Decluttering has become a necessity because we live in an overstuffed world. The interest in tidying is at an all time high. Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ is an international best seller and the waiting list for Marie’s services, once three months long, is now so extensive that she has stopped accepting anymore clients to help them with decluttering and organising. Clearly, getting rid of stuff is easier said than done.
Why do people have so much trouble throwing things out?
Many of my clients have tried to declutter on their own before they contacted me. They understand that organising is liberating and an enlightening experience that can lessen your everyday stress and are aware of the distraction and pain their clutter causes. They know what their ideal home or office looks and feels like, but just can’t decide what items need to go and what can stay.
My clients don’t lack willpower; they simply don’t ask themselves the right decluttering questions.
Here are 14 questions to ask yourself when you are ready for a life with less:
- Is this item useful? Can it save time, energy or money? Does it make my life easier? If not, let it go.
- Does this item give me a feeling of love, joy or adventure and do I like it? If not, let it go.
- Do I already own something similar? If so, let it go.
- Am I holding on to it out of guilt? If so, let it go.
- Does it energize or drain me? If it drains you, let it go.
- Is it broken beyond repair or damaged in some way? If so, let it go.
- Does it reflect the person I am today or a past version of me? If it reflects the past, let it go.
- Have I worn it, used it, found pleasure in it or looked at it in the last year? If not, let it go.
- Is the information it provides outdated (e.g. old books, manuals, magazines, videos)? If so, let it go.
- Have I finished using it and will not use it again? If so, let it go.
- Do I love working on this project (e.g. scrapbook, an unfinished book)? If not, let it go.
- Am I spending too much time weighing the pros and cons? If so, let it go.
- Would I repurchase this exact one again today, even if it cost twice as much? If not, let it go.
- Does this have any historical or potential financial value (e.g. an item passed down for several generations)? If not, let it go.
Not all of these questions will apply to each item. If you get stuck and still can’t make a decision, create a ‘maybe’ box and toss the item in there. Keep the box for a year; if you never open it, let it go. If you only have limited time and want quick results, check my blog ‘No brainer toss list’.
Decluttering is a skill that you learn with practice, just like any skill. And the best time to get started is now.
Quit clutter and enjoy life!