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Tip Tuesday – My Container Commandment!

My Container Commandment!

As a CPO (Certified Professional Organizer) I have MANY organizing “commandments” that I believe people should live by. My first and foremost commandment is:

Let your container determine the contents!

For example, a carton of milk holds 128 ounces. Try and fit an ounce more, and it will be full to overflowing. By the same token, you can’t fill your home so full that it is overflowing.

This concept applies to ALL the containers in your home, and to your home itself. Let the space of each container impose a natural limit for the amount of contents it can hold.

To this end, I encourage people to only keep as many books as their dedicated bookshelves can comfortably hold. The floor is not an option! It’s better to edit your collection (old textbooks and encyclopedias are excellent candidates for removal) and have the truly beloved books fit.

Your closet and drawers are the containers for your clothes—only keep as many garments as they can comfortably hold. It is mathematical: if you have 8 linear feet of hanging rails, that’s the space you should limit yourself to. If you have one drawer for pajamas, then, when all of your sleepwear is clean, it should all fit in that one drawer.

Your fridge, freezer, and pantry are the containers for your food, and the same rule applies. So often food in the basement or back of the pantry gets forgotten. Don’t stock up so much that you waste food!

And if you have a long-term, off-site storage unit that you are paying for, I strongly encourage you to address the items it contains. Try to edit these items down so that they all fit into your actual living container, your current home!

Let me know which of your containers are currently overflowing, and how you’re going to get their contents in check. Please share your answer in my vibrant FB Community. Applying this simple “container commandment” consistently CAN change your life!