Let's just say you have five special dishes from Aunt Susie, five from Great Aunt Betty, and five from Aunt Helen. You have four from Great-Grandma Judith, and two from your next door neighbor. Your mom gave you three, and your sister gave you three more.
Now you very seldom use any of those dishes but you can't get rid of them because they are all special, (and what if your sister came to visit and didn't see the dishes she gave you?), so you have them stacked all together, with all the other dishes in the China hutch - that you seldom use.
But, you are now holding onto 5 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 3 = 27 dishes. Maybe each of the dishes are unique in its own way - it might be a special color, or a special pattern, or maybe it has a special memory of Aunt Suzie serving mashed potatoes in that dish..... but here's the thing - do you really use, and love, and have special memories of all 27 dishes?
You see, when you have 27 special dishes it's really like saying that none of them are special; to be special means 'to single out' - you my friend can't have 27 special dishes.
So, what to do. Guess what? I'm gonna help you...
You get out all 27 dishes and look and touch each one. Pick out your most favorite dish. Decide how many dishes could actually fit nice and neatly in that China hutch and how many dishes that you will actually use. (I think a good rule to use is to keep one third of what you had previously, (as long as it will fit neatly into the home you have for it) so 27 ÷ 3 = 9, now you know how many to keep.) You can always get rid of more later.
So pick out your nine most favorite dishes. If none of Aunt Helen's dishes made it into your favorites that's okay. Aunt Helen wouldn't have wanted you holding on to a dish that you didn't like, and adding clutter to your home, especially when someone else could have used, and even loved, that particular dish.
Put the others that didn't make the favorite nine into a box and donate them. Don't second-guess your decision; just do it.
I guarantee those nine dishes that you picked out will become even more special and will make you smile each time that you use them. You see, having one special dish from Great Aunt Betty is much more meaningful than having five kinda special dishes from Great Aunt Betty.
Keep the one that you love - make it special. Your life will be less cluttered and your mind, free. Don't underestimate the power of one.
Apply this to each area in your home and you will be living a clutter free life in no time!