One Hit Wonders: Keeping Only What You Use A LOT!

I have always loved the above photo, extracted from a Women’s Day magazine long ago, and taped to a page in my recipe notebook for as long as I can recall.  I made the bunny shaped cake for my kids once when they were small and it made us all smile.  I thought of this photo today when I started this post and it made me smile, again.  Smile about a simpler time when folks got creative about solutions, as opposed to shopping for solutions.

Our homes and our lives are cluttered with these purchased “solutions”, or what I term “one hit wonders.”   These are the items we use once or twice a year and clutter our homes for the remaining 364 or 363 days.  A good example of a one hit wonder would be a bunny shaped cake pan (google “Bunny Shaped Cake Pan” and you get 207,000 results!).  As you can see by the above photo a bunny cake can be easily made using two 8″ round cake pans.

Instead, I enter homes on a regular basis where bunny shaped cake pans and their equivalents are occupying space that could be used to store regularly used items .  Instead, these regularly used items are sitting all around the kitchen because there is “no space” to store them.  I recall being at a house many years ago that literally had hundreds, possibly even thousands of these “one hit wonders” crowded onto shelves in the pantry and in the basement –  waiting in anticipation for the one day they would be used – days that rarely, or never came.

When your storage space is adequate, as it was in this very large home, one hit wonders may weigh little on your mind, but when your cabinets are bursting at the seams and you can’t squeeze anything else into the pantry, I suggest you start asking yourself a different decluttering question.  Instead of asking, “Do I use this?”, ask yourself, “How often do I use this?”  If the answer is not very often, then the next question is, “What else could serve as a reasonable substitute for this?”  If you’re not into coming up with substitutes yourself, I’m sure you’ll discover some on the internet.

Ask any professional organizer what sort of things you should be keeping and you get a pretty standard answer – “Keep only what you use.”  Today I’m offering up a slight twist on that response and that is to “Keep only what you use – A LOT!”

What one hit wonders might you substitute for and release today?



2 Responses to “One Hit Wonders: Keeping Only What You Use A LOT!”

  1. Ellen Delap March 5, 2013 12:47 pm #

    I love giving these long not appreciated or used items a name! Great idea to pair the thought of their once value to something we all know and love. Thanks for reframing for all of us the perspective of our clutter.

    • Andrea Sharb March 5, 2013 1:25 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Ellen. You know from your own coaching training how beneficial the reframe and change in perspective can be. 🙂

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