Quality over Quantity

Posted By on February 28, 2011

One of the tenets of my organizing belief system is “quality over quantity.”

He or she who has the most toys is not the winner.

I’ve seen it time and time again in my organizing work and even long before I became an organizer.

Waste not, want not

One of my friends was always on the hunt for the perfect pair of black flats. She had at least 50 of them in her closet – all variations of the black flat, and when we went shopping, I would ask her, “Don’t you have some like that?” I’m sure that annoyed her, but she always had a reason why THIS pair was different.

As you can imagine, many never saw the daylight outside of her closet.

I’ve had clients who have a vanity full of make-up, moisturizers and hairsprays. Talk about searching for “hope in a jar.” They didn’t even use half of what they had but kept buying more, each time hoping the next one would be The One.

My mom has several new irons packed away in the cabinet. You know, just in case her iron dies. Granted she is devoted to ironing everything (including pillowcases and jeans), but how many irons do you need to have on stand-by?

Have a talk with yourself before buying anything

I encourage clients and myself to question purchases before buying. Do I need it? Do I already have one like it? Will I use it? Am I buying it because I need it or because it’s on sale? If it’s clothing or shoes, what can I wear with it that I already have?

Clients and I have had talks about quality over quantity, and some even go on a shopping moratorium and instead shop at home with the stuff they already have.

Clients who have lots of baby clothes have a hard time going through them. We make a decision to keep only the best pieces, the ones most treasured. The rest become ordinary.

Tips for limiting:

Perfume. If you like perfume, keep the few bottles that you actually like and get rid of the ones that you don’t like.

Makeup. If you like make-up, keep the cosmetics you actually use. Give freebies away if you’re not going to use them.

Shoes. If you like shoes, keep the ones that you wear and don’t hurt your feet.

Clothes. Same goes for clothes. Toss the clothes you don’t like and the ones that don’t fit. Only keep the clothes you can wear.

Vases. If you receive flowers regularly and have a bunch of vases, eliminate duplicates and only keep a few.

Now that I own a home, I have to keep myself from buying everything I see. There are so many cool things out there for houses. I have to remind myself to be patient and finish renovations before deciding what I need for particular rooms.

When I had a small apartment, it was easier to say no to home décor since I didn’t have space. With a house, the possibilities are endless to me. And so are the bloody renovations. But that’s another story.



One Response to “Quality over Quantity”

  1. Ellen Delap says:

    Give yourself permission to have limits. Quality over quantity does this. Thanks Janice!