Decrease your options: Our cup experiment
As I was picking up our endless piles of papers, and drinking cups and bottles scattered throughout the house, I started to think about less. If we have less, we use less. The less options we have, the easier it is for our brains to make a decision. I have found over the years, that the less cloths I own, the easier it is to get dressed in the morning, as long as the clothes I do have fit me well and make me feel good.
Dave and I did a cup experiment to test if this theory about decreasing your options really did make your life a little easier.
The amount of water bottles, coffee mugs, tumblers, and to go cups that were in our cupboards was ridiculous. We would just grab a bottle, take it with us, and leave it in the Jeep or truck, or in a bag. Then we would spend time gathering up all of our bottles that needed washing, then washing and filling them all up again. And the same for cups and tumblers. I was noticing I was wasting a lot of time managing all of this drinking receptacles. How silly is that?
So, I assigned a Tupperware water bottle and one drinking cup to each of us for the entire week. We were responsible for keeping track of it. I had big hopes this would reduce the amount of picking up that I do.
And guess what?
It worked! We both brought our water bottles or drinking cups with us where we went and remembered to put them back so we would know where to find them again. Decreasing our options for cups helped me see how I didn’t miss the extra things in the cupboards, in fact, I loved not having to use the brain power to decide which coffee mugs I wanted to use. I only had one choice.
I wish I could say I invented this idea. It’s not a new concept. In fact, back in the day Dave and his roommates did something similar in college. There were 3 boys living together, and none of them were very great housekeepers. Their kitchen mess got out of hand easily, and no one would clean it for days, only making it worse. So they came to a solution: each guy would have their own set of dishes: fork, spoon, plate, cup, And they were responsible for washing it. Dave said it worked beautifully. They decreased the options and became a little more responsible about the one set of dishes they had to use.
Decreasing your options works to create ease around decision making and makes you more grateful for what you have.
Pick one thing in your home, and limit your options. Start small. Clear out all of the coffee mugs from your cupboard. Put them in a box and set aside (you don’t even have to commit to getting rid of them--yet!). Then choose your absolute favorite. That’s your mug. You will only use that mug for coffee for the next week.
Report back to me after you’ve completed this assignment. Better yet, don’t, but since it worked (see, I’m that confident that it will) go do this with something else in your house (like your scarves, or your jewelry). Pretty soon, you will have so many less options for yourself, and so much more time to be spending on the important things in life.
Share your experience on instagram: #lightenupyourstuff