When you open your bedroom closet, do you have trouble choosing an outfit? Are you overwhelmed with the number of dresses, shirts, or pants you have hanging in there?
What about when you return from your grocery shopping, open your kitchen cupboards and notice you already have 5 cans of Chicken Noodle soup and three boxes of crackers, realizing now you have no space, and spent money on items you already have?
If one, or both of these situations sounds familiar to you, then it's time to get organized!
In the past, I've posted articles on alternative ways to address closet organization. Implementing systems like a Capsule Wardrobe or the 333 Closet system to drastically alter the state of your current wardrobe.
However, some Clients don't feel comfortable, or ready to make such a drastic change to their wardrobe, yet are fed up with the current state of their belongings.
This is where the Bonus Number Strategy shines!
What is the Bonus Number Strategy?
The Bonus Number Strategy is exactly as it sounds, you are able to keep additional items that are required, but within reason.
For example, if you have 50 dresses in your bedroom closet, yet you are always reaching for the same 10 dresses, the remaining 40 should likely be donated.
However, if the idea of parting with so many dresses at once makes you feel uncomfortable, or you think you may reach for more dresses now that you know they exist, then bonus yourself an extra 5 dresses. This way you have some options and are still parting with a majority of the excess items.
The number of extra, or "bonus" items that are kept can vary depending on the items being addressed and your own personal threshold of comfort.
Of course, it can also be a slippery slope towards not parting with anything because you can justify keeping every item. If you find yourself doing this, then I highly suggest contacting a Professional Organizer.
Bonus Number Strategy with an Organizer
It can be very tempting to keep every item you come across in your closet, trust me, we have all been there!
A Professional Organizer is the perfect tool for an objective, third party that can help facilitate and implement a variety of organizing strategies to meet your needs and comfort level.
The Bonus Number Strategy is a great tool I use with Clients to reinforce that they are always in control of the organizing sessions while keeping us on track to the final goal of a de-cluttered and organized space. I am not there to 'slash and burn' their wardrobe, or judge them for the state or number of items currently filling up a space. My goal as an Organizer is to create functional, practical, and organized spaces that meet the needs and comfort of each Client.
An Organizer should be able to be flexible and adaptive when using the bonus number strategy on an organizing project. Negotiating with the Client to find a fair and reasonable middle ground on what should stay vs. go is a great way for both parties to feel positive and heard.
One of the most valuable services, an Organizer should offer is maintenance check-ins and follow-ups with Clients. This is especially vital with projects that include the Bonus Number Strategy. This way, the Client has an opportunity to use the space, and evaluate if further decluttering is required, Once they are familiar with the system, or learn the limitations of the space, the Client may be more willing to make further adjustments.
Now that you have a sense of what the Bonus Number Strategy is, I encourage you to try it out on your own wardrobe or Pantry.
Even if it is just an opportunity to take stock of the number of items you have in one category, you may learn more about your space limitations and what your threshold is for parting with items
If you feel you need the guidance of a Professional Organizer before you actually declutter, reach out and talk to one in your area. Remember, being organized is a lifestyle, so be patient with yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help.
Ready to get started?
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About the Author: Brittany Smith lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband and feline furbaby Zoey. She is a Certified Professional Organizer, Owner, and Founder of Control the Chaos, a Professional Organizing business that provides personalized in-home, virtual and digital organizing services aimed at transforming anyone's chaos into calm.