Many organizers follow the same basic process, but Julie Morgenstern articulates it brilliantly in her classic book, Organizing from the Inside Out. When I get overwhelmed or stuck, I still fall back on Julie’s S-P-A-C-E formula: Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize, Equalize. I teach clients the same thing, always crediting Julie, of course; but I assign a slightly different meaning to the “P.” Instead of “purge,” I like to “personalize” and “place perspective.”
After sorting and taking stock of our possessions, we need to figure out what they mean to us in the context of our lives. We need to ask ourselves: Do these items deserve to be in my life? How much importance do they merit? How much energy am I willing to expend on storing these items and caring for them? Are they an accurate reflection of the person I am striving to be? Do they make me feel good? Do they make my life easier? Do they help me to achieve my goals? Our answers will help us to personalize our possessions, place perspective and recognize when it’s time to let them go.