Finish Before Replacing


Do you ever wonder how you collected so many options? You started with one and now you have five half used items. One of the main culprits for letting a category get out of control is starting a new product before you have finished the original. Perhaps you realize you’re nearing the end of your sunscreen, mascara, moisturizer, handsoap, shampoo, (insert any product), so you’re proactive and buy a replacement. Perhaps you’re not looking for a replacement but see a promising new brand, or find a specialty item on sale and are excited to use it. Instead of waiting until you have finished the original, you start using the new one right away, without getting rid of the original item. This brings me to Show Pony Summer Series Method #8 Finish Before Replacing.

The best example of this in my house can be found in my freezer. I have bread bags galore with 1-3 slices left. Whether it’s an aversion to crusts, or simply a fresher loaf arrived, I often forget about finishing my current loaf before moving on. Whether it’s your freezer, your cupboard or your closet, replacing before finishing can lead to way too many options, getting overwhelmed and not finishing any of them. An easy test is to evaluate the items, how much is left in each? If there’s only ⅓ left in each bottle, you know you love to replace before finishing. 

Fixing this is easy, simply use SHOW PONY METHOD # 3 choose one item to use up all the way, and put the rest out of sight. For the second step you have options, either you can stop buying replacements before you have finished the original. Or, get in the practice of buying a replacement and storing it out of sight until it is done.

I find it better to have a replacement waiting in the wings. Recently, I thought  I was reaching the end of my daily sunscreen so I bought a replacement. I expected to hit the bottom within a couple of days, but it wasn’t until a month later that I finally used the last drop! It was so easy to finish the bottle and look for a replacement, instead of having 2 bottles to choose from for the entire month.

Do you often replace an item before it is finished? Let me know how this method works for you!

Put on the show pony first


I had a necklace I wanted to wear, it had stayed on my jewelry stand too long and today was the day. So, I got dressed and put on my necklace. I was so proud of myself until I realized the necklace didn’t go with my outfit. So I took it off, vowing I would wear it tomorrow. The next day the same thing happened and after a few days of this pattern repeating I realized my mistake – I needed to build the outfit around this necklace, not add the necklace at the end. That brings me to Show Pony Summer Series Method #7 Put on the Show Pony First

When you decide to wear an item such as earrings, shoes, necklace or flirty top, put it on first or if this isn’t possible (I’m looking at you, shoes) put it in plain sight as you get dressed. Then, as you put on a top that necklines clash with your earrings, you take off the top instead of the earrings. This may seem very obvious, but it’s very easy to get to the end of your outfit, put on the special item and decide on the outfit instead of the special item. We think ‘I tried, today’s not the day.’ We don’t want to try, we want to show our show ponies what life is like outside of the house. Thus, we need a strategy. The strategy is to choose your intention of wearing your special item over your intention of getting dressed quickly.

Now, another take on this method is to experiment with this item when you are not in a rush to get out the door. I know that when a timeline is breathing down your neck, the first thing that gets cut is your determination to wear your show pony. So, when you find yourself with nowhere to be, decide to play! Put on some fun music, put on the show pony and try on ALL the things in your closet. Those that it goes with and those that it doesn’t. You may be surprised at what you come up with. I’m serious, put on the special item and start pulling, mixing, matching and playing. There are no rules, except to find an outfit you can wear with this special item. Quick, before you take it all off and slip into your sweats, take a selfie or make a note. Then, when you go to use this item you’re already prepared with kick ass outfits!

Have you ever made the intention to wear your special item and then left the house in your old faithfuls? What item will you start with and build your outfit around?

What’s the problem?


You’re ready to use your stuff, you’re excited, and you’ve given yourself permission, but why can’t you do it? Perhaps the reason is Show Pony Summer Series Method #6: What’s The Problem? Perhaps you don’t yet have what you need to use your stuff. Let me walk you through a few examples of how figuring out the problem helped me start using my stuff.  

I had a beautiful hydro flask water bottle that I never seemed to reach for. It was the nicest bottle I owned, kept all my drinks super cold, but I didn’t ever reach for it. So I asked, ‘What’s the problem?’ I didn’t like the wide mouth. When I went to drink I often spilled, I prefer drinking from a straw, I didn’t like the huge wide mouth. So I went to fix the problem by buying a lid with a straw attachment. Now you won’t see me sipping from anything else. It’s my workhorse, I use it every day and have never drank more water. Seriously I leave it at work and drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Straw for the win!

I had a beautiful bracelet that was dangly, and delicate and all things sophisticated, but I never wore it. What’s the problem I asked? I could never get it fastened. After 5 min of struggling with it, twisting myself into knots to get it on, I would put it back in the box. What did I need? An extension to make it easier to get on. I bought an extension and now I wear it all the time, I even wore it on my wedding day. Once I could easily put it on myself it became a regular item.

The bracelet on my wedding day

My fabulous, functional, fancy Timbuktu backpack sat in the closet instead of going on adventures. I never reached for it even though it was grey and goes with everything and is the perfect size. What’s the problem? It was from a company and had an ugly company patch on the front. I loved the backpack but didn’t like the advertising, or the questions that would come with using it (It was a Google patch, don’t ask). What did I do? I bought an iron patch, off Etse, on a night shift (I remember because my coworker helped me choose), covered it up and it’s become my workhorse. Seriously, this thing has been to Paris, England, Ireland and all over Vancouver.

I never seemed to light my candles or use my bath bombs. I knew I wanted to set a mood or relax after a long day, so why was I not lighting them? I asked myself ‘what’s the problem?’ The location! I didn’t have everything I needed in one spot. My matches were not stored close to my candles. When I spotted the candles and was inspired to light them I would think about digging out matches and skip it. To fix this I found a convenient place for my matches near my candles and now it’s easy peasy. Another common problem is storing your bubble bath or bath bombs out of the bathroom and not at the ready for when the mood for a bath strikes!

When it comes to using your stuff I stick to the method that it shouldn’t require a credit card. You already have more than you need, you just need permission to use it. However, today is the one exception. If you need to buy something small to fix a problem with an item, that’s an OK time to buy. All of the items I purchased to make my items work for me were not expensive, and definitely cheaper than the cost of the item. I figured out the problem, decided on the solution and bought the one thing that would solve it.

Do any of your items have problems? Can you think of an item’s problem you can fix with an easy addition? Imagine how much more you could use this item if you fix this small problem! Share below what you discover!

Photo credit Jen Newman Photography

First shall be last, last shall be first


You’re digging through your closet and discover things you didn’t even know you own. You think ‘well, if I knew these were here, of course I would prioritize using them!’ Today is that day, I have the perfect trick to discover the fancy items hiding in your closet and trick your mind into letting you use them. All you have to do is change the order of how things appear in your home. You can do this simply by using Show Pony Summer Series Method #5 First Shall Be Last, Last Shall Be First.

To do this, you recognize a pile, drawer or closet in your house where the show ponies have migrated to the back, bottom or top. For me, this included my pile of dish towels. I realized that when I used my dish towels, washed them and put them back, this meant the same 4 were being used over and over and the nicer ones were migrating to the bottom, never being used. To change this, I took the pile and flipped it over, keeping the same order, but ensuring the workhorses were on the bottom and the show ponies were on the top. This meant I didn’t have to make a decision, I simply reached for the top dish towel and started using it.

Another example is clothing drawers. As I wear certain clothes, and they get returned this pushes certain clothes to the front (I fold my clothes the Kon Marie method of folding), while certain other items were always at the back. This affected which items I was reaching for every day. So, I flipped the order and was happy to find myself reaching for unworn items. 

Another place to do this is the hangers in any of your closets. Switch the order of the hangers and you will be amazed at what’s lurking at the back. Of course, you can still push past the front ones, but it helps you realize what you haven’t been using and could be.

Where else can you change from first shall be last and last shall be first? Perhaps your jewellery, your shoes, your cereal, your hot sauces. I’m serious, switch up the order and look at all the items hiding at the back. After you flip it, vow that you will use it in order.

What area in your home will you flip? What show ponies are hiding at the back, bottom or top of your closet?!

Wear the heck out of it


On Monday we talked about choosing 1 item to use up and finish. From hair products to books, to candles, making a decision to use and enjoy 1 item until it is gone can be freeing. Today we are going to put a twist on this and talk about Show Pony Summer Series Method #4 Wear the heck out of it. Dresses are a category of clothing I love to ignore but am always drawn to when shopping. What’s the result? I have a bunch of dresses I never wear 🙂

Heading into the summer I thought ‘enough is enough’ these are turning into show ponies, how can I make them workhorses? To begin, I chose 1 dress to focus on, the one I was most intimidated to wear, my white embroidered dress. Then I gave myself permission to wear the heck out of it. this meant stains, sweat, wear and tear were allowed. This gave my brain permission to wear it whenever, wherever. 

  • Ice cream with a friend? Check
  • Shopping? Check. 
  • Heading to the beach? Check

This turned the question from what are all the reasons I can’t wear this dress to keep it safe? into, where are all the places I can wear this dress? Instead of focusing on all my dresses, I focused on one dress and it got out of the closet often! When I thought about wearing a dress, my brain fought me on whether I should wear a dress or not. when I thought about wearing this dress my brain thought ‘oooooh another opportunity to wear it.’ I set a goal for my brain and every time I wore this dress I felt rewarded for meeting this goal. I’m wearing this dress right now as I type this.

Check out my lightweight blog writing set up

Another item I gave myself permission to wear the heck out of was my quarter zip sweater. Do you ever try something on in the store and get that feeling you’re going to love it? That was this sweater. It was my colour, a quarter zip (big enough for my head and hair to get through easily) and the perfect length. What can I say, I was in love. I know that this love can quickly turn into protecting this item, keeping it safe, and making up a bunch of rules for when and where it is safe to wear it. Knowing this about myself, I made the intention that it would be my summer workhorse sweater. I would wear it whenever and wherever. Heading to the beach? This has become my go-to. Wearing a dress and need a layer? I know what to reach for. 

The best part of giving myself permission to wear the heck out of something is that I get so many opportunities to enjoy it. I no longer have to pace myself or take it slow, I can use this item all the time. It feels good to have a workhorse that I love and that I get to use.

Do you have a summer item you can wear the heck out of? 

  • Perhaps it’s choosing one bathing suit you always reach for. 
  • Maybe it’s pulling out a pair of sandals you turn into a workhorse. 
  • Perhaps it’s a dress you thought you couldn’t wear every day. 

Once you give yourself permission to wear the heck out of something you’ll be amazed at all the opportunities and occasions you think to wear it.  

Photo credit Jen Newman Photography

1 And Only 1, To Get It Done


Once we start looking for show ponies we can start to see entire categories made up of show ponies! Where do we even begin? Often these items are ones that can be used up or finished, including hair products, makeup products, and candles,  the categories are unending, but we are ignoring ALL of them. Finally, we think, enough is enough and vow to start using ALL the things, ALL at once. However, we quickly become overwhelmed by just how many items there are to enjoy and find ourselves back in our old ways, avoiding them. This leads me to Show Pony Summer Series Method #3, 1 and only 1 to get it done.

The category that got out of control for me was hair supplies. In an effort to control my curly mane, I ended up buying multiple new products to try. Somehow my cupboard was bursting with 5 different hair styling products and I was still using the one I’ve always used (so much for trying new things). I realized my mistake: I was becoming overwhelmed by the options and gravitated to what I knew, instead of learning how to use a new product every time. This also had the frustrating outcome of feeling like I was never making a dent in the collection.

Then I had the genius idea to try 1 and only 1. To begin, I chose one product and kept it in my regular spot in the bathroom. The rest of the products I moved into our closet where the overflow bathroom storage is kept. I then gave myself permission to use this product after every shower. This method has two benefits, the first being I didn’t have to make a decision about what to use. Instead of getting overwhelmed by how many products I had, and which one to use, I reached for the product I had pre-decided to use up. The second benefit was that I felt like I was making a dent in my hair product stash. Instead of slowly using bits of each one, I saw a reduction in the total number of bottles. Every time I finished a product I felt a sense of accomplishment, I had learned how to use a new product, and how to enjoy my items. Sure, some months my hair looked better than others because the product wasn’t the best, but I stuck with it, experimenting and trying until the bottle was all used up. 

Alright, you’re convinced. Where to begin?

First things first, discover your show pony category. I suggest looking in the bathroom, your art supplies, your hosting supplies, the fancy section of your closet, and your candle collection. 

Pick out 1 item. Don’t overcomplicate it. It can be your favourite, something you’ve already started, something you want to get rid of. The thing to focus on is choosing just 1. 

A side note about if the idea of intentionally using up a product intimidates you or does not appeal to you. I get it, you’re thinking. But Gill, if I use this 1 item every time, it will be gone in no time. I want to stretch it. To enjoy it. To savour it. I get it, keeping something for longer seems like a better idea in theory. Having a hair product for a year instead of 3 months feels like a better use of your money. However, I would encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long do I want to keep this product in my life?
  • What am I afraid I will lose by using up this product?
  • If this product were to be ruined, broken, or stolen today, would I be sad I didn’t use it when I had the chance?

I find these questions help me remember that our stuff is meant to be used, and saving or storing our stuff is not the point.

Let’s say 1 bottle of shampoo has 30 washes. You can either use those 30 in a row or over a year, it’s still 30 washes. When you give yourself permission to enjoy an item you’re not arguing with yourself. Today, tomorrow, next week, another time, perhaps when my hair is less greasy? These arguments with ourselves are exhausting. Simply give yourself permission to enjoy, every time, even if it’s 50 times in a row.

Another great place to use the 1 and only 1 method, is your nightstand. Do you have a pile of books you keep meaning to read? You’re a couple of chapters into each of them, but never seem to find the time? Every night they call to you, but you can’t decide which one to pick up, so you scroll on your phone instead. This happens because you’re overwhelmed by the decision of which book to read. So, pick just ONE to put on your nightstand and put the rest out of sight. I don’t care where the other ones are kept, you only want the book you are reading looking at you. 

I can hear it now, buuuuuut Giiiiill, how can I choose? I am reading these for different reasons, I couldn’t possibly pick just one. Alright, but reading a little bit of multiple books means you finish none and continue to be overwhelmed. Pick one, commit to one, finish one. Then you’ll make your way through that pile faster than you can say ‘are they making it into a movie?’

Do you have a category of show ponies? Will you pick just one out of the category and intentionally use it up? From books to hair products I’d love to hear your experience with this method!

Dress it Down


Here’s how it goes: you buy an item for a special occasion, perhaps it’s a statement necklace, fancy dress, high heels, or power blazer. The event comes and goes and your special item returns to your closet, and you’re left wondering, will I ever wear it again? The trap we fall into is we believe we need the exact same level of event to wear it again. This item has now been elevated to special or fancy events only because this was the intention you bought it with. This can only be solved with Show Pony Summer Series Method #2: Dress it Down!

Often our intention for why we buy an item becomes mixed up with the item’s purpose. If we bought a dress for a wedding, an interview, or a birthday, we become convinced that we can only wear that item for special occasions. Since it debuted at a fancy or important event, we convince ourselves this item is special, fancy or different and warrants something fancy to come out of the closet. 

My favourite thing to do with these items is to dress them down. Sure your dress may be fancy but paired with sneakers, a scarf, and a casual cardigan no one would know it’s fancy. If your item is a pair of heels, pair them with ripped jeans. Perhaps you have a power blazer that you can contrast with sneakers. A bonus to this strategy is it helps your brain adjust to the foreign concept of wearing something fancy for a regular occasion. When you pair your fancy dress with your favourite, go-to sneakers and scarf your brain takes comfort in the familiar items and focuses less on the new item. 

Alright, you’re convinced to try dressing it down, but where to start?

First, pick your item and make an intention to wear it soon after the event. The longer you wait, the harder it will be, if possible, wear it within a week.

Second, pull out your favourite everyday staples, the ones that make you feel great. Perhaps it’s your stud earrings, your scarf, your handbag, your sneaker/Blundstone’s.

Next, have fun experimenting, you aren’t going for a certain look, you’re playing, trying, contrasting, matching, and mixing.

Fourth, wear it out of the house. 

My most recent success with this was wearing a bridesmaid dress to work, one week after the wedding. It was not your typical bridesmaid’s dress, it was from a regular clothing store and a very neutral colour. However, even though this dress didn’t scream bridesmaid, it didn’t stop my brain from screaming its resistance when I went to wear it to work. This is fancy, this should be special, what are you doing? So, I gave my brain some comfort, I paired it with my workhorse scarf, a cardigan I had worn 190303 times, and my Birkenstocks. The result? An amazing new outfit. I learned how much I love this dress, how comfortable it is, and how it swishes while I walk. I sent a pic to the bride and she was inspired to wear one of her dresses as well.

Wearing my bridesmaid dress at work, one week after the wedding

Do you have a fancy item you want to wear in your everyday life? How could you dress it down to wear it more often and to more events? Happy mixing and matching!

Photo Credit Jen Newman Photography

Put it in Plain Sight


Welcome to the Show Pony Summer Series! This summer we are taking our show ponies, those special items we save for ‘someday when,’ and learning how to use them. I will be offering tips and tricks for how to break the cycle of saving and start using.

One of the presents I received from a dear friend for my birthday was a beautiful, lovely-smelling, kitchen cleaning spray. It is nicer than anything I would buy for myself (remember the Turkish Towel? I see a theme happening) and I loved it. I knew I wouldn’t hold myself back from using it and put it under my sink with all my other cleaning supplies. Well, 6 months after my birthday I was pulling something out of my cleaning storage and realized I had barely used this cleaning spray. It had turned into a show pony without my trying! 

In reflecting on why I hadn’t used this spray I realized the thing holding me back was not an excuse, but a lack of awareness. Since I was not in the habit of using a spray to wipe down my counters, and the spray was out of sight, I never used it. This brings me to Method #1 Keep it in Plain Sight.

I moved my special spray onto the counter and made the intention to use it every time I wiped down the counters. Well, wouldn’t you know it, this changed everything! I now use my spray all the time and love it! It wasn’t a lack of wanting to use it, but a lack of thinking to use it. Putting this item in plain site helped me to think of it and enjoy it. 

I have a caveat with this method. It may be tempting to put ALL the things out. However, I recommend working on one show pony at a time. Once you are successful in establishing a new habit of using something, you can move another item out into view. If you pull out too many items to choose from, your brain will get overwhelmed and you’ll go back to what you always use. Trust me, I know from experience!

What special items do you want to use, but forget you have?

Do you have fancy cleaning supplies, bath supplies or makeup, hiding out of sight?

What will you put out in plain sight? I’d love to know how it works for you!

Getting Curious: How to turn your show pony into a workhorse

Belongings, intentional living, show pony summer series

This is the beginning of my Show Pony Summer Series! Over the summer I will be sharing all kinds of tips and tricks for how to turn your show ponies into workhorses.

Today we are getting curious, not with Jonathan Van Ness (I wish), but with our show ponies. We will be solving some of the mysteries around why we can’t seem to bring ourselves to use these items. At this point you have walked around your home with the 3 horsemen of your closet in mind: the workhorse, the show pony, and the out to pasture. 

Show ponies are the items that are too nice, too expensive, too sentimental, too old, too new, too fancy, too (insert any excuse you have to not use these items). These items often have tags on, are in their original packaging, have dust on them, but you love them dearly.

To begin, picture one of your show ponies, it’s important you pick only one item to get the most out of this exercise. Try to use the same item for all of these questions. I will use the example of an item I struggle to use: my beautiful, white, Turkish towel (pictured above).


What is your item’s origin story? It doesn’t have to be worthy of a superhero, but how did this item come into your life? I’m serious, picture it! When did you and this item first meet?

  • Was it at the sale rack?
  • Was it a gift?
  • Did you save for it?
  • Was it hard earned?
  • Did it used to belong to someone?

My Turkish towel was a beautiful gift from my friend Wendy at my wedding shower. I loved it immediately and my first thought was ‘I’ve always wanted a Turkish towel but never bought one for myself.’ It was beautiful, soft, and exactly what I had always wanted. So why have I never used it? Read on!


Our belongings aren’t just items, they send big messages. Messages about: who we are, the status we are striving for, how we want to present ourselves to the world, how much money we make, how little money we make. All of these messages are wrapped up in the item you are struggling to wear. 

My Turkish towel sends the message ‘you are not good enough.’  You see, I had wanted a Turkish towel for a long time, but it seemed too nice. I already had towels, I didn’t need a special one, so I envied my friends with beautiful Turkish towels, but never bought one for myself. When I ended up owning one the message didn’t change. Everytime I went to use it I would hear ‘you are not good enough for this.’

The goal of this question is to unpack the message this item is sending you. Usually, the message can be boiled down to ‘you are not enough.’ Not fancy enough, skinny enough, cool enough, good enough, wise enough, rich enough or worthy to use this item. Read on for how we will combat these messages.


When you think about using this item, what is the fear that comes up?

Some fears include:

  • What will people think? The fear of other people’s opinion
  • What if I wreck it? The fear of loss
  • What if I waste it? The fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • What if I don’t like it? The fear of disappointment

The fear I hear when I go to use my Turkish towel is ‘what if I wreck it?’ It’s white, I would be using it at the beach, it will most likely get dirty and the idea of washing it is intimidating. So where does it stay? Safe from sand and sun and fun, in the closet. Knowing the fear is a really helpful way to realize what you are fighting against.

Now comes the part where we start fighting back! You have gotten curious about your item and it’s paying off, you are gathering a sense for why you aren’t using this item. My data is:It was a gift, I think it’s too good for me, I’m afraid of wrecking it.


Instead of fighting how it came into your life, honour that story.

  • If you bought it on sale, praise yourself for being such a fantastic bargain hunter.
  • If you worked hard and saved your pennies, praise yourself for being so determined, hard working, and focused.
  • If it used to belong to someone, thank that person for passing it on to you, think of them and your memories.

My Turkish towel was a lovely gift from a dear friend. When I intentionally think of this origin story I change the script from ‘this is a gift, I would never give myself permission to buy it for myself, so don’t ruin it.’ To a story of ‘this is a beautiful, thoughtful gift, from a dear friend who wants me to use it and enjoy it.’ See the difference and permission that gives? 

How can you honour your show pony’s origin story?


These messages are subliminal, they’re subtle, and we can quiet the message by keeping the item tucked away. However, that message is not gone, it’s always there waiting for you. To get rid of the message for good you need to write your own message. 

My message: I am good enough for my Turkish towel. No item gets to tell me what I can or cannot use. I am worthy of having and using nice things. 

It may feel silly or uncomfortable, but you know what’s sillier and more uncomfortable? Letting an item silently send you messages for years! Take back the message and take back your items!


You’ve heard the fear, loud and clear, now we get to do something about it. Figure out what the core fear is and give it the antidote

  • The fear of other people’s opinion – give yourself a mantra and repeat it over and over. 
  • The fear of loss- Remind yourself of all the items you have, all the items you have let go, and that the world is a safe place to use your stuff.
  • The fear of missing out – remind yourself that you are missing out on it 100% of the time you don’t use it.
  • The fear of disappointment – I guarantee the more you use your special items, the more you will enjoy them, and the easier this will get. 

When I go to grab my Turkish towel before heading out the door, my brain loves to remind me of all the terrible stains waiting for me at the beach. However, I remind myself, I can figure out how to wash this, a little dirt never hurts anyone, and it’s better to use it and wreck it, than never use it at all.

What action will you take against your fear?

I started writing this post thinking we could ask our show ponies some fun questions, but somehow I ended up talking about worthiness and fear. The more I think about this topic and the more I use my stuff I remember our stuff isn’t light or easy, but it’s important. Our belongings touch on big, heavy, serious, topics. That can be scary, and it can also be exciting and freeing.

I feel much better and more confident about using my Turkish towel this summer because I have seriously considered why I don’t use it. Now, when I hear the message of ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘what if you wreck it’ they are familiar. They have lost their scariness. They are simply my brain trying to keep me safe. I reassure myself by thinking I am worthy of using my towel and the world is a safe place to use my stuff.

I would LOVE to hear what show pony you thought of when asking these questions and how this has shifted your thinking.

Look out for more in the show pony summer series!

The 3 horsemen of your closet


Is your favourite thing to ponder why we never use our stuff? No? Just me?

One of the things I find helpful when reflecting on why I do or don’t use certain items is putting them into categories. So, I came up with the 3 horsemen of the closet: the work horse, the show pony, and out to pasture.

Your work horses are the items you always reach for. Anything from your go to work uniform to your everyday dishes, toiletries, jewelry, and food items. There is nothing special about them, but they do the job. You love them for how they meet your needs.

How to recognize these items: 

  • They are often in the laundry
  • They are often in the dishwasher
  • This is how people would describe your style
  • This is how you spend your time
  • This is what you wear, eat, use, and enjoy 
  • They are used and enjoyed regularly

My workhorses:

  • Blundstone boots
  • Birkenstock sandals
  • Bike panier
  • All of my purses (I only have 3)
  • Fossil watch
  • Yeti mug

You have more excuses for why you don’t use them than you do memories of using them. 

These are often items we are saving for ‘someday when’. Either a special occasion (Christmas dinner), a big milestone (10 year anniversary), an external accomplishment (making partner) or a personal accomplishment (losing 50 pounds). No matter what you’re waiting for, these items always seem to stay in the cupboard, on the shelf, in the garage and are not used.

How to recognize these items:

  • They have dust on them
  • They have tags on
  • They are in their original packaging
  • These are items we often love deeply but don’t give ourselves permission to use
  • You try it on, but never leave the house in it

My show ponies:

  • Aritiza blazer
  • Embroidered dress
  • Yoga mat
  • Turkish towel
  • Red flats
  • Beaded necklace

I find the Out to Pasture items fall into 2 categories:

  1. They used to be your go to, but they’ve been overworked. They are tattered, faded, and showing their age. 
  2. They were never used. Either you bought them for your aspirational self or they were a mistake from the beginning. Either way, cut your losses and realize you do not use them, do not wish to use them, and have no plans to use them.

The Out to Pasture items are cluttering up your space, distracting from your workhorses and show ponies and overwhelming your decision making.

How to recognize these items:

  • They are at the back of your closet, bottom of your drawer, and the back of your cupboard
  • They have holes, stains, need to be repaired or past the expiry date
  • These items are never used and need to find a new home. 

My out to pasture

  • Water colours – I realized this is not my hobby of choice
  • Extra panier – I realized I prefer my workhorse panier than having the choice of two
  • Old running shoes – it was cluttering up my space and forcing me to choose everytime I went to put them on
  • Extra sunglasses – I have a quality pair of polarized sunglasses that has become my work horse only since I gave myself permission to let go of the extras.

The first step in beginning to use and enjoy your things is to recognize the categories. As you go about your day, interacting with your belongings, ask yourself ‘which category is this? Workhorse, show pony or out to pasture?

Soon I will cover the different strategies for each category, but first, happy hunting!