2018 certainly seems to be shaping up not just as The Year of the Woman, but more accurately as The Year of Women. Across so many fields and industries, women have been speaking up not just for themselves but for each other. We couldn’t be more excited to know that we have the support of other women in the organizing community and we are also thrilled to be able to offer that same support in return!
Which had us thinking…how could we put our enthusiasm and expertise into action? Our team came up with a number of options we plan to implement in the future, but there was one small thing we’d like to share now because we think it might really make a difference.
It is as simple as a change in thinking. It seems abstract, we know, but bear with us. When we’re on a job, there are three common questions we have our clients ask themselves while going through the decluttering process. Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I love it? These questions can potentially help a client to see their possessions more clearly. But often for sentimental reasons, out of guilt, or because of future hopes, it can be hard to let go.
It is in precisely this process where we think we can make positive change both in the lives of our clients and in the lives of women everywhere. Instead of asking, do I need it? do I use it? do I love it? we think the better questions are, does SHE need it? can SHE use it? will SHE love it?
“That’s it?” you ask? “That’s the thing that’s going to help other women?”
Yep, that’s it. And here’s why. Have you ever been decluttering your own closet when you get stuck on a dress? You really love it, it’s the perfect LBD and you just knew you were going to wear it everywhere. It’s nice enough to wear to work with a jacket, but cute enough to wear on a date. Best purchase ever! Except, for some reason, you can’t identify, you haven’t really worn it at all. It’s in great shape and now that you look at it again, it is super cute! Ugh. You just can’t decide.
Then you remember to ask yourself the three important questions…
Do I need it? No, I don’t need it. I have other dresses I wear all the time.
Do I use it? Well, no, that’s the issue.
Do I love it? I do! I mean, who doesn’t love a LBD? And I really can wear it anywhere…except I haven’t. Still, I’m going to keep it because it might be handy to have just in case.
But what if you shift your thinking and you ask yourself, does SHE need it? You imagine a young woman who needs a dress for her first job interview. She knows she doesn’t currently own anything appropriate but because she doesn’t have a job, she doesn’t have the money to buy anything. The dreaded Catch-22. She knows it’s a long shot, but she goes to her local thrift shop and the first thing she sees when she walks through the door is the perfect black dress. Armed with confidence in her appearance, she nails the interview and gets the job!
Need more evidence? Ok, how about this…you have two CrockPots. Yes, they take up a lot of room, but you are glad to have them both because at that one Super Bowl party a few years ago, you needed one for queso and one for meatballs. You’re undecided about whether to keep them both, so you ask yourself the three questions…
Do I need them? Potentially yes.
Do I use them? Again, potentially yes.
Do I love them? No.
The questions didn’t necessarily clarify things for you because you might need both CrockPots in the future. So you ask yourself instead, can SHE use it? You imagine a single mom who is struggling financially and desperately trying to ditch fast food to get her kids, and herself, to eat healthier food. But by the time the workday is over, she’s too exhausted to cook and inevitably just grabs burgers and fries on her way home. Then one day, she’s walking past a Goodwill store, and she sees a CrockPot in the window and a light bulb goes off. For just a couple of bucks, she can have a solution that will enable her to reach her goal of feeding her family healthier food. With this woman in mind, you put one CrockPot in the donation pile…winner winner chicken dinner!
Certainly, it isn’t revolutionary to donate clothes or other household items to charitable causes. And it obviously isn’t a new idea to think of people less fortunate than ourselves.
We just think that changing the question from “I” to “she” in a moment of decluttering indecision will help our clients let go of items they don’t actually need, use or love and help other women by providing them with items they do need, can use and will love.