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Simplify the Complicated: Reduce the Options. Reduce the Decisions


I love weighing my options before making any decision.  But sometimes it can be downright stressful.

Even food shopping has become a chore. The over-abundant choices can make this process more timely. I know I’m not alone. From mustards to toilet paper, it’s likely to both overwhelm and frustrate the average consumer.

I have spent way too much time down the cold/remedy aisle studying the wide variety of cough medication to purchase, scrutinizing the variety of Robitussin options.  Seriously, not everyone has the time to do research.  I might add, the feminine hygiene selection is as bewildering. Try explaining the options to a family member running that errand for you, lol.

At the retail level, everyone loves choices, and smart/frugal shoppers appreciate a broad selection fit for a viable market comparison.  But if you struggle with decision-making on a day-to-day basis, abundant options can be a real battle. An apparel nightmare, in fact. Too often, you exit the store with nothing but a severe headache. Ugh.

The differences between major retail stores and specialty boutiques clearly illustrate this conundrum.  In large department stores, I’ve seen clothing (that’s already been picked through) often strewn haphazardly all over the floor.  Sizes are all mixed up and collections are no longer hanging together. The choices can be confusing, too much of the same thing dispersed in many different departments. Ditto to the shoe department. As for finding a salesperson?  Good luck with that.

In a smaller boutique, the setting is more intimate and sales help is readily available. While the inventory is easier to maintain (less stuff=less to manage), there are also fewer options to weigh in on.  Many shoppers prefer the one-on-one attention and a more select collection of apparel.

As for on-line shopping preference, we all know how that ends.  Most likely, your search will lead to a circuitous trail of more items similar to your original, and your options will multiply exponentially. Admittedly and on many occasions,  I’ve been stuck.  One time, after results of a particular search displayed over 36 pages, I clicked relentlessly until the wee hours but eventually surrendered from exhaustion.

Here’s a simple truth; Too many options can stall a decision. 

Consider this as a great model for our own personal spaces. We may not be able to control what’s out there, but we certainly can control what’s in our closets and homes.

  • Are you tired of rummaging through your closet to find something you’d love to wear?
  • How much of the same color do you own?
  • Do too many jeans and shoes complicate your readiness?
  • Finding it hard to have a “favorite?”

How to simplify this decision-making process? Resist the urge to over-acquire.  Opt out.  Reduce the options, reduce the decisions.

Keep it simple.  Real simple.  Buy less. Keep only what you love!  Then whatever you pick to wear is a win-win 🙂


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Decide Who Rules Your Home: You or Your Stuff?

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in your home?  Most of us have obviously have more things living in our homes than people, but when does it become too much?

For starters, it could be when you’re continually tripping over your things; kid’s toys, shoes, neglected clothing, magazine piles, or unopened delivery boxes.  Or maybe it’s when you can no longer sit down on the comfy couch because of all the random stuff strewn all over it?

Now that’s an interesting rethink; if your stuff has a place but YOU don’t, ask yourself, “who’s really the boss?”

Deciding what to keep and what to let go of is not a simple task.  But realize that any decision is better than no decision at all.  So decide to decide. Sharpening your decision-making skills will allow you to reclaim your spaces. This step is not an easy one, but perhaps these questions will instigate the process:

    • Are you surrounding yourself with the things you actually use and enjoy? Acknowledge the changes in your habits and  lifestyles through the years and make your home a reflection of who you are today.
    • Do you accumulate new stuff but still keep the old?
    • Do you have an exit strategy?  So many of hang on to things we no longer use and never got around to tossing or giving away. Set limits on the incoming and create an outgoing. If you can donate your undesirables to charities, or recycle conscientiously, everyone benefits. This ONE decision will create a noticeable change and will eliminate needless clutter.


So many of us are still living with a historical trail of our outdated technology; old printers, TV’s, computers, cameras, and cell phones find their way more readily to basements, attics, and garages than they do out the door.  We continue to invite new pieces of furniture, lamps, and bedding into our homes, and yet we have trouble letting go of the old things we don’t even like anymore.  We tend to hang onto things.  Just in case.

If this sounds like you, no need to be embarrassed, it’s more common than you think.

Make your home a haven for living your life, not storing it. Don’t let the stuff take over any longer.  People vs. things.  Choose. Decide who rules the roost.

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Why Uncertainty Can Clutter Your Home

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is make a decision.  When a choice becomes complicated and too difficult, we often just delay making any.  You’d rather think about it or handle it…tomorrow.  Procrastination is always the easiest option, but indeed the most dangerous.  For instance, if you can’t decide where something goes and you just put it anywhere, and you do that every day, you will be faced with overwhelming piles of things everywhere. If you have no specific place for the incoming mail to land, it will find it’s way onto every horizontal counter and pile into frightening paper towers. It’s a potential nightmare that can be paralyzing.  Lack of decision-making  is a perfect storm for not only inviting clutter but feeding it.

We are all guilty now and then of throwing a jacket over a chair, tossing an unread magazine or newspaper on a counter top, or using the staircase to deposit an eventual  journey upstairs. These scenarios are very common when we simply lack the time to put things back in their proper places.  But eventually, if they have specific places where they belong, they ultimately can return to their home with little duress.  Easy and doable.

The problems arise when you don’t have designated places for specific things. You must decide where your things land. And if you marry lack of decision-making with lack of time, you’ve got a full blown crisis on your hand. Clutter thrives when you have no organizational systems in motion. Anywhere is not a place.  Create a home for all your things.  Pick a consistent place for the mail to land, keys to hang, laundry to drop, and the grab and go to live, so you can always find them when you need to.

Decide to decide…any decision is better than NO decision.  What do you think? Can you decide?

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