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Independence: When Less Equals More By Cathy Van Volkenburg CPO®

01 Jul 2015 12:01 PM | Julie Riber, CPO®

Happy 4th of July!  As we celebrate this mid-summer holiday, we reflect on the many freedoms we enjoy as Americans.  Independence takes on many different meanings depending on whom you talk with.  As a professional organizer, I would like to share one meaning of the word independence through the lens of my business.

Often my clients reach out to me out of sheer frustration with their spaces.  It can be a home office, a kitchen or a basement.  Where the space is located doesn’t matter.  The frustration stems from an overwhelming amount of “stuff” that they have accumulated.  All of the emotions associated with this “stuff” can block one’s ability to take action and make decisions about the items.

Our belongings serve us in many ways.  Some items are purely functional.  Other items nurture us by bringing beauty to our homes or inspiring us every day.  There often comes a tipping point when we have items in our homes or offices that do not serve us but rather they engulf us!  If you have had that sinking feeling when an item no longer brings you joy yet you feel compelled to keep it.  Don’t despair. 

Get a new perspective on your belongings by slipping on a new set of glasses in which to objectively view your “stuff”.  If items are sitting in boxes unused, unloved and not needed…set them free.  That’s right, give them independence and a new purpose in life by donating or selling them so someone else may use and enjoy them.  View your belongings as objects that either add to your life or detract from your life.  I can guarantee that if you no longer want or use an item, there is someone out there who would be thrilled to liberate it from the back of your closet.  Many communities have freecycle sites that allow you to find a home for an item that no longer serves you.  Set it free.  By setting your items free, you are gaining more space.  With less items to store and clean and take care of, you are gaining more free time.  When viewing your items through an objective lens, you can empower yourself to make the decision to free an item.  Cheers to your independence from “stuff” that does not serve you well.



  • 06 Jul 2015 10:30 PM | Anonymous
    Wow!! So inspiring! I will definitely use this with my clients. It make so much sense to give their unused stuff the proper independence and a new purpose. Thanks for this outstanding idea.:)))
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  • 09 Jul 2015 1:17 PM | Olive Wagar (Administrator)
    There are so many organizations that welcome and truly need our donations!
    Let's all celebrate our independence from clutter!!
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