THE CLUTTER CATEGORIES
Your clutter says a lot about what’s going on in your life, both externally and internally. While everyone’s situation is unique, I’ve found that most people with too much stuff fall into general categories: The Collector, The Inheritor, The Parent, The Shopper, The Scout, The Historian, or The Hostess.
#5 THE SCOUT
If your garage shelves, closet floor, and underbed storage are filled with food, water, and toilet paper, and “Be Prepared” is your life motto, then your clutter category might be The Scout.
While the motivation behind preparedness and stockpiling ranges from self-reliance, distrust of the government, climate change, or economic collapse, the immediate result for many people is a living space that has lost its peaceful and productive vibe. Having a basic supply of food, water, and other essentials can be helpful in the case of an emergency and is a healthy and productive behavior.
Scouts also tend to accumulate other less-useful things like small appliances (in case one breaks), furniture (someone can use it), and clothes in every size (in case someone gains/loses weight). Building materials for future projects, gardening tools and pots, and kitchenware – anything you collect to face an unknown future can take up all your storage and/or living space for the here and now.
How does a Scout declutter? Start small and purge anything that has an expiration date. If items are out-of-date, discard them or donate them to an organization or charity that can distribute or use them quickly.
If your stash of supplies isn’t made up of consumables, then your container should be your guide. If the spare bedroom closet is where you store paper goods, then once it’s full, don’t let it overflow your space. The same goes for under-bed storage. If you’ve converted the whole spare bedroom or the garage into storage space for just-in-case-stuff, use efficient storage that allows you to easily access your items and manage inventory.
While duplicates can be helpful, your inner peace won’t be fulfilled with multiples, but in trusting that you’ve done your best with what you know and what you have.
As a professional organizer, my goal is to help people have peaceful and efficient living environments and the Scout is no exception. Find the balance between you and your family living your best life today and preparing for an unknown future by prioritizing space for both.