Love Your Stuff


I thought it would be a good introduction for you to know my organizing philosophy. It is simply: Love Your Stuff. Most professional organizers will tell you you need to get rid of your stuff (and, just so you know, I agree – sort of). But I think it’s a matter of love. When you are organizing, just ask yourself what you love most.

For example; I LOVE books. I take after my grandma who has been known to say, “sure, you can have some of my books… when you can pry them from my cold, dead hands.” When you love something that much… well, you should keep it.

The key is to measure what you love most. My grandma who loves books also loves to cook so she can’t have books stacked up on her stove (good hint here, if you really love something you probably won’t be tempted to store it in a flammable place).

If you love something enough to be creative about its use, then keep it! I worked with a client who had a hideous green sequined skirt from her high school show choir days (it’s okay, I have permission from her to use this story and to call the skirt hideous). She loved that skirt. She would not part with it. So we had to get creative. Now she uses it as her Christmas tree skirt and gets to relive those high school glory days every year. Can you be that creative?

It is easy to determine whether you love something enough to keep it. Just ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I love this? If yes, move to question 2 – If no, toss it.

2. Do I want everyone who enters my home to see this? If yes, move to question 3 – if no, toss it.

3. Do I love this enough to find a creative use for it? If yes, move to question 4 – if no, toss it.

4. Could someone else love this more than I do? Stop. Really think about that for a second. Okay, if no, move to question 5 – if yes gift it to the person who’d love it more.

5. Has this thing I “love” been in storage for longer than 3 months? If yes, toss it.

6. Do I love something else MORE than I love this? For example, Do I love this box of old trophies more than I love the ability to walk around in the spare bedroom? If you love something else more, toss it and make room for the stuff you really love. On to 7.

7. Does everyone in my home love this as much as I do? This is a toughy. But you choose those people you live with… presumably you love them more than any of your stuff. Show them. Toss it.

Tell me about the stuff you love. How have you been creative with it? We can help each other be creative. Post your ideas.

Happy Organizing! Laurieann

About the author

Laurieann Thorpe


  • I’m trying to think really hard here, but I almost don’t love anything, to a fault! Is that sad? I should revere something as special, but I just love to throw things away. I think I’ve helped too many people move boxes and boxes full of what I considered CRAP! My kids on the other hand have lot’s of stuff they love, like Nintendo games. I try to teach them if they really care about their games, they will return them everyday to the same place for easy access, so it won’t get lost, and so it doesn’t get ruined. They get it and I feel like they are more careful with their nintendo games than they are with their money (which I find laying around the house to regive everytime allowance comes around.

    Amy’s last blog post..Save money on healthy food

  • So… I really love a few things. I love books. I love photography. I love crafts and scrapbooking. My problem?? I still live at home with my parents and only have my bedroom to “store” my beloved things.
    I have some of my books on the bookshelf in my room and some in a plastic bin in my closet and some under my bed in storage. I don’t want to get rid of them because some are self-growth books and some are books that I’ve read that I simply don’t want to part with.
    Then there is my scarpbooking and craft things. I have a lot of it but not really any space to use it or store it efficiently. I have my scrap books in one place and then there are my photos. The printed ones are in 3 or 4 or 5 different boxes… not really organized or anything…
    Sigh…. HELP!

    Keri’s last blog post..Beautiful World

  • That’s hysterical – they really lose their allowance?

    You just made my point. You love “lack of stuff” more than you love stuff… but you love your kids so you’ve had to be creative about how to live with their stuff. Everybody’s happy right?

  • I think the only thing in my home I really love (I’m talking stuff–not people!)is my photo collection. Your points hit home–I’m not “showing my love” or honoring these special items. Slowly sifting through two large boxes of jumbled photos and thousands on my computer to creatively arrange and bring order to my favorite things. Great post!

    SAHMmy Says’s last blog post..The 365 Day Clutter Challenge Kickoff!

  • Keri-
    I had a client with the same problem. She loved movies, music, scrapbooking, and jewelry making but lived at home still and had to squish it all in to one room. She had an added problem of Rheumatoid Arthritis so things had to be easily accessible or she’d never be able to use them. My advice to her and you is to use every bit of your vertical space. You need many many shelves. If you have an IKEA nearby, it should be your new best friend.

    You should also think about how you use your crafting stuff – does it need to be portable or do you use it in your room? That will make a difference.

    We can talk more but this should get you started thinking creatively.

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