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In response to my question, “Do you want to keep this?” My clients often respond with, “I might need it someday.” I was recently decluttering my home office [yes, even professional organizers need to do this on occasion] and I came across my NAPO conference books. I thought to myself, “Why am I keeping these”. My response was shocking, “I might need them someday.” This response caused me to chuckle and to further reflect on why I might need them someday. My response was, “For inspiration working with a client or for my professional organizer training program.” Hmmm, would I really think to refer to these conference books for those reasons?

I can now hear my conference buddies gasping. Some are gasping because they are thinking, “Why on earth would you keep those—just get rid of them!” Others are gasping because they are thinking, “How could you possible get rid of these volumes of knowledge and fond memories.” Both thoughts require rationalization and realistic expectations to intervene. The first response is too swift—acting without answering the question. The second response is wrought with emotions—clouding my decision.

My response requires further [logical] questioning. Do I have space for what could be decades of conference books? No. Would I look through decades of conference books to find the nugget of information I might need should I recall I have these books at the time I’m looking for a solution? No. Would I look through a smaller selection of materials for solutions? Hmmm? Have I looked at these books at all? Yes. For what reason? For a new idea, to recall a particular organizing methodology, and to remember a speaker’s name.

My decision….drum roll please, I’m keeping the past three year’s conference books and each year I will let go of the oldest and replace with the current. Why? Because, like so much information today it becomes obsolete in a short period of time, or it is re-invented in an even shorter period of time. The solutions [answers] I would most likely be looking for would be within a three year period of time. And, I don’t think I would recall a session longer than three years ago (the memory is not what it used to be).

Come post. What are you holding on to for someday and why?


Priscilla said…
I am holding on to 4 wedding dresses: Mine, my mother's and those of my 2 grandmother plus my christening gown...You may purge when I'm gone!
Anne said…
Thank you for permission to purge these gowns when you are gone. I give you persmission to purge them now.

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