Reader question… “I’m confused about simplifying by purging. I know what I’m supposed to do but I just don’t like throwing away my things. Is there any other way? Any help would be really appreciated.” –Jennifer

There are indeed many good reasons to purge. It makes sense to purge when an item breaks and repairing it isn’t possible or feasible. It makes sense to purge when clothing becomes too worn or faded or no longer fits. It makes sense to purge as tastes and circumstances change. This “purging for a reason” involves only one… or a few… items at a time and is a gradual, almost automatic purge that happens naturally as your needs change or an item no longer fits your lifestyle.

But you’re asking about the “purging by numbers” that some people advocate as a means of achieving order and simplicity. This purging is a relentless, ongoing purge… if you bring a new item into your home, you MUST purge another item already in your possession. If you haven’t used an item in the last six months or year, you MUST purge that too. Possessions must be limited to x number of jeans, x number of towels, or x number of dishes or knives or pots and pans. The list goes on.

Some people enjoy this kind of purging, and that’s good for them. But if you’re looking for the secret to creating an organized life and home… if you’re looking for the secret to controlling stuff… purging alone is not the answer.

Knowing what is enough for you… IS.

Orange day lilies growing wild in our woods

Think seriously about each item before you purge it or bring it into your home. If you need the item, truly want it, or value it for some other reason… then find a place for it. Anything else… purge it, don’t buy it, or just say “no thanks.”

There is only one reason why anyone would need to endlessly purge boxes and bags of stuff, month after month after month… and that is if they are continually accumulating more unwanted stuff as fast as they purge. The easiest purge of all is to not bring things you don’t really want into your life.

Don’t just accept someone else’s arbitrary numbers and guidelines because these numbers and guidelines are based on what is enough for them… not what is enough for you.

Your “enough” should… and will be… unique to you and your lifestyle. Trust your instincts.