided to keep two for those times when we are all working on a project.
Whether scissors, spatulas, nail clippers, tape dispensers, or what have you, a quick and easy minimizing project is to rid yourself of doubles. Office supplies might be the most guilty category so you could start there.
A huge help to keep from buying doubles to begin with is having a place for everything and keeping it there. How many times have we bought another whatever because we cannot find the one we KNOW we have. I know I’ve done it countless times. I’ll keep picking on the scissors. For example, instead of the scissors maybe being in the junk drawer, or craft tub, or sewing kit, just keep them in the desk drawer and everyone knows that’s where it belongs. When you’re finished, put them back. It seems simple, but I know how prone I am to leave things with the last thing I was working on.
Just last night Andrei brought home a new white board eraser and some markers. What did I do? Instead of immediately throwing out the old, ruined eraser I put it on the kids easel. Then I realized that I ONLY NEED ONE and quickly tossed it. Going on two years and I still occasionally revert to the “But what if I need it someday” or “its okay to keep the old one for such and such reason.” But the lightness and peace that comes from getting rid of things is better than having multiples of the same item hanging around.