A brief history lesson, if you will. In 1906, an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto stated that 80% of the wealth of his country was in the hands of 20% of its citizens. This insightful 80/20 principle has gone on to be applied to many topics and circumstances.
In the world of business, it has been said that companies get 80% of their business from 20% of their customers. Economists state that 80% of results come from 20% of causes. Fashion gurus say that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. I’d like to expand this statement to apply to our belongings. I’d say that, like our wardrobes, we use 20% of our items 80% of the time. Whether this means using those same 2 favorite mugs every day, or throwing on our favorite earrings and necklace each morning, I believe that we play favorites with our belongings. I know I certainly do! (I also think this could be a powerful meal-planning tool for busy people who think they have to reinvent the wheel every week, but in reality use the same basic ingredients 80% of the time.)
I invite you to put Pareto’s rule to work for you. Recognize that in small ways everyday you are deciding which of your belongings matter the most to you, and which are less important.
–Think about what you own that falls into the 80% category and how you may be able to do some de-cluttering here. I kept this in mind when I did my summer clothes swap this spring, and I was able to get rid of several sweaters I hadn’t worn all winter.
–Apply this to your time as well. In what 20% chunk of the day are you producing 80% of your work? Set aside this most productive part of your day as sacred and interruption free (ss much as possible) so that you are getting the most out of yourself. Less important tasks can fall in the other 80% of the day.
When you become aware of how you are already subconsciously prioritizing your things and your time, two things happen: you can get rid of the items that are not earning their space in your home; and you can maximize the times you are the most productive and allow yourself to reallocate your less productive time.
Happy 80/20 Organizing!