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You know that feeling of, “YES!” when you find the exact thing you needed in your stuff?

The other day my husband and I went to our apartment in Manhattan to prepare it for a visitor. While we were there, we found two things we had on our list to get later that day: lots of quarters and brand-new iphone headphones. Now, it wouldn’t have been a big deal to order or buy the headphones, and go somewhere to change money into quarters, but the DELIGHT of finding what we needed made our day. As my mother would say, “It’s a free laugh.”

So often we think we need something that we don’t have and it’s actually right there in front of us in our home, in our network, in our files…and there is a special satisfaction that comes when you use that one instead of a new one.

For example: a common question clients ask is if they “should save skinny clothes?”

My answer: Joumor Principle: It’s not a problem if it’s not a problem (to save them)- you have the room to put them out of sight AND it doesn’t make you feel bad, then yes! Save those skinny clothes. Because it will be sooooo much more satisfying to fit into them again than it will be to buy new clothes. Plus, they’re “free.” However, if you don’t feel like you’ll ever reach that weight/size again, then sure, donate them.

The point of #usewhatyouhave is that there is automatic Joumor (joy + humor) waiting on the other side of it. Because in some way, while you may not have avoided that thing you are using, you disconnected from it…and when you re-connect to it (which is really reconnecting to yourself) it feels so freakin’ good!

Reorganizing, or decluttering, is not and has never been about getting rid of stuff. If I were Marc Jacobs I’d rent a billboard on the West Side of NYC and put it up there:


There will always be more stuff. It’s about using what you have in a way that is clear, honors your decisions, makes the most of your current resources, and allows you to be human and imperfect.

Will you get rid of stuff? Yup. But it will feel easy and meaningful when you donate it… and twice as meaningful when you slip into those skinny jeans three (or thirty) years later.

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